Spotify may not be available for mobile users in the U.S. just yet, but ongoing negotiations between the music service, record labels and Google have kept it just beyond the horizon for several months now.
If the anticipation of Spotify’s Android arrival is too much, there are a number of similar services you can use in the meantime.
Subscription music and scrobbling
Rhapsody has grown a great deal these past few years, making its subscription and free music service available from just about anywhere. The recently launched Android app is free and gives you streaming music on the go. Its search and navigation make it easy to find the music you want. Add a subscription for full features, similar to what we’ll get with Spotify.
The Last.fm Android app will scrobble from your phone’s Music library, which is an expected bonus from the upcoming Spotify app. Creating a streaming radio list based on songs you’re already listening to is a great recommendation tool that gives you immediate satisfaction. Free, Last.fm also has a number of sharing options across social sites like Facebook, which is another noted feature of Spotify.
Pandora is another streaming radio tool that builds a personalized playlist based on your preferences. Free, Pandora gives you artist information and purchasing options for each song played. Less social than Last.fm and no scrobbling options keep Pandora a basic alternative to Spotify.
The imeem Mobile app also creates a personalized mobile radio, with access to the music you’ve uploaded to the service. Free, the Android app is quite social, with tweeting options for songs you’ve listened to. Having been acquired by MySpace, imeem Mobile is sure to become more socially integrated, with a definite focus on music.
The Slacker Radio Android app has an easily-navigated menu, making it easy to access your music or recommendations. With access to custom stations, featured artists, top-rated artists and your recently played, there’s no shortage of music on this free app. Currently available with a free trial, Slacker Radio will also cache songs for offline playback with a subscription.
Grooveshark has come a long way since launching a few years back, with an expansive shared music database for mobile search and playback of millions of songs. The app gives you mobile access to your Grooveshark Library, and has the beginnings of social-sharing as well. Grooveshark’s Android is free for VIP members.
Though it doesn’t scrobble to Spotify, Scrobble Droid has the right idea. Syncing to your Last.fm account, this free Android app offers a way to use your phone’s Music library to create a recommended playlist from Last.fm. Perhaps the availability of Spotify for Android will expand Scrobble Droid’s feature set.
Just for Spotify
As with the iPhone, Spotify-related apps are predominately remotes for the Web version of the music service. The free Spotify Remote app turns your Android phone into a remote, controlling Spotify on your computer from across the room. Multiple devices can be set up to act as a remote for a single Spotify account. The trick for U.S. users is to get Spotify on their computers, too.
As a sign of the innovation that could occur around the release of Spotify for Android, the Spotify Alarm app creates an alarm ring from a random song. The free app is useless for those that still can’t get their hands on Spotify, and is basic in its offering, but it's still indicative of the ongoing interest around Spotify’s stateside, mobile release.