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Wednesday May 4, 2011 12:22 pm

Spotify unleashes music downloads with iPod syncing

iPod Spotify sync

European online music service Spotify on Wednesday announced a new MP3 download service, as well as the ability to sync music on iPods and the Spotify iPhone and Android apps.

With Spotify's download service, users can purchase tracks in bundles. Ten tracks will set you back £7.99, 15 tracks will cost £9.99, 40 tracks will be £25, and 100 tracks will be £50.

"Spotify's new MP3 download service makes it possible to own your playlists in one easy step," the company said in a statement. "By introducing a range of MP3 bundles, we've been able to offer you some of the most competitive prices available—from as little as 50p per song."

Spotify features include the ability to: search, browse, and play millions of tracks; stream over Wi-Fi or 2.5/3G; access offline playlists; on-the-fly sync; a what's new tab; wireless sync of your local files to your phone; and the ability to tag favorites into a special list.

One of the most frequent requests, however, was the abilty to sync that music to Apple's iPod, something Spotify said is now a reality. Just connect an iPod to your computer via USB and it will appear in the "devices" section of the Spotify sidebar. You can then sync MP3s in your Spotify playlists to the iPod.

"From today, Spotify really is the only music player you'll ever need," Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek said in a statement. "Our users don't want to have to switch between music players, but they do want to take their playlists with them wherever they go, on a wider range of devices, more simply and at a price they can afford. Now we've made that possible on one of the world's most popular consumer devices."

Another major request from Spotify Free users was the ability to buy MP3 playlists and sync them to their phones. As a result, all iPhone and Android users can now download the Spotify Mobile app and wirelessly sync MP3 playlists in Spotify from your computer to your phone, Spotify said. Just open up the mobile app and your phone will appear in the "devices" section; no cables necessary. Spotify said users can also wirelessly sync their playlists to the iPod touch.

Gustav Söderström, Spotify's chief product officer, acknowledged that "accessing music on your mobile phone is the future, but today that makes up a pretty small percentage of music fans." Nonetheless, the company wanted to "open up the Spotify experience to as many people as possible."

The popularity of Spotify prompted the company to announce last month that it would cut back on its free service. Starting May 1, Spotify started limiting users to 10 hours per month instead of 20.

Spotify launched in October 2008 and reached 1 million users by March 2009. By last month, however, the site had signed on 1 million paid subscribers.

Spotify got an update in April, when we dubbed it the best music service you can't have. That's because the service is currently only available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France, Spain and the Netherlands. Spotify is still negotiating with U.S. music labels for the right to offer their music to U.S. customers, though Spotify has reportedly inked a deal with Sony and is nearing a deal with Universal. Spotify has thus far declined comment on its deals with U.S. labels.

This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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