Spotify has made no secret of its plan for total home domination and it's just taken a big new step with Spotify Connect.
A 'Connect' button, coming soon to Spotify apps, will allow you to play music from the service through external, internet-enabled speakers without having to stop and faff about with wires, other apps or docks.
So you can be listening to music on your phone through headphones as you travel home, get home, hit the Connect button and have your Connect-friendly speakers pick up the song from the exactly the same place.
Because the speakers themselves stream the music rather than relying on your phone's internet connection, you can make phone calls and watch YouTube videos without interrupting playback while maintaining stable audio quality.
Your phone and/or tablet becomes the remote control as Spotify seeks to banish the frustration of streaming audio around the home - "dropouts, below-par audio quality, signal range, phone restrictions, battery drainage - it's basically a hassle," Sten Garmark, Spotify's VP of product management, reckons.
The speaker-based streaming will work through Connect-certified speakers or any other Spotify-toting internet-device you have docked - so you could switch from your phone to your docked tablet, for example.
In what could be a blessing or a curse, anyone with the password to the Wi-Fi network your Connect-friendly speakers are on can play Spotify tunes from their handsets; if you don't want your guests to be able to hijack that lovingly crafted smooth jazz dinner party playlist with something gauche like Obie Trice, you'll have to keep the Wi-Fi code under wraps.
Although it's initially launching as part of the iOS app, Spotify tells us that both the Android app and the desktop programme should also receive the Connect update within the next few months. As ususl, you'll need a Spotify Premium account to take advantage.
Currently there are ten companies working with Spotify on speakers that will work with the update, from the top end to the more affordable types: Argon, B&O, Denon, Marantz, Hama, Philips, Pioneer, Revo, Teufel and Yamaha, with more to come in the coming months.
Some existing connected speakers will simply require a firmware update, others will be released with Connect on board before Christmas - just look out for the badge.
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