Spotify on Windows Phone

It’s here…

Yesterday was a fairly busy day, if you’re a tech-head like me at least; Google+ rolled out their brand pages, the Nokia N9 started updating to the much-heralded mega-fix firmware and, for those that needed it, Spotify dropped onto the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Google+ I’ve covered already (no really, what is it for?), the N9 update I am yet to apply and as for Spotify? Well, what can I say?

Choosing Windows Phone as the last, great, mobile operating system to support, Spotify prepped itself for the promised masses yesterday afternoon (after a preview some six months ago) and boy, is it a beautiful app to use.

First, some caveats:

  • Spotify mobile is only available to premium subscribers
  • Premium is £9.99 a month. A small price to pay to NEVER PAY FOR ANY MUSIC EVER AGAIN.
  • I’ve tried Zune* and, until Spotify dropped, that was fine (if a little alien).

So, to the app itself.

The good stuff:

  • WP7 app design: oh my God this app is gorgeous.
  • Scrolling, sharing, syncing: all of it rocks my face off.
  • It’s Spotify, on my mobile.

The stuff needed in the next update:

  • Background colour options
    Windows Phone offers either ‘dark’ or ‘light’, white on black or black on white respectively. Spotify should either match its app’s skin accordingly or at least offer it up as an in-app option. Strangely, while the app offers the light variation, the desktop client offers dark.
  • integration please
    Syncing tracks listened to in online mode and remembering then uploading my tracks listened to in offline mode.
  • Offline playlist filters
    Yeah, love that but, any chance that you filter the playlists by DOWNLOADED FIRST? Having to scroll through all of them in order is a pain.
  • Album art on lockscreen
    I mentioned I was on Zune before, one thing that the WP music player does nicely is show album covers on the lock screen while playing music. It’s a nice touch and adds to the overall experience. Spotify should do this too. See below.


 Florence playing through Zune


 Florence playing through Spotify

Overall, great work guys, it’s an awesome service and I’m a big fan. Having it running on my Lumia makes me a very happy bunny indeed. Good job.

Please, continue to iterate, improve and impress.



*I signed up for a Zune Pass about a day after first getting my Windows Phone. I like that it covers my Xbox too, but I already have there. So it was only really the mobile music angle I needed to cover. Now Spotify is here, I just don’t need it.


Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

This beautiful video is being blogged all over the place at the moment, and for good reason. Splitscreen is the winner of the recent Nokia Shorts competition (disclaimer – 1000heads worked on this project for the big N) and, work associations aside, the video itself is gorgeous.

The winners (along with the other finalists) should be proud; it’s a great project and the output has been fantastic.

Well done to all involved.


So the news is out: #NokMsft

Nokia and Microsoft have announced a strategic partnership that will see Nokia hardware running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software. It’s about eco-systems and, with Google’s Android growing ever-larger, it’s also about a stronger – much more strategic – industry play.

The Nokia community, one that I’ve been a part of for many years (and now spend my days helping to manage), is obviously still in shock. The announcement has been out for 20mins and between ‘MURDER!’, ‘I told you so!‘ and ‘What have you done?!‘ – there are many out there still waiting for their questions to be answered:

– What about Meego?
– Where does this leave Symbian?
– What about the current roadmap?
– When can we expect the first Nokia/WP7 device to ship?

I imagine, over the course of today all of these questions, and more, will slowly be answered; the actual speech from Elop himself isn’t scheduled for another couple of hours and I’m fairly certain that what we’re seeing is just the start of major disruption both internally [for both Microsoft & Nokia employees] and externally for the market as a whole.

For now, I’ve got a couple of Social Media Week events to attend this morning so, I’m going to re-read my WP7 review from last year and spend my tube journey wondering if the bad points I highlighted could quite easily be ticked off by an awesome piece of Nokia hardware…

We are living in interesting times.

I want a Nokia N8

Wait, what?Moleskine entry: April 30th, 2010

But I guess you kind of saw that coming.

I work for 1000heads, who in turn work for Nokia, the question is obviously primed: am I being paid to say this? No. Certainly not. The recently announced messaging devices for instance, although they’ve arrived at an astonishing price point.. tey certainly didn’t float my boat terms of specs, looks or features. The N8 however does.. and I’l tell you why.

Whenever I get asked “What phone should I get?” my response – believe it or not – does not start with “Oh, the Nokia…” Instead my reply is usually something like “It depends”.  Then I ask questions.

More often than not based around content creation vs consumption, plus some device history and of course the necessary operator-based queries and, I would like to think, of those that have taken my advice in the past, a fair few have ended up happy with their final choice.

If the roles were reversed and I found myself answering my own questions, there is no doubt that I would recommend the N8.

Why? Let’s see.


“Question 1: What do you have right now?”

Right now James, I switch between the N900 + the Nexus One.

“Question 2: What do you use your phone for?”


“Ahem, can you define ‘everything’?”

OK. Photos, videos, emails, web browsing, calendar, address book… Basically, if the feature exists on the handset, I use it. If it doesn’t exist, I download an app that does. But yes, I guess I said photos and videos first as I do indeed love creating.

“Question 3: What did you use to have? I mean, what is your handset history?”

Before the N900? The N86.

“How was that?”

Well, non-touchscreen, amazing camera, genuinely the last great phone of its kind.

“Question 4: iPhone?”


“Question 5: Android?”

Great for consumption. Great as a Twitter device, email etc.. Single sign on makes it a breeze to use but, the camera functionality lets it down MASSIVELY.


So far, so not very surprising. Turns out I want the Nokia N8 for a whole bunch of reasons – so why is it really?

Because I love creating content on my phone. Why my phone in particular? I don’t know. It could be the wealth of meta data available, it could be the sense of geeky wonder I get whenever I upload anything in its final form… sometimes it’s just the damn good quality of the thing.

The N8 is new, shiny and – barring some shoddy, ne’er do well, prototype-based scrutiny a few weeks back – is actually quite exciting. The output from the handset is nothing short of outstanding and, having dragged my N86 around the world with me last year, upgrading to the next model is the next logical step.

I’ve not had any actual hands on time with it yet. So all of this might change. There’s one thing that simply cannot argue; Nokia make some great imaging devices.

The N8, by the looks of things, will be their next, great imaging device. So I’m getting one.

Are you?

I want an N8

What day is it today?

Moleskine entry: Dec 15th, 2009

What day is it today? 15th? I think so. That’s right, ten days ’til Christmas, I remember.

It’s been a fair while since I emptied my thoughts into this moleskine of mine, but excuses I have none. Instead I have nearly three months of hard work to look back on. 1000heads is treating me well, very well.

It’s hard work, challenging even, but in the best of ways.

I can’t talk about any of of the stuff I’ve working on, obviously. However, let’s just say I am in exactly the right place at the exactly the right time; I’ve seen the future, and it’s very bright indeed.

It strikes me that it might be some months until this entry makes it out onto my blog. So apologies in advance if this seems out of time at all.

I wonder if, in time, I will be able to talk about what I’ve actually worked on, i.e.: projects of the past. I’m finally getting to grips with how fast this place moves; last Wednesday I helped out with creating an invitation for the Ovi Daily App Awards. Between us we nailed the copy, design, look and feel and just for good measure, a comedy QR code to boot.

Ovi Daily App Invite

They were signed off, printed and sent out within 24hrs and, by Friday, blog posts were already springing up. Amazing.

I understand that this might just be par for the course for some of you but, coming from a veritable behemoth of an organisation, this is not how it’s done ‘client side’.

I’m yawning as I write, I must be boring myself.

Writing from a plane (again), we’re headed for Helsinki. There’s a man two seats away who spoke at OpenLabs. Remember that?

Seems like such a long time ago now…

Just Qik-ly…

This evening I attended the Nokia N900 meetup event in London town and, with my very own brand new Nokia N900, I managed to get a Qik video stream of the demo they gave…

It’s a bit dark and there’s no fancy intro, but I have no time to clean it up so I’m just going to throw it up raw.

The TV screen is a live TV-out from the device itself and the UI really is that smooth.

I’ll probably write up a bigger review for The Really Mobile Project at some point but in the meantime, I guess this is my vlomo09 entry…