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spotify

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Sonos support for Spotify Connect is out of beta and available to all

Long before the Chromecast audio was a twinkle in Larry Page's eye, Sonos was the undisputed king of smart home audio. With its multi-room speaker systems, you can rock out all over the house. Sonos has been adding more service to its selection of listening sources, and today it's getting Spotify.

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The Starz streaming video app now integrates with Spotify, for some reason

Starz, the premium cable channel that offers movies and original series, now works with Spotify, the premium streaming music service. Which is... odd. An updated version of the Starz Android app now includes integrated streaming tracks from Spotify, all of which are either original music or soundtrack selections from those Starz series and movies. Apparently there are "more than 3,500" selections that are at least tangentially related to the Starz catalog.

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[Update: Live on stable build] Latest Spotify beta brings back a redesigned bottom nav bar

I am certainly not the first to say it, but I do not like the bottom navigation bar thing. Perhaps because I have been trained to like the slide-out navigation in my years of using Android. Who knows. Regardless, it is a trend and we are seeing more apps toying with the idea. A few months ago, the Spotify beta app introduced this change. You had five tabs with which to navigate and that was that.

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Spotify launches today in Japan on an invite-only basis, debuts song lyrics on mobile

Spotify today announced the official arrival of its music service in the Land of the Rising Sun. Both Spotify's ad-supported free streaming plan and ad-free subscription will be available in Japan, making it the only music service in the country to offer the choice between these two approaches — or so does Spotify claim.

But the service isn't yet available to all. Users will have to go to Spotify.com in Japan and request an invite to be able to join. Public availability for all is said to be coming later. If they opt for the paid plan, it will cost 980 yen (approx $9.67).

Regardless of whether they choose the freemium or paid subscription, they'll get the benefit of Spotify's wide catalog of international and Japanese artists, its smart curation algorithms with Discover Weekly and Release Radar along with Japanese-centric playlists, its portability from desktops to mobile, PlayStation, WiFi speakers, and more, and its Gaming and Running modes.

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Spotify launches Daily Mix for a fresh custom playlist updated every day

Spotify is big on music discovery with features like suggested artists and Smart Playlists that are based on your activity. Now, Spotify users are getting yet another music discovery feature. It's called Daily Mix, which offers a pretty good hint of what it does.

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Spotify Premium for Family now available in Canada, same pricing as US

Spotify has offered its Premium for Family plan for some time now, and in May the price was dropped to $14.99 a month. Now Spotify is expanding availability to the land up north, at the same $14.99/month pricing as the United States.

If you're unfamiliar, Spotify Premium is $9.99/month for a single person. For about $5 more every month, Spotify Premium for Family allows you to have up to six individual accounts, each with all of the features the normal Premium includes. More information is available at the dedicated Family page, and you can even upgrade your existing Spotify account to keep your playlists.

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You will soon be able to control Sonos speakers from inside the Spotify app and via Alexa voice commands

Sonos and Spotify may not be exclusive, but they are in a relationship. Last year we watched a Sonos app update gain Spotify radio integration. Soon Spotify will add the ability to manage Sonos speakers from inside the Spotify mobile app. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. That's how some relationships work.

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Spotify introduces new Gaming category with playlists and soundtracks from your favorite games

I'm not an avid gamer: puzzles, math games, brain teasers, anything that requires a bit of thinking and doesn't involve plot twists, that's my jam. But I know a lot of people who are taken by games, whether classics or new releases, and I know that many of them are completely fascinated by the music and soundtracks that accompany these games.

That's the category of players that Spotify is catering to with its latest Gaming category addition. Showing up today in Browse on mobile, desktop, and web, Gaming will include plenty of curated playlists like Power GamingRock Gaming, and even Catch 'Em All, as well as guest playlists from other Spotify listeners and avid gamers.

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Spotify Release Radar is a personalized playlist with new releases from your favorite artists

One of Spotify's most beloved features are its playlists. You can create some, listen to those made by your friends or shared by strangers or musicians, and the service also curates playlists that are either tailored for you or available for everyone. Now Spotify is introducing one more personalized playlist: Release Radar.

Dropping every Friday, Release Radar will have the latest singles from your favorite artists — those you listen to the most — so you don't have to go looking for new releases from each artist or band individually. You might also find some new discoveries there as well, but the focus is on the music creators you already love.

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Spotify beta switches the slide-out navigation drawer to a bottom bar

I don't like this recent trend of using bottom navigation bars. Not because it is reminiscent of iOS apps, but because I have gotten so used to sliding a navigation drawer from the side that reaching the bottom of my phone's screen is just not engrained in my muscle memory. Also, the way it's implemented often uses screen estate that can be better utilized to display more data than to provide switches to other tabs that I may not need or use all the time. But that's just my opinion.

It looks like the bottom navigation panel or bottom bar or whatever you want to call it is here to stay.

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