Spotify has delivered a thumping one-two to iTunes by unveiling new social features and adding MP3 playback.
Spotify now draws on your Facebook profile to create a Spotify profile showing off your friends and playlists. The new features, hinted at last year, will be automatically updated next week, but in the meantime, you can add them by downloading the software at spotify.com/uk/download. Let's take a look at the killer new features.
Move over iTunes: MP3 playback
Spotify delivers a sharp kick to iTunes' raison d'être by playing MP3s alongside streamed and cached tracks. MP3s are denoted by little icons showing a musical note in a box, while streamed and cached tracks have no icon. iTunes playlists, including on-the-go playlists created on your iPod and Genius mixes, also appear as Spotify playlists.
You can't share MP3s with other users -- unless they also have them on their computers -- but you can mix them into playlists with cached and streamed tracks.
If an artist isn't in Spotify, the name is greyed out but the MP3 is still playable. If the artist is in Spotify, clicking on the name will take you to the list of tracks Spotify will stream. You can fix the details of an MP3, but the newly integrated Gracenote software won't necessarily put two and two together: even though we corrected the metadata for the Kim Fair remix of Ladyhawke's Paris is Burning, Spotify didn't make the artist name clickable to its other Ladyhawke songs.
Share and share alike: Sharing music
When you subscribe to a shared playlist, you can see the other users who listen to the list, regardless of whether you 've connected with them. If they've enabled the new social features, you'll be able to see their profile and playlists, and share music with them.
Spotify vs iTunes: Who wins?
Click 'Continue' to see the new features and how they shape up against iTunes. Are you a Spotify user -- or are these the features you've been waiting for? Is this the end for iTunes or is Spotify just too pricey? Sing us a song in the comments. If you're a user of Last.fm or mflow have your say too.