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Browser-based version of Spotify launches in beta

Spotify yesterday confirmed that it has launched a beta version of an Internet-based Spotify player.

The company said in a statement that it is currently testing the browser-based Spotify "with a small number of users." It did not have an exact date for when the option might open up to a larger audience.

"Potentially it's a great additional feature for times you can't play music through the desktop app, like at work or at a friend's house. We'll have more detail on the web player next year," Spotify said.

News about the browser-based Spotify was first reported by The Verge, which said the new version looks much like the desktop app.

Users can access Spotify via an iTunes-esque desktop download or via mobile apps. But the Spotify website currently only offers more details about the service and a download option. The Spotify "Play" button, however, allows Spotify content to be added to third-party sites. As part of Facebook's frictionless sharing, meanwhile, you can also sample the songs your friends are listening to via the social network.

Spotify provides access to the company's library of 15 million songs, and you can also import the MP3s you already own. You can create and manage playlists, and discover new music via the 250 million playlists posted by other users. When you find new tunes, you can share with friends on Spotify or through social-networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, as well as email and text. Your Spotify profile displays top tracks, artists, and playlists; people can subscribe to your playlists and vice versa, and there's the option to drop specific tracks into a friend's inbox.

Rumours about a browser-based Spotify player first popped up in September.