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Spotify adding new music discovery features, and entire Metallica catalog

Today is a big day for music streaming service Spotify and its users. They're introducing a whole bunch of new music discovery features, some of which will eventually go 'cross-platform.'  But, they're also introducing the entire back catalog of one of the most well-known rock bands in history. Spotify users, say hello to Metallica. 

We'll start there, because this is huge news. There have been noticeable holes in Spotify's library since day one, some of which have been filled, but the Metallica shaped hole ever remained. The drought ends today with the addition of 30 years worth of music from the legendary rockers. Every single album, every single song. This one's going to keep us going all through the weekend. 

With that out of the way, the new discovery features being rolled out are pretty interesting. Initially we're looking at desktop only features rolling out in the coming weeks, with a full 'cross-platform' upgrade in 2013. There are two main portions to it, so we'll take you through them one at a time. 

First up is the follow tab. Essentially, this is a way for you to find out what music comes recommended by your 'most trusted musical influences,' be this Facebook friends, musicians or celebrities. This includes the President of the United States. Yes, Barack Obama has apparently signed up to share his playlists with the world. 

The second is the Discover tab. Using 'the best technology and social tools,' Spotify basically wants to provide you with a constant feed of music you might actually like. This is great news if, like me, you're not too keen on seeing Justin Bieber under the recommended albums section all too often. Both sections are in their infancy with an initial list of musicians and celebrities signed up, but this will surely grow with time.

They're also giving a boost to the overall experience of using Spotify, to make it better to use and easier to do simple tasks. Currently, adding a new album to your collection involves creating a new playlist for it, then adding it to that playlist. Finally, the extra step is being removed and hitting the '+' icon will add the album to your collection. 

Mobile push notifications are also being introduced. When new music hits the catalog from artists you follow, Spotify will send you a mobile alert letting you know about it.

Click on past the break for the full press release. 

Music discovery on Spotify gets personal

Finding the music that fits your life just got a whole lot simpler

December 6, 2012: With great power comes great responsibility. Snoop Dogg or The Stones? Skrillex or Shakira? Marley or Metallica? Sure, millions of songs in your pocket has changed the way you listen to music, but can you figure out what to play on a lazy Sunday afternoon?

From today, music discovery becomes truly personal. It becomes central to the Spotify experience as the service brings artists and fans closer together than ever before.

Spotify’s latest, greatest upgrade will see a whole host of powerful discovery features introduced across its desktop, mobile and new web player platforms over the coming weeks.

“Users tell us they don’t know what to listen to, and artists tell us they want to connect more closely with fans” says Daniel Ek, CEO and founder at Spotify. “So we’re creating a new and personalised way of finding great music.”

Here’s what’s coming...

Introducing the all-new Follow tab. Now you can get music recommendations from only your most trusted musical influences. Follow friends, artists, influencers and media to get updated on what they’re listening to in real time.

The Follow tab also shows you your Facebook friends, as well as recommending you friends and trendsetters you may find interesting. You’ll also be able to see who you follow and who follows your profile.

Simply click on the Follow button of friends, artists, trendsetters, editors and experts to connect with the people who turn you on to the music you love.

Artists can now share their music with the world like never before.

Want to hear Obama’s playlist as he prepares for a big speech? Or check out what David Guetta is listening to this week? Now you can. Artists, celebrities and media from around the world are ready to share their music with you, including:

Metallica, Barack Obama, Katy Perry, David Guetta, Justin Bieber, KCRW, Bruno Mars, Huffington Post, Pearl Jam, People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Lady Antebellum, Trey Songz, Wiz Khalifa, Slash

Also making its grand debut: the all-new Discover tab. Your hunt for the right music is over. Combining the best technology and social tools with content from Pitchfork, Songkick and Tunigo, and many more, Spotify’s Discover feed continually seeks out the most relevant content and brings it right to you. The page will include:

New single and album releases from the artists you follow

All the music and playlists shared by influencers you follow

Intelligent recommendations based on your listening history including music, reviews, and concerts

Plus, we’ve made a ton of additional improvements:

Introducing Audio Preview - with our new Audio Preview feature you can dip into new music without moving away from the song you’re playing. If you like what you hear you can save it for later or start it right away.

New Collection - a new way to save music that you love, or want to listen to  at a later time. No more having to create a playlist for your favourite album, just click the ‘add’ symbol and it will be added to your collection.

Mobile push notifications for new album releases - never miss new music from your favourite artists ever again.  As soon as new music from artists you follow hits Spotify, you’ll receive a mobile alert.

Additional improvements include - a more curated social feed; better personalised Profile page; redesigned Artist pages.

“Our music influences are as individual as we are,” says Ek. “Maybe you discover new songs or artists by reading reviews, listening to the radio, or sharing with friends. Maybe you go to a lot of concerts, love making cool playlists, or want to know what the people you care about are getting in to. Spotify now brings all of this together.”

Spotify's Follow features will roll out as part of a desktop app update in the coming weeks, with a full cross-platform upgrade arriving next year.

To view Spotify’s full presentation given today in New York, please visit our YouTube channel:

  • How about an Android app that doesn't randomly lose all the tracks I'm paying $10 per month to be able to take with me?!? I just got a Nexus 4, loaded Spotify, downloaded a slew of albums, came to work, wanted to listen to some music (since the web beta doesn't work well on my work PC) and found I had ZERO tracks on my phone. I've had it do this on my old phone so many times I've lost count, too, usually after an update to the app, but they haven't updated in over two months, so this is just Spotify failing as usual.
  • I don't know what you're doing wrong, but the Spotify app has always worked 100% for me. I'm a premium user as well. On my HTC One X it worked perfectly fine. On my new Nexus 4 it works perfectly fine. I've never had these issues people talk about. I usually just download my entire Starred playlist. Haven't had any trouble yet.
  • What fills you with the arrogance to pronounce that because an app is a buggy, I'm doing something wrong? This is the epitome of Internet commenter snottiness: "I don't have a problem, so everyone else must be stupid or lying or a stupid liar." Pfffft. Get over yourself and get back under your bridge.
  • I assume you're doing something wrong because A.) We both have the same device, yet your's isn't functioning properly and B.) because you have had 2 devices with the same issue.
  • wow touchy much? did it occur to you that because the op doesnt have any issues with the app and you are that its not because hes being snotty its something else far more likely? like you are using a different os? you are on the nexus 4 using the newest jelly bean 4.2 which just released apps are working to get the bugs out, it happens everytime there is a new os some apps dont work just right, its not the fault of the developers they are working on it once they find the issues maybe instead of whining about the app on a different website, then getting pissy with posters how bout you help out send the developer email with your issues that, and even though you are both on the same phone now, you could be on different carriers with different bloatware something could be causing the problem on yours, this will be much more helpful then throwing a temper tantrum...
  • lol. Rdio basically has all this already. Have no urge to listen to Metallica so I don't mind.
  • Does this mean we can finally save music to our SD cards? That's the only reason I'm still with Rhapsody and I'd love to make the switch.
  • but will they discover landscape mode?
  • Exactly what I was going to say....
  • Ditto. It makes no sense at all that they wouldn't offer this feature. The only time I use this app on my phone is in the car, with my phone docked in landscape orientation. I'm sure I can't be the only one.
  • +1000 for this comment. My only complaint about the app is the lack of landscape mode.
  • So..... the big news of the day is Metallica's back catalog? Really? My goodness... Spotify couldn' know.... give us some better artists tracks. That'd be too easy. Better watch out though... if Lars catches wind of this it could turn into Napster 2.0.....
  • When does the + sign link start?
  • Whoo, Metallica!
  • Since we're just calling out all the issues spotify has: When are they going to fix the issue of multiple bands of the same name being merged under one page?
  • I had the disappearing playlist problem, I removed all trace of the app (deleting the files on the SD card as well) and it seemed to cure it. So there is a bug in the app somewhere because there is a spotify forum thread dedicated to this for people having this problem. It's not a persons fault for having this problem, it seems to be totally random so Spotify are struggling to resolve it. However, I am really surprised Android Central haven't commented on the fact the Android app is distances behind the iphone app (the Ipad has a dedicated app with landscape mode and much better UI). 'Full Cross Platform' I doubt that will be true, Android will somehow miss out on the some new features.