Browser-based Spotify music player in beta rolling out today

I’ve always loved iTunes, but I must admit that nearly all of my music discovery, purchasing and sharing is on Spotify these days. Why pay ten bucks for a whole album when Spotify provides unlimited access to its 20+ million-strong catalogue for $9.99 a month?

Spotify subscribers have enjoyed both the official desktop and iOS apps, the latter recently updated with support for the iPhone 5. Word on the street is that Spotify is due to launch a beta of its upcoming browser-based music player later today.

The web application will allow people to access and stream their cloud music from supposedly any device with an HTML5-compliant browser, like Safari on iOS and OS X…

The Verge has the story:

The web player looks a lot like its desktop counterparts on Mac and Windows, but only includes a “basic” feature set: search, Spotify Radio, playlist editing and creation, and a “What’s New” section.

Like its desktop apps, Spotify on the web will be free to use but include audio ads and banners ads. The web app will roll out over the next few months, and is meant to supplement and not replace the company’s desktop apps.

The report noted it wasn’t immediately clear exactly what technology Spotify had chosen to use for streaming music in its web player. The web-based Spotify player is simply yet another convenient option, in addition to Spotify mobile and desktop apps.

Rival Rdio, of course, has had a web player for years.

Now, news like this makes me wonder what the hell is Apple waiting for.

The company delayed iTunes 11, a major revamp, until end of November as it needs more time “to get it right”. And for all the credible talk of Apple working on a Pandora-like streaming service, the company hasn’t rolled out one yet. Meanwhile, rumor has it that Microsoft will soon bring its newly launched Xbox Music service to iOS.

Where does all this leave Apple?

To me, things are simple.

Apple is losing customers like myself who opt for services like Spotify or Pandora because these are way more convenient in today’s rent-everything culture and offer more bang for the buck than à la carte downloads.

Where does your music come from these days?

Are you a Spotify subscriber?