Not so long ago, Spotify used to publish a spreadsheet whenever they added new music to their service. Every few days, you could go to their blog, open the spreadsheet, and browse all the new releases. This was a bit cumbersome so a community of websites sprung up to help music fans discover what was new. You could enter your Last.fm username (or a band name, or genre) and the apps would read Spotify’s spreadsheets then return a custom list of What’s New, tailored to your own personal tastes. It was a fantastic way to keep up with your favourite bands, and one of the best ways to discover new music and re-discover bands you’d forgotten about.
But then Spotify stopped releasing the spreadsheets, killing off all those supporting sites and leaving music fans with no easy way to discover new music.
Now a potential saviour has arrived: it’s called SpNotify. Read on for more!
SpNotify is a notification service that updates you on your favourite artists and songs on Spotify. Enter an artist, track or album of interest then click the Search button. SpNotify returns with a suggested list of queries, but you’d probably just want to check the “Use my query as it is” option. You then enter your email address, click Submit, then sit back and wait.
SpNotify monitors new releases from Spotify (probably via Spotify’s tag:new XML feed) then checks this against the queries you’ve logged with it. Whenever a match is found, SpNotify sends you an email like this:
Because SpNotify performs a track-by-track search, it will also notify you when, say, an artist you’ve registered appears in the title of a remix for another band.
The SpNotify interface is slick and professional and it has the potential to become a worthy successor to all those much-missed notification services that depended on Spotify’s spreadsheets. However it’s still a beta and there a several things I’d love to see added:
- Remember me so that I don’t have to put in my email address for every new query.
- Let me log in and easily see which bands I’ve added. For now, SpNotify will email a list of your searches if you send a blank email to email@example.com. The email does include handy “remove” links, but I’d much rather do this from a dashboard on the website itself.
- Let me enter my Last.fm username and then return with a list of my favourite artists. Then let me tick all the ones I want to be notified about.
With these three additions, SpNotify could become the essential Spotify app for any fan of new music.