August 25, 2011
Beginning today, SoundHound users in Europe will be able to access any song from the Spotify music service through a special arrangement between the two companies, in news first reported by TechCrunch. Still, this new arrangement isn't perfect. As a review, SoundHound is a music discovery service available online and through iOS and Android. Its biggest function is to identify a song that is playing and then offer the listener the song’s title and other relevant information. Now, Spotify Premium users in Europe will be able to select the “Play Now In Spotify” option from within SoundHound. A page inviting them to join the service will welcome those that don’t subscribe to Spotify Premium. While this arrangement obviously enhances the music playing experience for select Spotify users, it really is limiting. For one, a better system would have been for SoundHound’s music identification service to work through Spotify and not the other way around. This way, the entire process would be self-contained in one app. Under the arrangement announced today, however, whenever an unknown song is playing, SoundHound must first identify it, and then you must go to Spotify to actually play the song. This seems like a lot of unnecessary work, in our opinion. Second, since the SoundHound-Spotify arrangement is only available in Europe (at least for the time being), naturally that leaves out U.S. consumers, which is unfortunate. Still, this agreement is interesting, as imperfect as it is on day one.