Spotify: Welcome to the iPad

If you have listened to the buzz about the music industry lately, you have heard of Spotify. Spotify is an online music service with a huge library of millions of songs. Although the Spotify app on the computer is free, adds pop up from time to time, and you can’t go mobile. All of this changes with Spotify Premium. Ads are gone, and you can access your Spotify library on all of your mobile devices be it iPhone, Android, and now the iPad.

Previously, to listen to Spotify on the iPad, you had to download the iPhone app. This was useful, but highly unproductive. If you have ever used an iPhone app on the iPad, you know the feeling of only using half of your iPad’s potential and pixels. Now all of this has changed with a completely new redesign just for the iPad – and it sure is beautiful.


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From the Top

At first glance, the new Spotify interface looks a lot like Twitter’s app. The app is divided into panes. The left pane has six buttons along the side that allow you to navigate the different social and special features of Spotify. The right side of the app has either one or two panes depending on what you have selected. The “What’s New” section is packed with recommendations based on trends that are linked to your Facebook account, new releases added to Spotify, and even top tracks and playlists near your location.

Spotify for the iPad is broken up into multiple panels.

Spotify’s search engine is powerful, fast, and extremely easy to use. Start typing an artist, track title, album title, or playlist name and Spotify automatically starts listing matches sorted in an easy-to-read and navigable format. From there you can start listening and exploring right away.

Social Music

Spotify’s power lies not just in its vast library but in its social networking features. Because Spotify is hooked straight up to your Facebook profile, everybody’s listening choices are right at your fingertips. You can see what music is popular among your friends and discover new favorites.

Spotify for the iPad also has an Inbox feature. If someone shares a song with you, it will automatically end up in your Inbox. No longer do you have to go through the trouble of “what was that one song she was talking about?” when it can now rest safely in your Inbox for later listening.

The What's New section is filled with new music to explore.

Playlists are crucial to Spotify’s social network. Whenever you group a bunch of songs in a playlist in Spotify, you can publish it so that others can view and listen to it as well. Whenever you go to the “People” tab on the far left, tap on someone’s picture. There you’ll see a pane full of that user’s published playlists and add it to your own.

Feel like being a little anti-social? Turn on the Private Session feature. All of your actions will not be published until you’ve been inactive for six hours.

Offline Listening

Because Spotify Premium allows you to listen to your music on mobile devices, chances are that there will be a time where you will not have any Wi-Fi access points available or cellular signal to backpack on. Luckily for you all of the Spotify mobile apps support offline listening. Simply select what playlists you’d like to have stored on your iPad and listen away. You can even force offline mode to occur if you need to save battery or reduce the use of internet.

Spotify for iPad has tons of special features such as Offline Mode and a 0 to 12 second crossfade option.

iPad Beauty

Spotify on the iPad is very beautiful. All of the album art is high resolution meaning that it will look great on your fancy new Retina display. What’s more is that Spotify for the iPad has a now playing full-screen view where you can swipe in either orientation to get to the next or previous track.

Searching is a snap! Spotify for iPad organizes all of your results in an easy-to-read fashion.

Gapless playback and crossfade is supported just like the iPod app, in fact, your lock screen even behaves just like you were listening your iPod with full album art and track title right then and there. Tapping the home button twice brings up volume controls as well as play/pause and next/previous track buttons.

Apple’s AirPlay feature is integrated into the heart of Spotify for the iPad. Simply select a base station or Apple TV to pump out your favorite tunes on your giant face-blasting speakers.

Performance

The iPad is a faster machine than the iPod touch and iPhone and it always appeared to run slightly smoother than its smaller devices. However, streaming speed and reliability is always dependable on your connection. I have never had any trouble switching from song to song on Wi-Fi.

Search has been extremely speedy, in fact it starts searching as soon as you start typing. The high-resolution album art loads very quickly but again that will depend on your connection speed. What you’re looking at is a very solid app.

Pricing

The main Spotify service is free. If you want to take your service on the road or out of the house, you have to subscribe to Spotify Premium which costs $9.99 a month. This is the only way to get Spotify on your iPad, although the app itself is free. It is nice to note, that if you want an ad-free experience and just listen to Spotify on your computer, you can achieve this with the Spotify Unlimited service available for $4.99 per month. This does not support mobile devices however.

In Conclusion

Spotify for the iPad is an incredibly beautiful and solid app. Navigating through the app is simple and self explanatory. The high-resolution album art is beautiful and the full-screen view is a great way to show off the vastness of the iPad’s display.

The app performs marvelously with quick speeds and very few, if any, bugs. With all of the extra Spotify Premium features available at your fingertips, Spotify for the iPad is a must have for any Spotify user.


Summary

Spotify's redesign for the iPad is beautiful in both form and function. None of the iPad's screen real estate is wasted. High-Resolution album art looks glorious in full-screen view and AirPlay support gives your music a voice on your high quality speakers. All of Spotify's social networking features work wonderfully and searching for new artists and music is a snap.

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