Music streaming services like Spotify have come a long from the days when industry critics pronounced them the death of music. In fact, the opposite has proven to be true: with the abundance of music options and the ability to sample new artists and even new genres without the risk of making a full purchase, rising stars are cropping up across a more level indie playing field.
But in order to keep the service optimal–whether users sign on for the free ad-supported account of the premium subscription–Spotify relies on user feedback to launch updates from time to time. While still in beta, the latest Spotify update to version 18.104.22.168 offers a lot in terms of enhancing the usability of the app while ironing out a few kinks.
This update features the usual bug fixes which are so much a part of updating that they’ve practically become expected. There’s no excuse for tolerating a background annoyance after the developer launches a new version release, and those have been worked out for the most part.
The real excitement for this update comes from the functionality that lets users drag and drop a playlist into an empty folder directly from the best-in-class Browse option, and the better integration with App Nap on OS X in order to improve battery life and functionality.
App Nap may not be everybody’s favorite feature and a lot of hacks have been posted on how to disable it for different OS versions. But this feature–which slows down apps that are running in the background but aren’t in prominent use–really does save you in terms of battery life. If a user pauses Spotify to do something else, the music player would normally be “running” as it waited for someone to come back and press play. App Nap makes sure that the power use of the music app slows down if other apps are in use and a song isn’t playing.
There are also a few fixes for one of the Spotify features that users really love, and that’s the Friend Feed (not to be confused with the social networking site that Facebook bought in 2009 and finally shut down just this month). This section of your dashboard lets users see what their friends are listening to on Spotify; this information has been proven to be one of the single most effective discovery pathways in the world of publishing, and it stands to reason that there would be a connection between caring what your friends are reading and making a book purchase based on that, and doing exactly the same thing for music.
You can download the latest update to Spotify by clicking HERE.