Spotify for Windows Phone


Price: Free
Brand: Spotify
Categories: Apps

👍 Pros: Sound quality is excellent, integrates beautifully with the OS, downloadable playlists

👎 Cons: Bandwidth intensive, unlimited streaming is $5/mo.

Bottom Line:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Spotify, the service that recently came to the US, then annoyed Eric, is now available for Windows Phone. How does it look? Excellent. The app developers over at Spotify have done an excellent job of making the app look like it belongs in the WP7 ecosystem. That’s probably because Microsoft helped them develop this beauty. The app is sexy looking, and works seamlessly. The icon has only the Spotify logo with a transparent background, which means that it adapts to whatever theme you’ve chosen. That’s always a nice feature, because I hate having too many colors on my home screen, and force myself to hide important apps further down so that it doesn’t bother me.

The app sync with your existing Spotify account, including any public playlist you’ve been invited to. Once you tap the playlist, you’re brought to the list of songs on that playlist, including the option to download that playlist for offline mode, as seen above. This is where it gets bandwidth intensive.


Spotify Settings Page

Of course, you can choose whether it syncs over 3G, and whether or not it streams and syncs with high quality. When it comes to quality, they don’t mess around. I played various songs, both from my personal library and from others’ public playlists over my home stereo, which isn’t shabby, and the sound quality was excellent. Locally synced songs sounded great as well, but I had to ensure I synced the high quality version.  Even songs coming from others’ playlists were quite good. Offline mode means that any downloaded playlists can be accessed, but you cannot search the Spotify online library. I have unlimited data, and as such I have no qualms about staying online, but with just the free account, I supposedly get blessed with advertisements, but I’ve yet to hear one from my phone. I’m sure that will be fixed in time, but I’m enjoying it for now.

If you’re on a limited bandwidth plan, I’d recommend turning off the Sync over 3G function, if not the HQ streaming one as well. I don’t have a good idea of data usage right now, but I’ll get back to you with that. Just beware that if you’re using high quality headphones, you might not enjoy streaming crap quality audio. You’re better off syncing your playlists (over WiFi) and sticking with those.

If you’re wondering how it integrates with the OS, then you’re in luck. What you see here is the lock screen with fully integrated controls. You can pause and skip directly from the lock screen, or by pressing the volume rocker on any other screen. This is a change from, where you can’t skip songs. The small icon in front of the song title means that you’re listening to music not from the Zune app.

The “Now Playing” screen is uncluttered, displaying the album art above the usual settings. The Star button adds the song to your Favorites, as expected. The button that looks like a ‘less than’ sign is the share button, which enables you to Tweet the song with a link to the Spotify Library listing for that song. The Plus button allows you to add the song to playlists. You’re also able to toggle repeat and shuffle by swiping the menu open.

Overall, it’s the best streaming app for Windows Phone that I’ve used. It might even replace the Zune app as my choice player, as I can sync my own music to playlists, as well as surf around the Spotify library on the fly. With the excellent integration, smart list of options and clean look, it is a contender for the Zune app on my phone. Just be sure you keep your favorite playlists downloaded, because streaming does take a bit of bandwidth and – depending on your connection – time.

I’ll give it a few more days, but once I sync all my media to Spotify, I might drop Zune altogether on my phone, except for podcasts. Hell, I might even pay $5 a month to get the full unlimited streaming ad-free experience. While I’ve heard bad things about Spotify on Android, I think they took the time to do this right on Windows Phone, and it really shows. It’s free, so give it a try. Just remember to turn off Facebook Sharing, or someone will know you really love Justin Bieber.

5 thoughts on “Spotify for Windows Phone”

  1. I think it’s actually $10 a month to get streaming on mobile. $5 a month is for unlimited streaming on the desktop. Still, same price as Zune Pass.


  2. Also, stuff like this kind of helps me to not worry too much about how much local storage I have.  Most WP7 phones are, at max, 16 gigs.  My current phone has a total of 32 gigs.  The idea of having all my photos moved automagically to skydrive, as well as just joining a subscription service like this or Zune Pass will help me to not need to keep more than maybe 8 gigs of music locally, as I can just download a playlist or a few albums in the morning over wifi.  If I run out, I can burn a little data to stream more stuff. :)

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