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8 features Spotify needs to kill iTunes

5. Social networking
Because Spotify's music is all stored in the cloud, it's extremely easy to share playlists and songs with your friends. You can make a playlist, send a friend a link and within seconds they're listening to the same mix you are.

This social side of things could be improved further by giving each user a homepage, so they could share links to their playlists, comment on music and promote their favourite albums and tracks.

6. Media playing
One of the drawbacks of Spotify is that it can't play songs stored as MP3 files on your hard drive.

It would be a welcome feature for Spotify to add the ability to playback locally stored music files as well as Vorbis tracks in the cloud.

This would be as beneficial to Spotify as it would be to the people using it. Searches could integrate online and offline content, so if you've got a song on your computer, there'd be no need to stream it from the Spotify servers - saving bandwidth and money.

7. Podcast integration
Another trump card that iTunes can play against Spotify is the availability of podcasts. Spotify could combat this by cataloguing all available podcasts (say, from the BBC website) and then serving streaming links from within the app.

So, you could find the latest Adam and Joe podcast on Spotify, and the app would stream it direct from the BBC Radio 6 Music site. This wouldn't take up any bandwidth on the Spotify servers, but it would give people another reason to use the service. And who knows, maybe in the future Spotify could host podcasts as well?

8. A recommendation engine
While iTunes has the Genius recommendation engine built into it, Spotify's initial effort is pretty weak. Thankfully, it wouldn't be too hard to sort out.

In iTunes the feature has a downside: it can recommend new music, but you have to pay money to listen to it - and you don't even know if you're going to like it. Spotify could create its own intelligent recommendation engine and it would be free to sample the results.


Now read: Spotify - the biggest thing in music since Napster 1.0?

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