It’s always been a big gripe among Instagram users: that there’s no centralized, Instagram-spun website where one can check out a stream of snaps from the photo-sharing app. Which is why tons of third-party services have cropped up where you can check out your friends’ retro-filtered snaps online. Today, a new service of that ilk enters the fray, with an added bonus — music. Introducing, SoundTracking for Spotify.
OK, so SoundTracking isn’t technically a third-party Instagram client (we were stretching it a bit there), but its new Spotify app integrates Instagram, making it easy to check out and share snaps on your desktop — with the added allure of musical accompaniment.
A little background for those not in the know on the genesis of the app and how it works: Soundtracking is the de facto “Instagram for music,” having launched a year and a half ago on mobile. The app allows users to tag locations with particular songs, as well as photos and comments. Users can then share those snaps/tunes via the app or their social networks. As on Instagram, users can follow each other in-app, as well as “Like” and comment on pictures. The whole mobile experience is about charting your musical journey and following along with the journeys of others.
Now, SoundTracking has hit Spotify’s app platform, bringing the experience to the desktop in a wholly interactive, fully gorgeous way. When you add SoundTracking to your Spotify apps library, you’ll be able to scroll through your own music and pictures, your friends’ feeds, trending snaps and songs and a passel of suggested users’ content. As on the app, you can also comment on and Like posts.
But here’s what makes the Spotify app different than the mobile: Usability. On mobile, you can’t listen to tunes in full, only as iTunes samples, and you certainly can’t listen to them as a constant stream. And in terms of adding jams to your library, your only option is purchasing through iTunes for later listening. Now, thanks to the Spotify app, you can listen to your own stream — or another user’s — in full and save songs or playlists you like to your Spotify user library.
And then there’s that Instagram integration we were talking about: You can now share tunes from Spotify directly to the app on your desktop with the option to include pics from your Instagram feed. This is a brand-new feature for SoundTracking — one that’s not available on the mobile app, even. On mobile, you may be able to take and share pictures, but the app doesn’t plug into Instagram. The addition of Instagram to the Spotify iteration just serves to make the experience all the most visual.
All in all, the Spotify app is — to be honest — a lot better than the mobile version. It features: 1). Full streams and the ability to playlist, 2). Instagram integration and — obviously — 3). Spotify integration. Yup, although the app now has a Spotify client, the mobile version still does not include the ability to tag tunes you’re listening to via the music subscription service — only songs from iTunes (hence the aforementioned listening limits). We’re guessing all of these adjustments are in the works when it comes to the mobile app, but it definitely looks like it has some catching up to do. We eagerly await its revamping.