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Spotify now ready for iPad

Music streaming service Spotify has finally released its long-awaited iPad app. The app itself is version 5.0 of the existing Spotify app -- the company has just made it universal -- but they've really taken the iPad into consideration to give Spotify users a unique experience all their own on Apple's tablet.

Spotify looks beautiful on the iPad, taking advantage of the Retina Display on the new iPad (although album art still shows some jaggies at full screen). The app is also easy to navigate and doesn't require a learning curve if you've ever used Twitter's iPad app before, as Spotify borrowed heavily from Twitter's design with navigation buttons on the left, a main window on the right, and then other windows which slide over the main window -- just like the panels in Twitter for iPad. Spotify's search functions are thorough, allowing you to search by artist, album, playlist, or track and their What's New section allows you to quickly discover trending track and playlists. They've also added crossfade and gapless playback features to the app. The app also is AirPlay-ready, a huge plus for when you're sitting on your couch discovering music as you can quickly beam it to your AirPlay-compatible home stereo system.

Perhaps one of the nicest features appears when you upsize a currently-playing song. You are then presented with the album up top, the track name and artist, with a timeline below for scrubbing through a song. Below that are the shuffle, repeat and AirPlay buttons, and under those are nice, big Back, Pause/Play, Forward buttons. Apple could learn from Spotify's design in this case.

Spotify is a free download and offers a 30-day free trial, but after that users will have to cough up US$9.99 a month for the premium service package to continue using the device.

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