Spotify Connect (teaser 001)

The popular Swedish streaming music service Spotify on Tuesday announced a compelling new feature for audiophiles which takes the best ideas from Apple’s media streaming technology called AirPlay, and then some more. Called Spotify Connect, the service is being billed as “the new way to play at home”.

It’s a lot like AirPlay, but with the key difference: there’s no overhead as the feature streams songs straight from Spotify’s server to supported wireless speakers. I’ve included more information and a nice promo clip after the break…

Spotify Connect allows you to move your music seamlessly between your laptop, tablet, smartphone and Wi-Fi-enabled speakers without missing a beat. The feature will require a mobile app update and will roll out to Spotify Premium subscribers on the iPhone, iPad and home audio systems “over the coming months,” with Android and desktop updates to follow suit shortly after.

Because Wi-Fi speakers do the heavy lifting, using Spotify Connect won’t drain your battery like AirPlay does. As a bonus, you can continue using your phone or tablet for other tasks and music playback won’t be interrupted when a phone call comes in.

Spotify’s promise:

Spotify Connect will be a new home audio experience giving you effortless control of your music across your phone, tablet and speakers with millions of songs built right in. Simple, seamless and hassle-free.

Here’s the introductory promo video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWT4o9AwuT0

According to a media release and a blog post, Spotify Connect will be “available soon” on a range of speakers and home audio systems from such manufacturers as Philips, Marantz, Pioneer, Denon, Hama, Bang & Olufsen, Revo, Argon Audio, Yamaha and Typisch Teufel.

Some of these companies will put out new Spotify Connect-enabled gear while others said a firmware upgrade will enable the functionality on existing wireless speakers.

Look out for the following Spotify Connect logo on compatible systems.

screen-shot-2013-09-03-at-11-08-04-am

This reminds me of Apple’s promise to work closely with audio equipment vendors on integrating AirPlay functionality. We haven’t seen much on that front apart from overpriced equipment from early AirPlay launch partners like Denon, JBL, iHome and Bowers & Wilkins

That’s because integrating AirPlay comes at a cost (i.e. licensing, hardware requirements, marketing, etc.). Contrast that to the ubiquitous Bluetooth wireless audio which is compatible with a wide range of devices regardless of the platform, unlike AirPlay.

If I were Spotify I’d also put out a dirt cheap hardware streaming dongle to enable Spotify Connect on unsupported and non-Wi-Fi speakers.

Check out the official website for more information.

  • Obsidian71

    Doesn’t appear to have much advantage over Airplay at all. I don’t airplay from my iPhone I do it from my iPad or I access my playlists through my Apple TV. My music is never interrupted by phone calls. Airplay supports video and metadata along with cover art.

    The only credible challenger right now is Sonos because of their mesh network and ability to play perfectly synchronized music through the home. I’m not about to jump in to some outlier format that potentially offers little utility over what exists today.

    • Niclas

      Well, spotify don’t do video, but if they will, it will probably be supported too.
      Your audio DO get interuppted when you airplay and get a call.
      This has metadata in it too.
      I don’t think you understand what this is. It’s a remote for spotify. Witch means you can for example vatch a youtube clip while the music is on.

      • Obsidian71

        It’s just a streamer Niclas. Nothing special. Qualcomm just announced their streamer as well. This is the new “music store” craze (back when everyone wanted to start a store thinking they’d be like iTunes) Spotify simply doesn’t have the ecosystem to make this anything but another outlier streaming protocol.

      • Niclas

        Except that it’s actually NOT a streamer.
        The “spotify streamer” already exist in products. The new thing is that the standard spotify ios app can be used as a rich function remote.

  • Imahottguy

    Isn’t this the same concept behind chromecast? The device receives the feed from the web, it only receives the link to play the feed from a local device? This is why playing local content was a difficult move at first? Serious question.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    “It’s a lot like AirPlay, but with the key difference: there’s no overhead as the feature streams songs straight from Spotify’s server to supported wireless speakers.”

    It’s nothing like AirPlay then is it? It sounds like a bunch of metadata being sent from a device (for example your iPhone) to a set of speakers with a built-in Spotify client which plays the song attached to the metadata…

    • Niclas

      It’s a remote.

  • FOFF

    this seems like a gimmick