New Release Recommendations with Spofm

With the introduction of playlist folders earlier in the week, Spotify finally gave us the missing piece in the puzzle of music management. There’s now not really any need for 3rd-party solutions or hacks to manage your Spotify music collection: you can now do it all right from within Spotify!

The other area where Spotify had been lacking was an easy way to discover new music. I’ve blogged about this several times in the past, most recently a couple of months ago when a service called SpNotify came online. SpNotify is a notification service that updates you on your favourite artists and songs on Spotify. It’s still a fantastic site, but requires a bit of effort to make the most of (you have to manually enter every band you want to be notified about). Now a new site called Spofm has arrived and I think it’s the webapp I’ve been waiting for: by combining What’s New on Spotify with your Last.fm listening habits, Spofm has finally solved the problem of keeping track of relevant new releases.

Spofm is an easy-to-use webapp that instantly tells you about new releases on Spotify based on your Last.fm listening habits (of course a Last.fm account is essential for this to work so if you don’t have one yet I strongly recommend you sign up now). All you need to do is enter your Last.fm username, select how many results you want, select your country then click Submit. Spofm goes off and reads your Last.fm stats and compares it with Spotify’s new-release feed. The page then updates with a list like this:

You can click either an album name or artist to open the new release in Spotify: brilliant! The app is slick and fast and has instantly become one of my favourite Spotify sites. It may miss a few new releases, but this is due to the limitations of Spotify’s feed and not really anything Spofm has control over. Developer Martin has already improved Spofm based on user feedback, so click the Contact link on the page if you’ve any suggestions for improvement. One thing Martin is thinking about adding is an RSS feed, for example.

In future it’d be great to base the recommendations on Spotify’s own stats on your listening habits (the Top Lists > For Me data), thus removing the need for a Last.fm account. But until Spotify make this information available from the API that’s not gonna happen. For now then, Spofm is one of the best personalized Spotify new release recommendation services around. 

  • Andreas

    In future it’d be great to base the recommendations on Spotify’s own stats on your listening habits (the Top Lists > For Me data), thus removing the need for a Last.fm account.

    Great service! But Martin should NOT remove Last.fm, because the user libraries on Last.fm contain artists scrobbled from many other sources than Spotiy too, so it’s more complete than the Spotify stats. So Spotify stats should be added as an additional option to scan the new releases against…

  • “Spofm has finally solved the problem of keeping track of relevant new releases.”

    I have to disagree, but mostly because of the limit of what albums Spotify actually put up as new. So while the service indeed is very good, it probably misses out on 90-95 percent of the new releases (and even more if you include the vast amount of new releases added to Spotify that are 1-6 months old).

  • Good points guys… I agree a link to Last.fm is essential (I scrobble from all sorts of places) but the option to check against Spotify’s user history would be great as you’d be surprised how many music fans don’t have Last.fm accounts.

    I did allude to the limitations of Spotify’s New Release feed: by design it lists the “most popular” new releases so long-tail fans like us will often miss things. But the feed did expand recently from about 1,000 to 1,500 releases (although I see it’s gone down again to 1,200) so here’s hoping it will one day list ALL the new releases and reissues too…

  • Niniouz

    I completely agree with Joe.
    Too many new releases are not searchable with the “new” tag.

  • Martin

    Out of curiosity where did you get the 90-95% number from Joe ?

    If you take a look at the feed you will find releases with popularity 0 and rather obscure releases as well. So I don’t think you will miss as much as 90-95%.

  • Spotify averages about 12,000 new tracks PER DAY – the New Release feed has only about 1,200 tracks per WEEK (although I think it’s a rolling list so may be more). So if anything Joe’s figure would seem to be too generous…

  • Niniouz

    “the New Release feed has only about 1,200 tracks per WEEK” : it seems to me 1,200 albums per week.
    Anyway, the new release feed is NOT exhaustive and this is a problem for almost one year now.

  • I check the ‘what’s new’ tab here several times. I don’t understand why it’s not just tagged with the date when it’s added to Spotify in the first place. Working in a physical record store it’s the 3rd most important piece of info after title and artist name. I really do miss those spreadsheets!

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