Sonos iPad app and Spotify hands-on review

Music streaming's big guns form a beautiful friendship

TODO alt text

Is this the app, service and system partnership we've all been dreaming of?

Amidst the throng of 3D TVs and cool tablets, a huge story to emerge from IFA is the partnership of Sonos and Spotify. A long-time coming but boy is it worth the wait. We grabbed some time with the Sonos crew to get a hands on of the new service and to play with the brand new Sonos iPad app, which is nothing short of brilliant.

It's exactly how you'd expect it to work and a real upgrade from the iPhone and official Sonos 200 controllers. Drag and drop albums, artists, songs from your music library or Spotfy (or both), straight into a playlist or into the playback window. It's that simple. The search has also been upgraded. Rather than searching individually by artist, album or song, just tap it into the search field and quickly flick between artist, album or song. It makes everything a lot smoother and quicker.

Related links
- Sonos and Spotify team up
- Sonos brings Wi-Fi tunes to the masses
- Sonos Zone Player 80 Bundle Media streamer
- Sonos Controller iPhone App released

In landscape orientation you have three columns of options. Zones, playback and playlist/music library. Flick it into portrait and it tightens everything up into two columns, leaving more room for longer playlists. It's a showpiece app that anyone will be able to use. A real talking point at parties and exactly what the iPad was made for. Crisp, tidy and simple to use. It's as if Apple was project managing the whole thing.

The real star here, however, is Spotify. Providing you've got a Spotify premium account, just log in as you would Last.FM or Napster and start playing music through your setup. Up to 32 individual tracks can be streamed at once from one Spotify account and all playlists you've created on your computer-based account, or iPhone, will be synched to the Sonos app. Make a playlist change on any device and it will update in real-time. Get mates to create collaborative playlists and play them instantly. Everything is streamed at 320Kbps and the sound quality through the S5 system we heard, was top notch.

Not only is it what Sonos users have been waiting for since its inception but it's another reason to splash out on £10 per month for the Spotify premium subscription. It's a huge advancement in what consumers can do with cloud-based streaming services and a hint of things to come. The Spotify spokesperson we chatted to also said that its partnership with Sonos was just the beginning. We're already excited as to what's next.

Expect a full review on the 16th September, but in the mean time check out the videos below:

Spotify on Sonos