Streaming music is fantastic, but it can feel like a bit of a solo experience. Sure you can connect to one of the best Bluetooth speakers, but that's not always an option. I have fond memories growing up of lending an ear of headphones to a friend on the school bus and listening to songs together, but that seems a distant memory now. Well, Spotify is bringing shared listening back with its newest feature, Jam.
This feature, accessible by tapping the speaker/headphone icon when playing a song, will let you start a 'Jam' with someone (or multiple people) nearby via NFC (by tapping phones) or QR code. From here you can queue songs in a collaborative playlist and listen together on your device or on a speaker in real time. If you're feeling particularly mischievous you can even copy T3's Sam Cross and move all of your song selections to the front of the queue.
Even cooler, you can actually host a jam session remotely with anyone who has Spotify across the globe. Maybe I've gone mushy but listening to the same song together even when hundreds of miles apart sounds quite romantic.
Honestly, I'm really impressed by this feature. I'm someone who always likes to give and receive song recommendations and tools like this and Spotify Blend really gives me a sneak peek to see what my friends like and importantly, whether they like Taylor Swift or not. There's no excuse for not joining one either, while Premium is required to host a Jam, free users can still join and add songs to the queue locally (but not longer distances).
Of course, it's still early days for this add-on so it's a bit unreliable at times. We've had about a second of latency between the two devices (making it hard to sing along together) and the occasional failure for the non-host device to line up songs, but when it works it's everything that's great about music. There's nothing quite like jamming out together.