Don't get too excited about Spotify for iPhone

If Apple approves it--and that's a big "if"--users will still have to have a premium subscription to use it, which would make Spotify no different than subscription services already available on other MP3 players.

When I tried Spotify, the free on-demand music-streaming service currently available only in Europe, I was impressed by its iTunes-like user interface and how fast the songs loaded. So when I saw Monday's news that Spotify has submitted an iPhone app to Apple for consideration, I got excited.

Spotify

Then I read more closely: to use the mobile version of Spotify, you'll need a premium subscription. The service isn't available in the United States yet, but a premium subscription in the United Kingdom costs 10 pounds a month, which translates to about $16.50 at today's exchange rate.

That's in line with prices for other portable subscription music services, such as the Zune Pass or Rhapsody to Go. Those services aren't available for the iPod or iPhone, but Spotify's not doing anything groundbreaking here; it appears to be trying to fill a gap that Apple has left open by refusing to introduce its own subscription service.

The video demonstration also makes it look like users have to side-load playlists from their computer before accessing them on the device. I want what you get with the Zune Pass--the ability to stream songs on demand from any location with a Wi-Fi connection.

Corrected at 3:45 p.m.: This story mischaracterized a demonstration video for the application. It does show the ability to search Spotify for any song wirelessly. I got confused because it started with the caveat "playlists you've already created." It wasn't clear whether the search results were coming from those playlists, but they're not. My bad.

Follow Matt on Twitter.
 

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