Hands on: Spotify Apps review

Billboard app

So what of the apps themselves? The eleven launch apps come with varying degrees of usefulness, but there's likely to be more to come as devs get their heads around the possibilities.

The simple apps we mentioned earlier include Billboard, which offers playlists of its many and varied charts and comes off a bit like a radio playlist - you probably know most of these songs already.

Fuse is a bit more interesting. Originally a music news site, you can peruse the latest news which is presented with accompanying themed playlists.


So news about the Grammys is accompanied by a Grammy Nominee Prediction playlist, while the news of TLC's T-Boz's bankruptcy filing spawned a 'Bankruptcy Woes' playlist that begins with Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg by TLC.

Guardian app

Not one to let an app platform pass it by, The Guardian's app is a bit disappointing. A list of album reviews (most of which give their quarry 3 stars with one notable exception which was, according to one anonymous TechRadar writer, "written by an amoeba") and links to the album in question is not exactly pushing the technological envelope.


Luckily, Last.fm picks up where the Guardian failed to tread. It's the shining jewel in Spotify's app-laden crown. Using information from both your Last.fm and Spotify profiles, the app makes recommendations of albums you might like to check out, complete with the reasons behind its recommendation. There's a lot of "You've scrobbled this artist but not this album", but similar artists also get a look in.


The recent tracks and album playlists seems a bit pointless, since you know you've already listened to those songs, but some will no doubt find them a handy reminder.

Whether you're listening to music from the Last.fm app or you have a playlist playing elsewhere in Spotify and you're just browsing, Last.fm's Now Playing tab gives you an artist bio (a more reliable one than Spotify's own, in our opinion), tags, similar artists and options to 'Love' the track or create a playlist of similar tracks.


In fact, you can create a playlist of similar tracks from anywhere in Spotify by simply dragging the song on to the Last.fm icon - and these aren't just similar artist's songs, Last.fm uses its algorithmic wizadry to create lists of songs that actually do sound similar. It's not perfect, but it's definitely not bad.


Dedicated Last.fm users will get the most out of the app, but even newbies will be privy to a wealth of musical suggestions given that Last.fm can tap into your Spotify library and history too.

Pitchfork's music reviews are somewhat more comprehensive than The Guardian's, and come in a zippier package too, with the 'best' new albums housed separately from the rabble in 'all reviews'.


Pitchfork's playlists are already well-renowned and live happily together in the Playlists tab. Doesn't look like the subscriber calculators are working yet, but aside from that it's as simple and intuitive an app to use as the rest.

Rolling Stone Recommends is along a similar vein, with album, song and playlist recommendations alongside reviews.

Songkick brings its brand of gig-find-ability to your Spotify music library. You need to set your location and link it up with Facebook - supposedly so it can use your events calendar, but we don't see why it can't work without access to that.

If there's a gig you want to go to, 'tickets and more' takes you out of Spotify and into the web browser, but neat of it to find shows by artists we like using our library.


Moodagent builds playlists according to your mood - as long as your mood is sensual, tender, happy, angry or, er, based on tempo. It's a nice idea, using both your library and other artists to create new playlists. The songs largely fit the right emotional category, and you can control the 'curve' of the music which takes you from, for example, happy to sad in a quick and easy manner.


Soundrop is all about social music - either set up your own playlist and invite friends to listen along, voting songs up and down and chatting, or you can zip into one of the existing music rooms but you have to listen to the music that's playing at the time which is annoying if you just want to see what's on.


Anyone can add a track to the playlists, which leads to some minor annoyances as users 'troll' certain songs. Stay tuned for rick rolls.

Tune Wiki provides song lyrics to pretty much every song around, which will no doubt lead to many festive sing-songs around the Christmas tree this year. It syncs to where you are in the song which is nifty, but the app doesn't do much more than that. Other functionality takes you out of Spotify and onto the website.


Finally, We Are Hunted is all about introducing you to music that's on the up and up - so it includes an emerging artists chart (a suspicious number of which feature on the Twilight Breaking Dawn soundtrack), or you can check new music out by genre and have the app build you an instant playlist based on an artist of your choosing which is, again, save-able to your playlist library.

We are hunted

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.