Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
Spotify is one of the best ways to access and listen to music today.If you’re one of Spotify’s 15 million active users, it’s worth knowing how to truly master the service and make the most out of it.
Even with Apple set to release a new, prettier version of iTunes today, Spotify will still have a leg up in terms of streaming music.
Sure, iTunes has Match, but it’s not true streaming, as it requires you to first download the song to your computer or smartphone, then match it against Apple’s Internet-stored library.
But Spotify has some flaws: It doesn’t have the most intuitive interface. Chance are you’re missing some of its more advanced features. We’ve compiled some helpful tips and tricks to help you get the most out of it. From using advanced search parameters to discovering new music through Spotify-based apps, these tips should help you improve your online-music experience.
There are three options for Spotify: free, unlimited, and premium. You should get the premium version if you really want to get the most out of the service.
Here are some of the perks:
- No ads
- Music on your mobile device
- Access to Spotify without an Internet connection
- In-home listening through music systems like Sonos
If you don't want to lose all of your music in iTunes, you can easily import MP3 files and iTunes playlists to Spotify.
Hit File > Import Playlists > iTunes.
(These tips are based on the Mac version, but the Windows version works similarly.)
A little organisation can go a long way.
To create a new playlist folder, click File > New Playlist Folder. Or, you can use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Shift + N.
Sharing is caring. Letting your friends collaborate with you on a playlist is a great way to bond over popular tracks and also learn about new ones.
All you have to do is right-click on a playlist, hit 'Collaborative Playlist,' and then share the link with a friend to let the magic begin.
To figure out what your friends are listening to, navigate to the toolbar on the left and click 'People.'
You'll see a grid of all your friends. Be sure to hit 'On Spotify' so you can check out a friend's published playlists.
Performing a general search on Spotify can bring up a lot of songs that you have no interest in listening to.
Using search terms like title:, album:, artist:, year:, and genre: can help limit those unwanted results. If you're familiar with Google's advanced search parameters, Spotify's work similarly--though Spotify's are obviously specific to music..
Spotify apps are bits of software created by independent developers but designed to hook into Spotify. They help you go beyond the basics and do things like discover new music, find lyrics, or hear about upcoming concerts. There are currently more than 50 apps available on the platform. To access the library of apps, click 'App Finder' under 'Apps' in the left-hand toolbar.
Some of our favourites include:
- Digster: curated playlists sortable by mood and situation (e.g. party, workout)
- Tweetvine: pulls in music from Twitter to create a new playlist every hour based on the songs people are tweeting about
- TuneWiki: syncs songs with lyrics
- We Are Hunted: music discovery tool for finding songs by up-and-coming artists
- Playmysong: crowdsourced DJing app
If you travel a lot by subway, aeroplane, or find yourself in situations without cell or Internet service, offline playlists can really come in handy.
Note: The offline feature is only available for Premium users.
Right-click the track name and hit 'Copy Spotify URI.' We don't know why Spotify has to use such obscure, technical language, but a URI is an acronym that basically means a Web address, just like a Web page.
Once you have the address, add a pound sign ('#') and the time in minutes and seconds, separated by a colon, to the end of the URL. For a point one minute and 30 seconds into a song, it should look like this: '#1:30'. Leave out the quote marks and don't include any spaces.
When your friend clicks the link, the song will start playing at that specific point in the song.
Unlike iTunes, Spotify doesn't have a handy toolbar sort feature to see what tracks you've played the most. But there's still an easy way to figure out which songs you jam out to the most.
In the left sidebar under Apps, click Top Lists to see a listing of the most popular songs and albums. Click the dropdown menu to the right of tracks to see your top tracks, albums, or artists.
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