Few things are as personal as music. It defines moments and becomes wrapped up in our memories. People’s music streams are a window into their lives. I can look at a friend’s Spotify stream and infer so much about him: his mood, his location, the weather, his plans for the evening, who he’s with or planning to be with, and more.
Given how personal music is, the music listening experience after Spotify feels incomplete without a social interaction of some kind. Months ago I critiqued Spotify’s iPhone app and claimed I would switch back to the iPod app if Spotify didn’t improve its mobile UI, but I haven’t been able to make the switch. The app still stinks, but I underestimated how well Spotify fills music’s social layer. It feels great to have someone like my favorite album on Facebook or subscribe to my new playlist; it even feels good just knowing that people are seeing what I’m listening to if I want them to. So this morning, when I opened up the iPod app to listen to an album that’s not yet on Spotify, I only made it two songs before switching to Spotify and listening to something that my friends could see.