10 Critical Features Spotify Needs If It Wants To Win Big In The USA

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Photo: Illustration: Ellis Hamburger, Image via Keel centre on Flickr

Spotify is one of the coolest new music subscription services to hit the United States.Featuring an all-you-can-eat mentality and Facebook integration, it’s easy to love.

However, Spotify is missing some key features its competitors have like smart playlists, better people search, and an equaliser.

If Spotify really wants to win in the United States, they’ll need these essential features to do it.

Smart playlists are key

In iTunes, you can create smart playlists to sync like 'songs you've added in the past year' and 'song you've played more than three times.'

These playlists can help you free up space on your already packed-to-the-brim iPhone.

Until Spotify adds smart playlists that auto-update, we can't use it as a full-fledged iTunes replacement.

Twitter follower integration would make Spotify more social

Competing services like Rdio allow you to import your friends from both Facebook and Twitter, so why doesn't Spotify?

We like Spotify's buddy list-style Facebook integration, so why not have Twitter too?

Sure, people follow tons of users on Twitter, but people also have tons of Facebook friends they don't actually care about. If anything, a list based on Twitter followers could be more relevant than a list of Facebook friends.

Fix mismatched songs that aren't what they seem

Spotify's 'scan and match' library of music is far from perfect. Certain songs are mis-tagged, and it can be difficult to find the version of the song you want to hear.

For example, when we looked up the Darjeeling Limited soundtrack on Spotify, the song 'Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)' by Peter Sarstedt is a very different version of the song from the soundtrack I own on a CD.

Spotify stuck in a little link icon next to the song which indicates it came from another album, but if that's the case, it shouldn't even be attached to the Darjeeling Limited soundtrack.

Where's the web app?

Almost all of Spotify's competitors (Pandora and Rdio, for example) have web apps to supplement their desktop apps.

Web apps are perfect if you're at a friend's house, or on an office computer that doesn't allow you to install third party apps.

Spotify is certainly capable of duplicating the Spotify experience on the web, through HTML 5 or otherwise.

You should be able to easily add users, as well as artists

If you want to add a non-Facebook-friend to your buddy list on Spotify, you have to know their exact username and type spotify:user:musicdude123 into your search bar.

It should be easier to not only add non-Facebook users, but to add artists, brands, labels, blogs, etc. Like in the old days of 'iTunes alerts,' we want to get a message in our Spotify inbox when new songs are added by an artist.

If Spotify wants to be the jukebox of choice, it needs an equaliser

Any music aficionado knows that an equaliser is important if you want to get the most out of your music. Especially if you're pumping your music through speakers.

Even if Spotify would only grant us an equaliser to use on local files, it would be nice.

The user interface is straight up confusing.

We read somewhere that Spotify's desktop app interface is 'enigmatic.' We think it's just convoluted and outmoded.

Spotify is designed to look like iTunes, but it took a lot of messing around for us to get used to it.

The back and forward buttons should be inside the browser area, the sidebar has a few libraries and local files areas you have to sort through, and there's no real 'home screen' you can feel comfortable in.

Europe has Artist Radio. Where is it in the US?

Spotify users in Europe have a cool feature called 'Artist Radio' that plays similar songs to an artist you're currently listening to. It's not as good as Pandora, but it's something.

There are some third party recommendations services, but where is Artist Radio in the US?

Spotify told us that the feature is coming soon.

For the price of one New York cocktail per month, Spotify premium is an awesome all-you-can-eat streaming deal.

But sometimes, we want to buy our music to stave off that 'locked in' feeling you get from signing up for a music subscription service.

Except in the US, you still can't buy your favourite music from within Spotify. In the UK, you can.

Syncing needs to differentiate itself from pinning playlists to offline mode

When you sync music to your iPhone in Spotify (Premium), it's hard to tell exactly what's going on.

The syncing screen doesn't tell you whether music is syncing from the computer to your device, or from the internet to your device over Wi-Fi.

Is this any different than just going into Spotify on an iPhone and switching a playlist to 'offline sync?'

It's a confusing process, to say the least.

Now that you've seen our most desired Spotify features...

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