How To Sync Your Local Music With Spotify Mobile

Paul Brown recently wrote a great article on Why Spotify is an iTunes-killer worth paying for. In it, he mentions that you can sync your local music with Spotify on your mobile. This feature’s been around in Spotify for a while now but it seems that not everyone was aware of it. Instead of having to use cables or manually copy files to your phone, Spotify can sync them for you via WiFi. So to complement Paul’s article, here’s an expanded How To Guide.

NOTE: since this article was written, Spotify updated their app to make it easier to sync (see the comments below). Basically you should now see you smartphone/iPod appear in the new Devices section in Spotify desktop. You can then just tick the playlists you want to sync, or make Spotify sync everything.

 

.1: Import to Library

First of all, if you’ve not already done so you need to import the MP3s you want to sync into the Spotify Library:

  1. Start Spotify on your desktop.
  2. Click the Library link then follow the instructions to import the MP3s into Spotify. You can browse to a folder to import or simply drag-and-drop the music files into the the Library’s Local Files view:

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2: Create Playlist

Create a new playlist then drag the tracks you want to sync from the Local Files area into the playlist. You might want to create one playlist per album, a “New Tracks 2011” playlist, or one big playlist with all your local music. For example, here’s a playlist for the Arcade Fire album The Suburbs:

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3: Connect Phone and Sync

Now make sure your phone is connected via WiFi to the same network as your PC (this step is important: you can’t sync local files over 3G). Also make sure Spotify is still open on the desktop, otherwise the files wont sync.

  1. Start Spotify on your mobile.
  2. Click Edit Offline Playlists then locate the new playlist(s) you created earlier. Tick them to start the offline syncing. The local files from your PC are then downloaded to your mobile:

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As you add or remove local files to these playlists on the desktop, the mobile version keeps in sync with the changes. So in three easy steps, I now have Arcade Fire on Spotify Mobile!

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  • http://www.last.fm/user/oldschoolsquare Allan Blackstock

    Good useful article and something I really didn’t consider. I am currently doing a training piece on spotify for work so if I add elements of this with your permission that would be great.

  • http://pansentient.com afront

    Cheers Allan, sure no problem with that!

  • Studley

    More good news which I didn’t realise: There was previously a problem where local music wouldn’t scrobble to Last.fm. That problem was fixed in the latest Android update! I’m now happy to use this feature to its full (and have reconverted to a Premium subscription).

  • Stefan Jonsson

    Now I have The Beatles on Spotify. Many thanks! =)

  • Stefan Jonsson

    Now I have The Beatles on Spotify. Many thanks! =)

  • http://twitter.com/rextasy Rex S.

    Some folks have trouble getting Spotify to see their mobile device in the Devices tab of the Spotify desktop app. I had this same problem and finally tracked it down to the Windows Firewall.  These instructions are for Windows 7, but should apply to XP as well:

    1. Open Windows Firewall

    Simple way: hit the windows key, then type “allow a program” and it should filter down to “Allow a program through Windows Firewall”.

    Explicity way: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Firewall > Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall

    If you are on XP and cannot follow the steps above, try following this guide: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/842242 — you want to grant access to “c:Program FilesSpotifyspotify.exe”

    2. Allow Spotify to communicate through Windows Firewall

    Scroll down the list of programs until you find Spotify and then make sure that the proper box is checked for the network you are on.  

    This is where my problem was.  Spotify installs itself and requests a public security exception so that it can connect ot the Spotify servers, but to sync over wifi with my mobile device I also needed to have the Home/Work (Private) box checked.

    3. Click OK

    Once I did this I made sure the mobile app was running, and then I clicked on the devices tab in the Spotify desktop app and after a few moments the Spotify desktop app populated with my iPhone and a message that it was syncing and the whole page filled with all my playlists that I could select for sync.

    Notes:

    I verified this whole process again by disabling the Home/Work (Private) access in Windows Firewall, and restarted the Spotify app and again my access was disconncted.  Once I checked the box and hit OK I woke up my iPhone again, ran the Spotify app and all was connected again.

    For others who say that they tried a few days later and it just “worked” it may be that they connected to a Public network (like a coffee shop) and in that case Spotify would have been able to connect to your mobile device if it too was on the same Public network.

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Excellent comment Max, this will come in very useful. I’m on Windows 7 too but fortunately it “just worked” for me and I didn’t need to change anything.

  • Jofobiat

    I did that.it startet sync but then stopped after 40 or so songs could not get more and it could only sync with the local files. I could not get the tunes from library where most of them are

  • mcl

    i have 4000 songs on my desktop spotify local library but only 517 on my android device library, I thought the two libraries were suppose to synch? What am i doing wrong? Or do only play lists synch? 
    any help would be great. 

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Are you on Spotify Premium? If not, it’ll only sync your local files to your mobile. You need to have Spotify Premium if you want to sync anything from Spotify’s stream.

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    One thing to note is that Spotify updated their app after this article was written (sorry, not had time to update it). The above should still work, but you can also now sync as follows:

    Check you’re on Spotify Premium and you have enough free space on your smartphone. 

    Open Spotify on both desktop and phone. On desktop Spotify you should see the Android come up in the Devices area on the left (below the Inbox). 

    Click on your device then tick either “Sync all music to this device” or “manually choose playlists to sync”. I have lots and lots of playlists so I usually choose the manual option. You then scroll down the list then tick the playlists you want to sync.

    Alternatively, on the Android click “Edit offline Playlists” then scroll and tick the playlists you want to sync.

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    @a59603e9cd2ed36e469d9559e42a5274:disqus , @6bb6630bc518dc228191334be074f6bc:disqus  – also be sure your smartphone’s screen save doesn’t activate while syncing, as that can sometimes break the connection.

  • Glover

    how can you read article with that stupid little icon floating around. bad idea

  • Anonymous

    I just got premium. Sadly I did not know local files were synced via WiFi. It is a major pain, too slow for my thousand of files. Is there a way to sync local files with USB and use WiFi for spotify files?

    As it is I do not thInk I’ll be renewing it.

  • Dar

    Yeah, mine too. Takes way, way to long to sync the iPhone. It’s been a half hour and it only sync-ed 8 songs out of 20 so far. I’m on high-speed wifi. Someone needs to fix this or lose premium customers. Not worth the money if downloading become and event in your life you have to plan way in advance for. 

  • Anonymous

    The thing is those offline files need to be downloaded to the computer as well, so it’s double the work.With iTunes, you simply download once, sync with USB. I had to go through this pain last week when I updated to iOS5. Still haven’t synced half the playlists I had before.

    USB sync works with regular iPods, they should definitely make it an option for iPhone and Touch! Still a Premium customer but not as satisfied.

  • Guest

    thanks!! that was really helpful

  • Spett95

    i can’t find Spotify in the list of programs…

  • Spett95

    It doesn’t work!!!!! :(

  • Jay

    This is an old post, but does the iOS Spotify app play songs that are on the device but not on Spotify? I have some old punk records that are definitely not on Spotify

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Yes, some of this info is now a little out of date but still relevant. In fact, it should be even easier now to import/play local files in Spotify. I don’t have iOS so can’t be specific, but I think all you need to do is point Spotify desktop to your folder of punk music (so that’s it’s listed as local music), then set your iOS mobile to sync it offline.

  • Jay

    I bought an iPhone 4S yesterday, and it does sync music not on Spotify. I’m amazed that Apple allowed this. I don’t know if it’s uploading to Spotify’s servers and then caching onto the phone, or if it’s copying to some kind of isolated storage for the app, but it totally works. I hope this doesn’t get taken away, Apple has a history of pulling really cool stuff from their app store.

  • http://hacktext.com/ AramZS

    It would be awesome if I could sync local files from my phone up to my desktop too, is there no way to do that?

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    You could try using dropbox for mobile to do that. See 
    http://pansentient.com/2011/11/how-to-hear-your-local-music-anywhere-with-spotify-and-dropbox/ for starters.

  • Jean-Noel Hardelin

    I can’t seem to make this work with the mobile app for Blackberry … any tip? thanks!

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Sorry, I don’t have a Blackberry so can’t help you. Perhaps someone else can?

  • http://www.mantrais.com/android-application-development.php Maggy Parker

    i was searches about this, for Sync my local files with mobile. this content is really very usefull for me. now i m going to fix this setting.

  • anandroid

    thanks a lot man worked=)

  • Mr. Paradiddle

    I created a new playlist on Spotify and want to synch it to my iPod, but I can only synch “local files” to my iPod from Spotify.

    How do I get my new playlist into “local files”?

    Thanks.

  • Sammyantharickman

    I don’t think you can unless you buy all the songs from your playlist. If youre a premium user just access the playlist through the app on your iPhone and make it available offline.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000565369838 Ryan Porter

    ok so i have spotify premium, a compatible android device, so can someone please tell me why i can only sync 7 gb of local tracks i have 74 gb of music and was wondering if its possible to get all my music synced to my phone?

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  • Drew

    how do i get just MY music to sync onto my phone??? My phone is downloading all these songs that I didnt have and its coming from the Local files please help. I dont understand

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Not sure I understand your question Drew – do you mean sync selectively? Instead of “sync all” you can choose to only sync playlists that you specifically select. That’s how I do it anyway. But try asking on the new Spotify Community forum at 
    http://community.spotify.com/

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Maybe this is a dumb question, but you do have more than 7GB free on your SD card, right? Not sure you could ever sync a full 74GB through, afaik the largest supported SD cards size is 32GB.

  • Abelabliss44

    Help please! 

    Some of my tracks don’t sync, they stay a unlit grey text, unlike some who’s text turn white and can be played x(

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Hi, try posting your request on the community forum at 
    http://community.spotify.com/ - lots of people there who may be able to help you. Good luck!

  • Abs 1983

     Thanks Max, have been trawling the internet for a solution. Dont know why spotify don’t mention this.

  • http://www.mobilecomputerclinic.com.au/ computer repair Adelaide

    Spotify is such a cool app but unfortunately, it’s not available in many countries. Hoping Spotify will be made available soon. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1092442962 Jakob Harteg

    Thanks very much ! 

  • Formoeric5

    It did not work. Thanks for nothing.

  • Bamselinen

    I have some music files on my phone that i wanna add to a spotify playlist how the heck do i do that, do i have to wait till i get home and move them to my laptop and then move them back to the phone..??

    Seems like alot of trouble for something i already have on my phone

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Yes, that’s about the size of it: drag-and-drop your MP3s to a playlist in Spotify on the desktop then go to your mobile, locate the playlist and Download it.

    I’m guessing Spotify’s assumptions are that (a) most people don’t need local files any more since most popular music is now on Spotify and (b) local files probably came from your PC/laptop in the first place.

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  • http://twitter.com/PhilTEspo Phil Esposito

    Thanks for much!

  • http://twitter.com/joey89924 joey

    Hoping Spotify will be made available soon.
    LM2904

  • PeacethroughPower

    Thanksbro!!!!!

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  • wondering

    and if this doesnt work? do you have any ideas why it doesnt work for me? ive tried multiple times

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