Shortly after we posted my review of Soundrop, Spotify’s chat room application, Soundrop marketing Vice President Thomas Ford wrote to us. “I think you published just a few weeks too soon,” he observed. “We’re planning to launch the new Spotify app tomorrow [December 17]. I hope it helps solve some of the interaction issues by making the chat more noticeable and not on a slider.”
And indeed, the new Soundrop is greatly improved. The screenshot below shows a much more integrated application, with chat, user votes for songs, and pretty much everything else on the same screen (click the image for a full screen picture). Activities are easier to keep track of. The app is no longer overwhelmed by the rest of the Spotify user interface.
You can also access Soundrop on your Android mobile via Google Play (that is, if you’ve got Spotify Premium mobile service). In addition to “Live” mode, in which songs get played based on user votes, a feature called “Top Tracks” lets you play the the most popular 50 tracks from the room’s history. Soundrop calculates Top Tracks by noting which tunes get “starred” by Spotify users.
Finally, some rooms will get help with metrics, including the “total number of streams, unique listeners, number of tracks starred, number of tracks added and number of votes,” according to the press release that we received. I’m not sure how Soundrop will decide which rooms will get that bonus, but I’m betting that performance will be a factor.
We cover social music sharing communities every Monday in our Internet DJ feature.
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