Spotify's rumored iPad app screen grab that sent tech bloggers into a frenzy last week.
Spotify's iPad app is finally here. After tech bloggers speculated wildly two weeks ago over an early screen-grab , many assumed it would be the subject of a New York press conference that was ultimately in regard to the company's new global partnership with Coca-Cola . But now that it's here, it appears to be worth the wait.
Unlike the iPhone app, which is geared toward a more on-the-go, passive listening experience, the iPad app was designed to function as a "home stereo," says Charlie Hellman, Spotify's director of product development. The album art gets full-screen display during song play so it can be visible from a distance, and the bit rate goes up to 320 kbps for "Extreme" sound quality, in the app's new iOS parlance.
Other Apple features like gapless playback, crossfade and Airplay integration are also included. Additional features include "Inbox" settings grouped by sender, and a "stacked" search function that allows users to click from an artist's page to similar artists and playlists in a seamless "stacked view." The ad-free app is for Premium subscribers only.
The Spotify iPad log-in screen (Photo: Spotify)
Spotify's own app partners, which include everyone from Billboard and Rolling Stone  to Warner Music Group's Hot or Not and X5's Classify  will have to wait a little while before making their own journey to the iPad. "The apps are all HTML5 for the time being. There's still some technical things we need to figure out," Hellman says.
The iPad app could help further expand Spotify's U.S. presence, which according to recent reports is 3 million users and 600,000 paid subscribers . Ek told Billboard last month that he was "very happy" with the current U.S. audience and hopes to see international features like a click-to-buy option for songs arrive Stateside soon. "Evaluating and clearing publishing rights is more complex [in the States] than it is in Europe," he said. "We want people to have the opportunity to consume as much music in as many ways as possible. If they want to purchase a song of course they should be able to do that."