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Spotify adds Web2.0rhea

Now a 'total music management platform' solution

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The first major Spotify upgrade sees it treble in size, turning into a cross between iTunes and Facebook. The goal is to make Spotify "your only music source".

It's also, according to the company, much more "social". What the word "social" really means in today's Web 2.0 jargon is "two solitary people in two geographical locations sharing a bad user interface experience". So is Spotify social?

We'll see in a moment, but the major upgrade for most people will be the ability to play your local MP3 files, in one integrated library. Offline playlists can combine songs from Spotify's library and your own collection.

The upgrade leans on Facebook to share playlists and recommendations. Facebook users' with Spotify will also find charts of their most-played songs revealed to other Spotify users. So much for your guilty musical pleasures remaining private. And hardcore Web2.0rhea sufferers, who really don't know their own minds, can create a real-time list of what other people are listening to, and gawp as it scrolls by.

What's missing is direct person-to-person song streaming and sharing, obviously.

But as we revealed here last June, Spotify merely has to turn the feature on; the engineers see no difference between using P2P for streaming, a feature of Spotify since the start, and downloading a song to keep. It all ends up in the same DRM-encrypted Spotify library.

Founder Daniel Ek said the code base had mushroomed from 3.5m to 10m lines of code.

Whether it can displace iTunes and Windows Music Player remains to be seen. But the upgrade should succeed in making websites which were really only ever minor features of other people's applications - that's most of Web 2.0 and all of 'Music 2.0' - quite redundant.

While the software is social, the Swedish company apparently isn't. Spotify didn't want us to preview the new software. But that's OK: we think you'd rather see their figures, than their Aero chairs.

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