Come for the easy setup, stay for the algorithm-based recommendations
One of the most popular names in the music world today isn’t a band or a record label: it’s an app called Spotify. Spotify was one of the earliest and most popular music streaming services on the market today. The service is available on almost every platform, from cars to home assistants to high-end speakers to phones, tablets, and computers. Spotify’s prowess with data analysis and algorithmic music suggestions have made the service addictive for music-hungry users, and as the first major service to offer student pricing, it’s spread like wildfire on college campuses across the country.
Here’s what you need to know before and after you dive in with it.
The latest Spotify news
September 14, 2018 — Spotify is raising its offline limits!!
Spotify’s offline limits have been one of the bigger sticking points for Premium users. While Spotify’s 10,000 song library limit takes a while to reach, the 3-device, 3,333 song limit for Spotify’s offline content has been quite easy for users to hit, especially if they subscribe to any huge community playlists. Well, after years of persistent user complaints, Spotify is upgrading its offline limits to 10,000 songs on up to 5 devices. A Spotify spokesperson confirmed to Rolling Stone:
At Spotify, we’re always working on improving the experience for our users. We can now confirm that we have increased the number of offline tracks per device — from 3,333 on three devices to 10,000 tracks per device for up to five devices.
Being able to use more devices with Spotify’s offline content is great news, but the fact that you’ll be able to download your entire library on a single device is even better, since most users only use one phone at a time, and want to be able to access all of their music offline rather than just a third of it.
All the big details
Spotify is built to be as easy a listening experience as possible, and for most users, making an account is as easy as pressing one button. From setting up an account to getting your library established, we’re here to help you avoid as much pain as possible while you make the switch.
Pick your subscription
There are a lot of subscription styles out there for Spotify, but which one will fit you — and your family members — best? We break down the difference in Spotify subscriptions beyond the price points and show their prices and pitfalls, especially the very tight strings wrapped around Spotify Premium for Family subscriptions.
Play your music everywhere
One of Spotify’s perks is that users can play back their music just about everywhere: their watch, their phone, their TV, their car, their smart speakers, high-end speakers, their computer, and just about everything in between. Best of all, connecting to all of these diverse devices uses the same simple UI: Spotify Connect. Here’s how this musical magic works and what it works with.
Settling in with Spotify
Once you’ve gotten your account up and running, it’s time to start mastering Spotify and making it work for you. From library management to offline playback and beyond, there are some simple things you can do to turn your Spotify experience up to 11.
Playlist problems persist…
Playlists are a big part of any music service, but they’re doubly important on Android because playlists curated by everyday users can be highlighted by Spotify’s search and shared with your friends, family, and followers. There’s just one little problem: you can’t really edit playlists properly on Android. Or Chromebooks, for that matter.
… but Spotify’s playlists have a secret ally
Even if you can’t tweak your playlist order, description, and image on Android, it’s still possible to build a big, beautiful playlist on Spotify. If you start running out of ideas for additions to your playlists, don’t worry. You can leverage the work you’ve already done and Spotify’s algorithms to expand your playlist with Playlist Radio.
Queues, subqueues, and frustration
Managing and mixing up your queue on Spotify is a bit of a minefield for two reasons. The first is that rather than showing your listening history by letting you scroll up in your playlist, whatever you’re playing is at the top of the queue and what you last listened to is at the bottom if it’s visible at all.
The second is that Add to Queue doesn’t do what it’s called, which can turn an already confusing queue into a vanishing, inconsistent tur-queue-ken.
Offline mode could use some work
We take our music out for a run, we bring music into the shower, and we always bring music when we travel, be it by plane, train, or automobile. And since we bring our music where our internet sometimes cannot follow, that means that offline modes for our music apps are important. Offline for Spotify is lackluster at best, and that’s disappointing for a whole host of reasons.
Made For You is made in heaven
Finding something to listen to can be a tricky proposition for any music lover, but Spotify is known far and wide for their algorithmic prowess. And the best example of it isn’t the Discover Weekly or the year-end statistics. No, siree, the best use of Spotify’s number-crunching genius is a little section in Your Library called Just For You.
Spotify vs. Google Play Music
Spotify has a lot of competition, but perhaps the biggest competition they face on Android is convincing people that they’re better than the music player that came pre-installed on your phone: Google Play Music. To be sure, both services have their ups and downs, but here is a critical comparison of the two services to help you decide if you want to give Spotify your time, attention, and money.
What’s your take?
What do you love or hate about Spotify? Let us know in the comments!
September 14, 2018 at 07:41AM