Spotify, our favorite streaming music browser to talk about that we can't even (legally) use in the U.S., has just announced that it is releasing version 0.4.3, "which includes the largest feature upgrade since our launch in 2008". Are we finally going to (legally) get Spotify here in the U.S.? Not a chance.
Spotify is going social, adding a connection with Facebook, usernames, the ability to publish activity to your blog, and more. It's also going local, adding library features and giving users the ability to import their local library into the Spotify network.
From Spotify's announcement:
"To kick it off we've added a number of social features, centered on a fully editable Spotify music profile, with the ability to publish playlists, top artists and top tracks for public view. Discovering these profiles is simple as we've connected with Facebook so that you can instantly add your friends' profiles.
As well as introducing a variety of new social features, Spotify is evolving into a total music management platform. We've added a 'Library' folder in the left side bar, enabling you to combine your own music library with ours."
While Music Ally is saying that the connection with Facebook has "huge" implications, to us it almost feels like catching up with the competition. Haven't most other Web-based music delivery services gone social in many ways?
A quick run-down of the features coming to the new Spotify includes Facebook integration, usernames, publishing to your Facebook stream from within Spotify, in-platform messaging and tracking of collaborative playlists. As for the library, which many people in the blog post's comments seem even more excited about, users can "import a link to all the music files stored on [their] computer", wirelessly sync their mobile device, and "star" tracks to tag them as favorites.
Our own Frederic Lardinois predicted a Q3 U.S. release for Spotify, but we have already seen some solid competition. MOG, for example, released a mobile, $5-a-month version this year at SXSW, and a representative from Napster told us it was looking to do the same in the near future. Both of those services offer similar sized catalogs and comparably priced services.
While today's feature announcements by Spotify look enticing, we're still left asking - when will it be available in the U.S.?