Spotify opens doors to iOS devs with new API

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Subscription streaming music service Spotify launched an API on Wednesday that allows third-party iOS developers to integrate Spotify into their apps. Called libspotify, the new resource should allow for some fairly innovative uses of Spotify services.

The free API will allow developers to create apps that provide access to Spotify’s more than 15 million tracks, so long as developers have a Spotify Premium account and app users are active subscribers to the service. We’ll likely see some attempts at straightforward third-party clients, including maybe one tailor-made for the iPad, but there are a number of other more interesting possibilities that also come to mind.

Imagine, for example, a game that lets you choose Spotify as the source of the soundtrack while you play. Or a game that actually uses Spotify more directly, like a music trivia app that has you identify tracks from the service’s library. Another interesting possibility that comes to mind is an augmented reality app that can match tracks available in Spotify’s library to real-world landmarks and locations via the iPhone’s camera or geolocation abilities; a real-life soundtrack for your walking tours, or even just a trip to the grocery store.

There’s one big limitation on the API, however: it’s for non-commercial use only. That means developers won’t be able to use it in apps that aren’t free. Spotify does offer to talk about a partnership with for-profit apps that want to use the API however, so it could be a good way for developers to test interest in Spotify integration among its users before entering into a binding business agreement.

Where would you like to see Spotify integrated in your iOS apps? Let us know in the comments.

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