With the likes of Spotify, Rdio, Beats, Deezer, and many others locking horns, the online music-streaming realm is becoming increasingly competitive.
But given that you and your friends may subscribe to different services, and the availability of these platforms varies from country-to-country, what we end up with is a fragmented listening experience that makes it difficult to share music with all your buddies. Want to share your Spotify playlist so your Rdio-tethered brethren can listen effortlessly? No cigar.
This is where Bop.fm comes in to play. As we noted in our original coverage back in December, Bop.fm doesn’t actually host any music itself – it plugs into APIs and aggregates music from sources such as Deezer, Spotify, Beats, Rdio, Soundcloud and YouTube, so that a song is always available regardless of a user’s location or subscription service. Bop.fm automatically detects which services are available and simply plays the music without serving up any ‘this is not available in your country’-style message.
That’s Bop.fm in a nutshell, at least.
Today, the Y Combinator-backed tech startup is rolling out a new ‘Playlist Grabber’ feature that lets users import their playlists from the likes of Spotify and Deezer, thus not only letting them aggregate all their own playlists, but also share with anyone regardless of which service they themselves are using.
In the top-right, you’ll now see an option to ‘Import Playlist’ from your desired service.
You’ll then have to manually copy/paste your playlist URL in, and then wait a moment as Bop.fm reels in this data.
What you have then is the full, original playlist but it’s now in Bop.fm. And this can be shared across Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere that lets you paste a URL. Those who click on that link can then listen to the playlist instantly.
For now, you can still embed individual songs via Bop.fm across the Web (as before), but it’s not yet possible to embed entire playlists, which is a shame. We’re told, however, that embeddable playlist widgets will be arriving at a later date.
The key thing to note here, is that if a song on your playlist isn’t available on your buddy’s music-streaming service, it will automatically search for the song on an alternative platform to try and make the ‘switch’ as seamless as possible. After all, does it really matter whether a song is streamed from Beats, Spotify or YouTube?
However, if someone has Spotify (for example) installed on their machine but aren’t logged in, rather than switching to an alternative such as YouTube, it will ask the user to log-in to their Spotify account.
Though still technically a beta product, Bop.fm is evolving into a great service, and it will be interesting to see how it develops moving forward. We’ll be keeping tabs on this one for sure.