Review: Spotify for Android

Spotify for Android is good for using Spotify on your phone -- but it isn't the best if you just want a music manager.

Spotify for Android is a simple music player that ties in with Spotify's free and premium streaming music services. Sure, you can use it to manage your phone's locally stored tunes, but as a music manager it's inferior to, say, Winamp. Spotify as a package deal--with the all-you-can-stream online and offline premium account--is quite good.

Spotify for Android is quick and painless to set up: Just sign in with your Spotify account, and your playlists will automatically import. At any time, you can use Spotify to play music housed on your phone, but if you want to stream tracks you'll need to have a premium Spotify account, which costs $10 per month. Luckily, that monthly fee also pays for offline access to Spotify, so it's almost as if you actually own the music.

Spotify's interface is clean and simple: gray, with Spotify-green accents. Four quick-access buttons--Playlists, Search, What's New, and More--sit at the bottom of the screen, along with an arrow button that quickly pops up your currently playing track.

The Playlists button lets you see your playlists, as well as your inbox (music sent to you by Spotify friends), library, starred tracks, and local music. Through the Search button you can hunt for music in the Spotify library, searching by track, album, or artist. What's New brings up the corresponding Spotify page, where you can find new music and popular tracks, as well as view your Spotify newsfeed. Finally, under the More button you'll find all of the extras, including settings, information about the app and your phone's disk usage, and a logout option.

In the middle of those four buttons is an up arrow that you can click to quickly see information on the music you're listening to. Clicking the arrow pops up the info over whatever screen you're currently viewing; you then use the down arrow to go back to what you were doing (browsing for music, changing settings, and so on). From the music player you can perform the basics: skip forward or back, pause, star a track, add the track to a playlist, and toggle repeat or shuffle on and off.

Spotify as a music player is simple--perhaps a little too simple. There are a few things you can't do; for example, you can't play a single track on repeat (only a playlist), or edit track names from within the app. In conjuction with the Spotify service, however, it's appealing.

This story, "Review: Spotify for Android" was originally published by PCWorld.

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