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Spotify iPad app arrives with retina display album art

Spotify arrives on the iPad with a new big-screen app for the music-streaming service -- and it's a treat for the eyes as well as the ears.

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Richard Trenholm
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Richard Trenholm
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Spotify has landed on the iPad with a new big-screen app for the music streaming service -- and it's a treat for the eyes as well as the ears.

Album art looks glorious, bigger than ever on the 9-inch screen and dazzlingly sharp retina display. After years of seeing album covers shrink from 12 inches to CD-size to iTunes thumbnails, it's great to see gorgeous artwork in such eye-popping style.

All Spotify's features are present and correct, including access to the music and playlists your friends are listening to. You can find charts, hot playlists and new releases if you want to keep your finger on the pop pulse, or search the full Spotify catalogue if you know what you want to pour into your lugholes.

You can set tracks to play without gaps, or even overlap with a preset cross-fade -- handy if your iPad is on DJ duty at a party. The app supports AirPlay, Apple's wireless streaming technology, so you can zap music through the air to any AirPlay accessory.

We've been fans of Spotify for ages -- I've had a premium subscription for a couple of years and haven't bought a CD since. The service took a big step with a US launch last year, and the arrival of an iPad app is long overdue.

To use the iPad app -- and get Spotify on any phone -- you need to pay £10 per month for a premium subscription. That also offers higher quality audio -- up to 320kbps -- and does away with the restrictions on the free version.

You can download the Spotify app from iTunes now. To see what the fuss is about, have a peek at our pictures of the app in action and check out CNET's in-depth hands-on.

Do you listen to music on your iPad? Has Spotify changed your life? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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What's New, including charts and new releases.
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Your playlists listed. Playfully.
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Your friends. Hello friends!
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You can sync the app with your computer and listen to your MP3s through Spotify.
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The iPad and iPhone apps side by side.

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