Let the music take you....on a run with Spotify

Streaming music provider Spotify held an event yesterday and announced a bunch of new features that are coming to the mobile version of the service.

The most interesting to me was Spotify Running, which detects the tempo of your running and then picks music that matches that tempo. It's not just random stuff either; the system is suppose to offer up songs that it thinks you'll like based on your listening history. Alternatively you can choose Running Originals which Spotify describes as "music specifically designed for running that dynamically adapts to your running tempo."

The idea, I guess, is that having the beat of the music match the beat of your shoes against the pavement helps keep you motivated and at-speed. Anyway here's the pitch video:

This seems like a really neat idea to me, but not all of Spotify's new features seem as interesting. For instance they're going to start adding videos to the service, and I don't mean music videos. I mean clips from Comedy Central, ESPN and the like. I thought we already had YouTube for this stuff? I really hope this isn't the start of iTunes-like bloat in Spotify.

Spotify is also adding "audio shows" to the service. These can be anything from podcasts to news recaps, and Spotify says it'll be able to suggest content that will be of interest to you.

Last up are "Now" playlists based on time of day, mood or activity. These sound similar to what Songza (and Google Music via Songza) offers but I guess we'll have to wait and see. Examples are an upbeat playlist to help you wake up in the morning or a news feed to listen to while commuting. Spotify is supposed to pick Now lists based on your historical listening patterns.

The most curious part of the announcement was that Spotify specifies that these new features are for the mobile experience. Obviously Spotify Running is only going to work on mobile devices but some of these other features might be welcome for those of us who drive a desk 8-10 hours a day and run Spotify on our computers. I'm hoping this is just a matter of awkward wording on the Spotify announcement post and we'll see Now playlists and audio shows on the desktop before too long.

The Now experience is supposed to already be rolling out to iPhone users in US, UK, Germany and Sweden with other regions and platforms coming in the 'near future.' Spotify Running is supposed to be rolling out to iPhone users globally; no mention of versions for other platforms.

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