The Tech News Blog

May 27, 2014

Spotify Hacked, Urges Android Users to Upgrade

Get Organized: How to Organize Spotify Playlists

Music-streaming service Spotify is the latest company to report a security breach.

In a Tuesday blog post, Oskar Stål, Spotify's CTO, said it has identified "unauthorized access to our systems and internal company data."

According to Spotify, the breach affected just one user. "This did not include any password, financial or payment information. We have contacted this one individual," Stål wrote. "Based on our findings, we are not aware of any increased risk to users as a result of this incident."

Still, as a "general precaution," certain Spotify users will be signed out and asked to re-enter their usernames and passwords over the coming days.

January 8, 2014

Spotify Rolls Out Free Streaming for iOS Users

Spotify iOS Shuffle Mode

Spotify today launched its free mobile music service to all iOS users.

Previously, non-paying Spotify users could listen only to Spotify Radio on the mobile apps; now, everyone can discover, save, shuffle, and share new music.

The Swedish streaming service announced its expansion in December, promising subscription-free streaming features on the iPhone and iPad, though functionality differs between devices. Now it's rolling out to all iOS users.

Apple smartphone users can freely stream any available artist's entire catalog, as well as favorite user-created and Spotify-curated playlists, though remember that playback will be restricted to shuffle mode only.

The iPad app, however, runs fast and loose: non-paying listeners can stream any song, any time. You will, of course, encounter the occasional pesky audio advertisement—just like on a desktop.

Spotify opted to extend PC features to the tablet because "unlike mobile devices, it turns out that tablets are becoming the new desktops," the company said during last month's announcement. "Tablets are where people lean in, search and build playlists."

July 31, 2012

Spotify Unveils Free Streaming Radio for Android

spotify radio

Spotify on Tuesday unveiled a new free radio app for Android device owners in the U.S. on the Google Play Store, bringing the same streaming radio the online music service first launched for PCs to smartphones and tablets running Google's mobile operating system.

A similar free mobile radio app was released for Apple's iOS devices in June. Like Spotify radio for the iPhone and iPad, the Android version comes in two flavors—an ad-free stream for premium subscribers who pay $9.99 a month for Spotify service and one that's punctuated with "occasional ad-breaks" for non-paying users.

Non-subscribers outside the U.S. won't be able to use the new service, but premium users based in other countries will be able to access it, Spotify said. Another big difference between the premium service and the free version is that subscribers can skip an unlimited number of tracks while non-paying users have limits on the number of songs they can skip.

The Android service provides access to Spotify's entire catalog of some 16 million songs and users can create "stations" based on individual artists, albums, or playlists, the company said.

Users can also "save" a song that they want to play later by giving it a thumbs up via the app, which then lists the song in a "Liked from Radio" playlist that's accessed through a PC.

As with the streaming radio app for iOS, Spotify's Android app is an effort on the company's part to better compete with rival Pandora with an offering that expands on Spotify's core free-trial marketing model.

June 19, 2012

Spotify Adding Free Mobile Radio for iPhone, iPad

spotify radio

Budget-conscious music lovers, we've got some good news for you.

Streaming music service Spotify this morning announced it is launching an update for its iOS apps that will bring free mobile radio to the iPhone and iPad for U.S. users - a service that was first introduced for the desktop late last year. Until now, mobile access has been restricted to subscribers who pay $10 per month.

Similar to what's offered by rival Pandora, the new Spotify radio feature for iOS lets users create streaming radio stations from Spotify's catalog of more than 16 million tracks. The service, which comes with audio ads, lets users create playlists based on single songs, playlists, albums, or artists.

"Our focus has always been on creating an amazing user experience," Charlie Hellman, vice president of product at Spotify, said in a statement. "The radio feature we've added to our iPhone and iPad apps gives users the ability to discover, listen and save what they like on the go — all within one app — for free."

Users will be able to create an unlimited number of stations, and listen to songs as they like. Tracks that users "like" with a thumbs up will be saved for playback on computers later on.

Users can personalize stations in real-time by "liking" tracks to hear similar music, Spotify said. They'll also be able browse friends' playlists and create radio stations based on their tastes.

May 11, 2012

Spotify Update Brings Pandora-Like Radio Stations

spotify 275

As expected, Spotify on Friday began rolling out a new version of its desktop software for Windows and Mac, adding several new features, including Pandora-like radio stations.

Spotify version 0.8.3 allows users to create radio stations based on a particular playlist or album. Users can start a new radio channel from any playlist or album to listen to similar songs.

The update also brings a new Instant Search feature that immediately displays search results.

"Hover over results in the search suggestion drop-down, or use the arrow keys to navigate between them, they'll render automatically in the main view," a Spotify blog post reads.

With the latest version, users can get embeddable HTML codes to easily post Spotify Play Buttons on their website or blog. To get the code, right click on any album, playlist, or track, and select "copy embed code."

Finally, the update bring new sharing options, such as the ability to post content directly to Tumblr, or get a shortened link for Twitter.

May 2, 2012

Spotify for iPad App Arrives

The news many Spotify users have been waiting for is finally here: the streaming music service has finally launched an iPad app.

The Spotify for iPad app, which is now available in the App Store, lets users of Apple's coveted tablet browse and play tracks from Spotify's catalog of 17 million songs, Spotify announced on Wednesday morning. iPad owners can enjoy the app for free during a 30-day trial, but will need to shell out $9.99 a month for a Spotify premium subscription to continue using it after the trial period.

In a YouTube video (below), Spotify said its new iPad app is more than just a bigger version of its iPhone app. The app boasts Retina display graphics and a new "now playing" full-screen view with high-definition cover art, perfect for the new iPad.

With the app, users can search for playlists, tracks, and other Spotify subscribers from a single view. The "What's New" section offers up new releases, top tracks, trending playlists, and recommended music, and will also show users the music to which their friends are listening.

March 29, 2012

Spotify Extends Free Listening Period in U.S.

Spotify fans, rejoice! The streaming music service has nixed plans to cap unlimited listening for free users for the time being.

"We've been so overwhelmed by the U.S. response to Spotify that we've extended the honeymoon for unlimited free listening," Spotify wrote in a blog post.

Spotify previously said it would cut off unlimited free listening for users after six months, after which users would be limited to 10 free hours of music per month and five plays per track.

Launched in the U.S. in July, Spotify in January announced that it reached a total of 10 million users, 3 million of which were paying for the service. It has been gradually shifting from a service to more of a music platform, adding more features to the desktop experience. In November, Spotify rolled out its first round of apps, including offerings from some music industry tastemakers like Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Last week, it added a dozen new apps from some heavy-hitters like Def Jam, Matador, Warner, Universal, and Sony, among others.

January 26, 2012

Report: Spotify Hits 3 Million Paid Users

Spotify has reached 3 million paid subscribers, 20 percent of its entire user base, the Financial Times has learned.

That's up from the 2 million paid users it had in September, and 2.5 million in November, at which point paid subscribers were 15 percent of the Spotify user base, the FT said.

"We have achieved some pretty great results in terms of the ratio of paid users," Spotify's chief content officer and U.S. managing director, Ken Parks, told the FT. "We have an enormous internal effort to drive conversion and engagement with the service. We are very focused on growing in our existing 12 markets as well as expanding in other markets."

The FT said rate of paid subscribers excludes those users who tested out Spotify's premium service for a 30-day trial period but did not sign up once the month was up. However, Parks said that the free trials have helped push users in the U.S. and Europe to sign up for Spotify's premium service.

"This is a healthy model," he said. "As it scales it gets better for everybody."

May 4, 2011

Spotify Unveils MP3 Download Service, iPod Syncing

By Chloe Albanesius

European online music service Spotify on Wednesday announced a new MP3 download service, as well as the ability to sync music on iPods and the Spotify iPhone and Android apps.

With Spotify's download service, users can purchase tracks in bundles. Ten tracks will set you back £7.99, 15 tracks will cost £9.99, 40 tracks will be £25, and 100 tracks will be £50.

"Spotify's new MP3 download service makes it possible to own your playlists in one easy step," the company said in a statement. "By introducing a range of MP3 bundles, we've been able to offer you some of the most competitive prices available—from as little as 50p per song."