After Part I and Part II, here are ten more new Spotify tips to help you get to most out of the service!
1. Backing up Your Music
The first rule on Spotify is: you don’t really need to backup anything. All your playlists are stored as links to Spotify’s library in the cloud. It’s these playlist links that are important, rather than the actual cached and encrypted music files Spotify stores on your hard disk. But if you did want to make a backup of your playlist links, either:
- Drag and drop each playlist to a desktop folder (creating a shortcut link to the playlist’s Spotify URL), or
- Use Ctrl-A to select a bunch of songs, drag-and-drop to a Word doc (creating web links to the songs) then save the doc.
The key thing here is that every song/album/playlist on Spotify has a unique (and permanent) URL, so any bookmark or web address manager can double-up as a Spotify playlist and backup manager. My favorite for some time has been delicious.
2. Favorite Artists
Spotify doesn’t have a Favorites tab, so create a playlist called “Favorite Artists” then add one song from each artist or band you like or want to check out. You then have a sortable list of your favorites, with one-click access to the artist’s tracks and albums on Spotify (just click the artist’s name in the playlist).
3. Spotify Radio USA
Spotify’s radio feature is currently disabled in the US. No big loss really, as it’s not that great in its current form. What is great though are the many community sites developed to make up for Spotify’s limited radio and recommendation engine. Sites like spotibot.com and spotiseek.com generate custom playlists for you based on an artist’s name. Taking it to the next level, truShuffle will generate suggestions for you on-the-fly, auto-filling a playlist with recommended songs while you listen.
4. Watching Music Videos from Spotify
For now at least Spotify is just about the music. But once you have a playlist in Spotify, sites like Utubify can translate it into a YouTube playlist and let you “watch your playlist in motion.” See also From DJ to VJ: Spotify and YouTube for other similar services.
5. Listening to a Random Song
Can’t decide what to listen to? Try randomsong.se, a simple webapp that gives you a link to a random song on Spotify. Note that this isn’t entirely random, as it’s slightly weighted towards more popular songs. Also check out Soundofus.com and their “song of the day.”
6. Using Google’s Android Search Widget with Spotify
If you use Spotify Mobile on Android, your Spotify playlists are searchable items from the Google search widget. You can add a widget that has only Spotify (see pic below) for a quick and easy way to search your personal collection. Note this doesn’t search Spotify’s vast catalog, just tracks in your playlists. Clicking a search result opens Spotify and starts playing the song (although there seems to be a bug in playing local music this way).
7. Advanced Search on Mobile
Advanced search syntax has been available on desktop Spotify from the beginning, but now you can use it on Spotify Mobile too. Search for things like year:2011, label:”Alfa Matrix” or genre:jazz. Note that the tag names are case-sensitive: year:1981 will work but Year:1981 won’t. See this page for more details.
8. Adding a Graphic Equalizer to Spotify
Since Spotify runs as an application on your desktop, 3rd-party developers can create some pretty clever add-ons to run alongside it. EQUALIFY is one such add-on, a free Windows app that integrates a fully-featured graphic equalizer into Spotify. With 10 bands and its own pre-amp, now you can boost that bass and tweak those audio filters to your heart’s content!
9. Listen to Top-Rated New Albums
Spotimy is a Spotify music manager and new-music aggregator, enabling you to manage your tunes and find new music. The interface may be a bit basic, but there’s so many cool features in Spotimy it’s well worth signing up for. The top-rated area is a bit like Metacritic’s music review section, but with Spotify links. Each album page contains a whole heap of useful information and links, including a handy “Click flag to play” area so that you can be sure you have the right Spotify link for your country.
10. Show Your Spotify Songs in Windows Live Messenger
If you use Windows Live Messenger, you can set it to display your currently playing track in Spotify as a personal message. In Messenger, just go to Options > Personal then tick “Show Song Information from Windows Media Player as a Personal Message.” This works not only for Windows Media Player, but also Spotify and iTunes too. And if Skype is your text messenger of choice, try Spotify2Skype instead.