Tag Archive for ‘Spotify’

‘The Answer to Speech One Disagrees With Is More Speech’ ➝

John Gruber on the Neil Young and Spotify fracas:

It’s correct to argue that Joe Rogan has a right to say whatever he wants on his podcast, and that people who want to listen to his show should be able to. But it’s also correct that Neil Young has a right to make clear that he doesn’t want to be associated with a service that is associated with Rogan, and to publicize his stance. The answer to speech one disagrees with is more speech, and this is more speech.

Where has this Gruber been the past few years?

Also, apparently in the wake of this story, there were also calls for Apple to remove Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, which John addresses:

Apple, clearly, does not host Steve Bannon’s podcast. Apple’s podcast directory is akin to a search engine; they index the feeds of open podcasts. They do have lines for content they won’t index (porno, of course, and hate speech), but even then, if you copy the URL for the feed, you can subscribe to it in Apple Podcasts, just like how you can visit any website you want using Safari.

If you feel so strongly that Apple ought not even include Steve Bannon’s podcast in search results that it warrants boycotting Apple’s other products and services, more power to you. But that, to me, crosses the line into being against free speech.

Again, where has this Gruber been the past few years?

If we want to de-escalate, we don’t do that by trying to silence our political opponents, we do that by actually talking to them and trying to find the topics where there is common ground and room for compromise.

On a related note, if you’re opposed to podcast platform’s removing legal speech content from their index, I would encourage you to support efforts like Podcast Index and reach out to your favorite podcast app to suggest they add support for it alongside Podcasting 2.0 features.

➝ Source: daringfireball.net

Spotify Announces ‘Car Thing’, a Touchscreen Smart Media Player ➝

I’m not even a little interested in traditional streaming music services, but this looks like a pretty neat piece of hardware.

➝ Source: 9to5mac.com

Spotify Premium Now Bundled With AT&T’s Top Unlimited Plan ➝

Bundling entertainment services alongside connectivity will inevitably end poorly — if cable companies have taught us anything. But in the meantime, I guess you’re better off taking advantage of these deals than not. We currently have free HBO through our AT&T plan and have been more than happy with it. Just keep an eye out for rising prices or signs of overall service degradation. That’s when we need to start complaining.

In-App Opt Out

John Gruber, on Spotify’s recent “Time to Play Fair” campaign against Apple:

What Apple should do is allow apps that opt out of IAP to explain that users need to subscribe or make purchases using a web browser, and allow them to link to their website from within the app (even if they’d be required to open that link in Safari, as opposed to an in-app web view).

Everything else in Spotify’s list of complaints seems like noise to me, and distracts from the central issues — which happen to be the issues where Spotify should be on the strongest legal footing.

I agree that most of Spotify’s complaints feel petty and childish — many of their complaints are about limitations with third-party APIs for newly released devices. But I disagree that Apple should allow developers to opt out of the in-app purchase system.

While I do think Apple should reconsider the 30% cut and reduce it to something a bit more reasonable, I think it would be bad for customers overall if developers could point users to external places for digital purchases. One of the great benefits of the in-app purchase system is that it’s secure and trustworthy.

Over the past few years, I’ve had to have my debit card replaced three or four times, likely because of some security vulnerability in a payment system. I don’t have to worry about that with Apple, though. I trust that they’re doing everything they can to keep my payment information safe and secure. It’s hard to say that about others.

Perhaps I’m a bit too paranoid about the security of my payment information, but if a service allows me to pay through an in-app purchase, that’s what I use. This is how I pay for Hulu, the WWE Network, and even YouTube Premium — despite the fact that YouTube’s pricing is higher through the in-app purchase than it is if purchased elsewhere.

Here’s the thing about allowing developers to opt out: it’s a slippery slope. If Apple allowed developers to push users to a website for purchasing digital goods, they would. There are plenty of payment systems out there and building a website that integrates with them is easier than ever. But I don’t want to give my credit card credentials to every single developer that builds an app I’m interested in. Doing so will only increase the chances of my debit or credit card becoming compromised and then I have to go through the hassle of getting it replaced, which is a major pain.

To be fair, if developers used Apple Pay on their websites, these security concerns would be mitigated. But it’s not just the security aspect that has me on board with in-app purchases, simplicity is another major factor. The ability to quickly purchase a subscription through the app using my fingerprint, restore a subscriptions on another device, and manage all of my subscriptions in one a single location are niceties that would go out the window if Apple allowed developers to opt out.

That last point is a pretty crucial one for me. If I want to cut a subscription or two in a world where developers could opt out, I’d have to login to each service’s website and hunt around for the option to cancel my subscription. This seems like an awful experience compared to tapping on my profile picture in the App Store and selecting “Manage Subscriptions”.

Maybe I’m in the minority because I don’t use Netflix — I’m sure many iOS users already have plenty of subscriptions that they manage outside of the in-app purchase system and they get by just fine. But we need to consider whether allowing developers to opt out of in-app purchases is in any way an improvement for users. I don’t think it is. Don’t get me wrong, I truly want developers to have a sustainable career so they can continue building great apps. But isn’t providing the best experience for your users the best way to do that?

In-app purchases are always going to be superior to the alternatives and there are plenty of ways to fix the problems surrounding it without having to throw it out entirely by allowing developers to opt out.

Linky Adds Songlink and Songwhip Integration ➝

The latest update to Linky adds the ability to convert links from Apple Music or Spotify into a single URL that lets you open the track or album in a variety of music services. You’ll have to enable it in the app’s settings, but it’s worth it. And the settings page for the feature is brilliantly designed, offering an example link that lets you see what the two available services look like before choosing one.

Spotify and Hulu Offering Student Bundle ➝

From Spotify’s press release:

As the new school year gets underway, Spotify and Hulu are partnering to offer U.S. college students the perfect streaming entertainment bundle for their busy lives. Starting today, eligible students can sign up for Spotify Premium for Students, now with Hulu to not only stream music but also their favorite television shows and movies through a single subscription plan, at just $4.99 a month. This is the first step the companies are taking to bundle their services together, with offerings targeted at the broader market to follow.

I’m not a college student, and therefore, I’m unable to partake in this promotion. But I am excited about that last line quoted above — “with offerings targeted at the broader market to follow.” I don’t particularly like the idea of subscription music services. I don’t listen to music on a daily basis, preferring podcasts instead, and I only listen to a handful of new albums each year. But if I had the option to bundle Spotify alongside a service I already pay for at a reduced price, I’d consider it.

Spiteful Spotify ➝

Lucas Shaw and Adam Satariano, reporting for Bloomberg:

Spotify has been retaliating against musicians who introduce new material exclusively on rival Apple Music by making their songs harder to find, according to people familiar with the strategy. Artists who have given Apple exclusive access to new music have been told they won’t be able to get their tracks on featured playlists once the songs become available on Spotify, said the people, who declined to be identified discussing the steps. Those artists have also found their songs buried in the search rankings of Spotify, the world’s largest music-streaming service, the people said. Spotify said it doesn’t alter search rankings.

Sure, Spotify, punish the artists who have already buddied-up with your biggest competitor. That’ll certainly have them crawling back. Except, many of them have been complaining about how much they earn from you for years.

Design Doesn’t Scale ➝

Stanley Wood, Spotify design director, outlines how the company managed to get all of their designers on the same page to add consistency across platforms.