Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

SoundTracking for Android Adds Spotify, Rdio Streaming

SoundTracking, the mobile music app that wants your song choices and album covers to be shared like postcards with friends, is branching out beyond the iPhone and launching an app that works on Google Android phones.

But this version of SoundTracking isn’t just another Android app launch: it also integrates other, bigger streaming music services in a way that allows users to listen to full streams of songs rather than short snippets.

SoundTracking will incorporate music services Spotify and Rdio into its Android app by showing a small “add” button in the upper corner of the screen that will direct users to listen to full songs on those apps — provided the user is already signed up for Spotify and Rdio. The ability to listen to full song streams is one notable feature; the ability to move seamlessly back into the SoundTracking app by pressing the Android phone’s back button (and not having to relaunch the entire app) is another.

As my colleague Peter Kafka recently reported, industry sources think it’s possible that services like Spotify may eventually let third-party developers tap into Spotify’s music library and make it available to their own users — as long as those users are already paying for Spotify. Otherwise, things could get very sticky with the music labels.

While, technically, SoundTracking users will be navigated to the Rdio and Spotify apps, the ease with which users can listen to the songs within them is one step closer to tapping into an expanded API and music library of another service.

Through its iOS app, SoundTracking currently gets a tiny cut of purchases it prompts in the iTunes store. With the Android app, it also stands to make some (very incremental) revenue from the arrangement — should users sign up for Rdio, which has a referral program by which it pays affiliates 3 percent of the total value of a lifetime customer driven to subscribe from another service. Spotify currently doesn’t offer an affiliate program.

SoundTracking, created by Bay Area-based incubator Schematic Labs, first launched in March 2011, and claims about a million downloads to date. The SoundTracking Android app officially launches Wednesday, and will be available for free in the Android Market.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald