Spotify, the much-hyped European subscription service that still does not have a U.S. release date, unveiled a host of new features today, many of which are designed to make the player a user's destination for hosting and sharing music. Spotify remains available in just a handful of European territories, but has already boasted more than 7 million users, and today's update will bolster their accounts with added social networking features.
But perhaps the most enticing new addition is what Spotify has deemed "The Library." In short, the feature will scan the music on a user's hard drive -- everything most of us are listening to via iTunes -- and allow it to be accessed directly via Spotify. With Spotify, a user's long-accumulated collection of music could now stand alongside everything available on the service, creating less of a distinction between the music that is owned and stored on Spotify, and thereby allowing subscribers to use Spotify as a full-on music management service.
Spotify is based on the so-called freemium model, which offers users the ability to stream music with ads at no cost, and premium services are then offered for a monthly fee of 10 euros (about $13). Spotify's premium service streams higher-quality audio files and lets users download and play songs on their smart phones. Users also have the ability to listen to music when not logged into the service, and now will have the ability to access pieces of their entire collection via Spotify's mobile phone applications.