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Getting started with Spotify Discover

Spotify rolled out its new Discover feature to its Web player today to help you stop browsing sooner and start rocking or quietly listening and contemplating -- your choice -- sooner.

I can't believe I complain about this, but I do: as a Spotify user, many times I don't fire up the service because of the mental power required to choose what to listen to. Paralyzed by choice, I am. Or was, because today Spotify added a new Discover page to its Web player that helps you find new music. (The company says the Discover page is gradually being rolled out to its desktop and mobile apps.)

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

On the Discover page, you'll find recommendations based on the music you listen to and the artists and friends you follow. You'll find artist, album, song, and playlist recommendations. For each, there is an action button to save an album, song, or playlist to a playlist or to follow an artist. Each recommendation box features album art or a photo of the artist. Hover over the artwork to reveal Spotify's new Audio Preview feature; simply click and hold on the Play button to hear a sample. Meanwhile, clicking the Play button (without holding) plays the song or starts playing an album or playlist. Clicking the artwork outside of the center Play button slides open a panel with all the tracks listed for an album or playlist, along with Share, Start Radio, and (for artists) Follow buttons.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Also on the Discover page is the occasional listing for a concert near you for an artist you follow. Concert recommendations are powered by Songkick; clicking on a listing slides open a page with more information and a link to buy tickets. You'll also find new items powered by Tunigo. I discovered, for instance, that Bob Dylan will be touring this summer with Wilco and My Morning Jacket.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

The Discover page scrolls endlessly, though you'll reach a point where it is just throwing hugely popular acts -- Beyonce, Bieber, and the like -- at you for the simple fact that they are "popular right now on Spotify." Until I reached that point, however, I found that Spotify did a reasonable job of making recommendations that were both accurate and illuminating.