By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
The 54th music app to run within the Spotify desktop client launched today, and it’s a big one: Soundtracking, Apple’s pick for “the best iPhone app of 2011.”The Soundtracking Spotify app is free to use, with either the free or paid version of Spotify on the desktop. As with the Android and iOS versions, the basic idea here is to share whatever song you’re listening to, along with a picture or photo from Instagram or Google image search.
The Instagram integration means SoundTracking users will be able to pull their own filter-effected pics into the app and attach them to songs, while the Spotify integration means you can listen to full versions of what your Soundtracking friends are sharing within Spotify, save everything your friends are listening to on a particular day as a Spotify playlist, and follow and manage your Soundtracking feed within Spotify on the desktop — the first time SoundTracking has been available outside of the smartphone.
SoundTracking founder and CEO Steve Jang told Evolver.fm via phone from Ireland that his app integrated with Spotify and Instagram to give SoundTracking its first desktop-accessible version with the ability to listen to friends and post songs to SoundTracking, Facebook, and Twitter with a photo; to take advantage of Spotify’s label and publisher deals and its over 20 million users worldwide; and because SoundTracking users were already hacking Instagram photos into their shared songs.
“What they were doing was either taking a photo in Instagram and then saving it [to their phone], and then they were uploading that into their SoundTracking post,” said Jang. “That’s kind of an onerous process… and another thing they were doing was screen-capturing their Instagram photos after they had filtered them, and then they would use that as SoundTracking, because we don’t have photo filters in SoundTracking.”
The Instagram integration is a nice addition, but the Spotify integration clearly does more to make the app more powerful from a music listening and sharing perspective, because Spotify makes it so easy to hear and save what your friends are sharing — and if you use Spotify to listen to music anyway, now you have an easier way to share that music on SoundTracking (bonus: the Instagram feature is also in SoundTracking’s Spotify app).
Yes, you can share a song to Twitter and Facebook directly, using Spotify’s own sharing feature. But if you use SoundTracking to do the same, you can add a photo from Google image search or your own Instagram account, for a more artistic or personalized effect, whether you’re on your desktop, iOS, or Android. (Interestingly, if you share something from Spotify using SoundTracking, your SoundTracking friends on Android can play it back on Rdio if they subscribe to that.)
Soundtracking is the 54th app to appear in the Spotify App Finder, but Jang says he’s not worried about it getting lost in that growing list.
“First of all, 54 is not a lot of apps,” said Jang. “A lot of them do one of three things: create great curated playlists… lyric synchronization… and collaborative listening apps. There’s a pretty good distribution of different types of apps, and 54 not being that many, I think it’s better right now for the entire app platform — that means Spotify, its users, the app stores, and developers — to have more and more apps… I definitely want to see more apps in the [Spotify] App Finder.”
To try SoundTracking (free), you can install it for Android, iOS, and/or Spotify and log in via Facebook or Twitter.