Before Spotify came along we had to listen to the same 15-song loop on 6 Music all day, or actually buy our own music.
Now we listen to what we like, when we like. But the service could be better. Much better.
The last big Spotify update added social features, favourites and better music recommendation. You can bet that there are similar radical upgrades to come.
Here's what we want to see in the next version of Spotify. Tell us what new features you're hoping for in the comments.
1. An advanced search page
Spotify's search box accepts boolean search terms, but you have to do a bit of research to find out what they are. Why not give us access to all those hidden search extras in a Google-style 'Advanced Search' page, with drop down menus. It would make finding tunes by year, genre and artist so much easier.
2. Better Bookmarking
In the last Spotify update, Stars were introduced - a one-click method for bookmarking individual tracks. We want a similar, one-click way to create a playlist from an album.
At the moment you have to right-click on an album title, navigate to 'Save to', choose 'New Playlist' from the bottom of a long menu and then click again. Power users will know you can also drag a title to the 'New Playlist' link in the sidebar - but it's not intuitive. Here's an idea: change the Star link in album listings to a 'Create Playlist' link. One click and you'll be done.
3. Folders for playlists
If you've been using Spotify for a while, you'll probably have a long, long list of playlists. Please, Spotify folks, give us a way to organise them. A simple folder function would be perfect. Give us the ability to create folders, name them and stuff them with appropriate playlists. It would give us the freedom to arrange our playlists by artist, genre or any other categorisation we can come up with.
If you're anything like us, you listen to one track as you're searching for new ones. It'd be more spiffing than Lord Spiffy of Spiffington to have the current track in one tab while finding new tunes in another. Strip back the UI and Spotify is, basically, just a web browser - so, tabs make lots of sense.
5. Playlist search
One of of our favourite Spotify related services is ShareMyPlaylists. It reminds us of swapping mix tapes and CDs with our mates back in the day. Spotify people, you've missed a trick there. We'd love to able to post public playlists to a central catalogue and search other people's playlists from within Spotify. The current social profiles don't quite cut it...
EASY SHARING: Spotify already plugs ShareMyPlaylists on its blog... Could a partnership be struck so we can search playlists from within the client?
6. Selective collaboration
Playlists have two editing states. They're either world writable or can only be edited by their author; they're collaborative or they're not. The problem with collaborative playlists is that anyone - from erudite tune aficionados to cloth eared trolls - can add tracks to them. Our solution? A feature that enables you to add selected friends to a playlist. They can edit, no one else can. Problem solved.
7. Minimised mode
What do WinAmp, VLC and Windows Media Player all have in common? They can all be run in minimised modes that reduce the interface down to a simple set of playback controls. With Spotify, though, it's a full window or nothing. We know it can be done. Just look at third party plug-in FoxyTunes.
8. The Beatles
Yeah, we know that's a bit optimistic. The only digital platform you can currently download the Fab Four's tunes on is Beatles Rock Band. Bleurgh. But Spotify has several other big omissions from its catalogue. True behemoths like Oasis, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and Pink Floyd. All of them are missing. For Spotify to become a true alternative to the disappearing paradigm of owning your own music, it has to patch up those gaps.
MISSING: Want to download Fab Four music? Then The Beatles Rock Band from EA Games is the only current way to do it legally