Streaming music is a data-intensive operation, but it doesn’t have to be: just make downloads readily available for when users are on Wi-Fi.
Well, Spotify didn’t think to include that feature when it soft-launched Spotify Lite, a 15MB Android app that has a Play Store listing, but is seemingly in a closed beta.
Some of the key features available on the app, first picked up by Android Police, allows users to limit their streaming usage to a specified data cap and to play music from playlists. Just playlists. On shuffle. Well, at least there are skip and rewind buttons. Both Premium and free tier users can “save” their choices for easy access to re-stream, but, again, there’s no option to download tracks.
On the main Spotify app, downloaded music can be played on the device offline for up to 30 days. After that, the app needs to connect to the internet, presumably to verify that the membership is still active and that the songs are still in-license. What complicates this process for Spotify Lite, be it the lack of storage on budget phones or otherwise, remains a mystery to us.
Update: The Verge reports that Spotify Lite is intended for emerging markets at this point.