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Spotify Android app update due in weeks, folders to follow

Spotify's Android app will be updated in a matter of weeks to overtake the iPhone version, as preparations for the US launch continue apace.

Spotify's Android app will overtake its iPhone equivalent in a matter of weeks. Crave caught up with the music-streaming service this morning to see what's in the pipeline, and although its spokesman kept schtum on the long-anticipated US launch, we did learn that the next update to the Android app is on its way.

Folders are also imminent for mobile users, making it easier to manage a long catalogue of playlists, although they're not likely to make it into the next update.

Spotify has 10 million users in seven countries across Europe. 750,000 of those users pay to use the service without adverts, whether it's the £10 Premium subscription or £5 Unlimited version. Access to the mobile apps is available with the Premium package.

The desktop application hasn't changed much since the integration with your hard drive and Facebook brought your own MP3s and your friends' playlists into the app in April. We've had side projects like folders and hardware deals with Sonos and the Logitech Squeezebox, but the core service is largely the same as ever.

Spotify told us this is because the planned US launch is taking up most of its attention, with a labyrinth of record-label and licensing deals required from its New York office, which is in a building it shares with Google and eBay.

Spotify won't comment on progress -- particularly reports that the service has reached a deal with Sony -- but the rash promise to start streaming Stateside by the end of 2010 has earned it some scathing criticism. We just want the rest of the US record industry to hurry up and get on board with the freemium model, so the folks at Spotify can get on with bringing us more cool new stuff in our apps.

The next area for development is music discovery. Spotify acknowledges its strength is listening if you know what you want to listen to, and social playlists will only go so far towards unearthing new aural delights. External partnerships are just one method that Spotify plans to employ to open up new music, as well as better tracking of artists to inform you when your favourite acts have new music available for your listening pleasure.

It's a tough game, digital music: Sony Music Unlimited, Microsoft Zune and mSpot are getting the band together this year, but Nokia's Ovi Music Unlimited and Sky Songs have played their final notes recently.

Apps for Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and webOS are also in development. Are you a Spotify user? What do you want to see in future updates to the service and its apps?