Ten Basic Things Spotify for Android Doesn’t Do (But Really Should)

I use Spotify on my Samsung Galaxy S II Android phone every day, and its limitations are really starting to grate. I’ve already posted at length about how Spotify’s Android app pales in comparison to its iPhone counterpart (see the Spotify Mobile Faceoff: iPhone vs. Android), but there are some problems that I’ve gotten so used to that I wanted to step back and list a few things that really ought to be in there.

 

  • I’m listening to a track in a playlist. I want to add the track to another playlist. No can do. – as Fred points out in the comments below, this is possible! So I will replace this with: I want to be able to move songs around in a playlist. You can on iPhone, but on Android your playlist is pretty much uneditable.
  • I want to search for a particular playlist. No joy: playlist titles are not searchable.
  • I want to see my playlist folders like on the desktop. Tough luck, only iPhone users are allowed that privilege.
  • I want to move a playlist to the top so that it’s easier to find. Not on Android I can’t, them playlists are all staying where they are!
  • I want to listen to my tunes at the same high bitrate as I do on the desktop (it’s what I’m paying for after all). But Spotify decided that since I’m listening on mobile, I obviously don’t care about audio quality so the maximum it’ll give me is a lowly 160kbps. And they call that “high quality” just to doubly wind me up.
  • I want it to work in landscape mode so that I can actually read playlist and track titles that are longer than 25 characters. Rumors suggest that it does work sideways on a few select devices, but I’ve had six Android phones and it hasn’t worked on any of them.
  • I want to be able to see the little messages people add when they inbox me a song.
  • I want the Top Tracks tag to have some relevance to me. I don’t care what the top songs are on the planet, I’m just not really a mainstream kinda guy.
  • I want to know how many more songs I can sync offline before I hit the randomly imposed limit of 3,333 songs.
  • Finally, when I view a list of albums I want to see the album coverart, not lots of white circles looking like they can from a Tron game circa 1982.

Not very exciting to look at, is it?

So those are my grumbles. Of course the app does still do the main thing it was designed for: play music. But when the alternatives are the vastly superior Android apps from competitors like Deezer, Rdio, and MOG it’s a worry that Spotify is lagging so far behind.

  • Dave

    A lot of those things annoy me too. I didn’t realise that the iPhone app offers some of them and not the Android one though – I kind of assumed both apps would be roughly the same. Now that you’ve told me I’m more annoyed by the lack of features. Other things that grate are the way it handles local music (just one big long unsearchable list) and the fact that the app in no way successfully caters for Androids ‘long press to do something’ capability. 

    But I hear the iPhone app has its own foibles – the inability to disable Shuffle once you first switch it on for instance !!

    Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the Spotify+FB partnership – lots of internet scorn on the sharing-by-default anti-privacy behaviour they’ve introduced (and lots of my FB friends telling me to switch it off to stop spamming their streams with every single track I listen to as well).

  • I am missing in the Spotify iPhone app that it does not filter out online-only playlists in offline mode. And yeah, more than 160 kbps when connected via Wifi would be very cool.

  • Fred

    “I’m listening to a track in a playlist. I want to add the track to another playlist. No can do.”
    If you’re listening to a track (in a playlist or not), you can hit the “i” and add it to a(nother) playlist.
    I guess you would like to add it from the track list anyway.

  • So you can! Somehow I missed that Fred, thanks for pointing it out.

  • Hmm it sorta does? If you go into offline mode then view your playlists, any playlist that’s not offline-synced gets moved down the list and grayed out.

  • You kinda hit my point there Dave: there SHOULD be parity across the mobile apps. Technically there’s nothing the iPhone can do that can’t be reproduced on Android, so the reason for the differences can only be down to Spotify’s business decisions.

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  • Nope, not on iPhone. 🙁

  • Anonymous

    I too would like to see Playlist folders. I’ve carefully created several but it’s just a long list of a mess on Android. I’d also like Widescreen support, especially important on tablets. Which reminds me, iPad and Android 3.0+ support is long overdue.

    Actually I’d just be happy if it wasn’t so buggy. I literally have to wait 3-5 seconds when it’s first open before pressing “anything” if I’m too hasty it almosts always force closes. It could then force close anyway and often it’ll just stop playing music. It’s not frozen or paused, it’s just decided it doesn’t want to play the rest of a song.

    Spotify Desktop for  Windows is exceptional, sadly it’s Android brother isn’t. I’ve no interest in ever owning an iOS device and now Android easily competes with iPhone in number of uses it’s about time they fixed this.

  • 100% agree with you there bradavon, what amazes me too is that the Android team at Spotify is apparently twice the size of the iPhone team – unbelievable!

  • Big one for me…libraries don’t synchronise. I have a library on my android mobile, desktop and squeezebox!

  • Jessica

    Does this happen to anyone else: I add a track to a playlist and then Spotify shuts down and restarts! seriously annoying.

  • Yes, this happens to me every time I add a track to a playlist too: another very annoying bug!

  • mr. Andersson

    I have 70 gigs of music in my lokal library,, synk to phone?? No-no-no, maximum memorycard available is 32gb.. I want to be able to play my lokal files at home on my own wifi-network without “synking” (transferring) them to the phone. (android) Same goes for the squeezebox, it cant play local files in spoti because lack of support for synk… 🙁 This is wierd, i mean it is very basic to be able to stream music in your home on a wifinetwork?

  • I started out with a local library that size too, but then I removed what was already on Spotify and that reduced it to just a few gig…

  • Freemem

    And you cant searh your offline lists. That really sucks.

  • Michael Pang

    mine doesn’t even let me login! It just keeps telling me that it uses a lot of data 

  • 123

    LOL all about music ??

  • kynky

    Having just got an S4 and ridding myself of an iPhone (although still with an iPad2) I’m glad most of these issues have been fixed. I even quite like the queue function which is on iPhone, but you can’t actually access the queue once you’ve added to it unlike Android.
    However the constant crashing, cross fade issues and struggling to shuffle songs means I wish I hadn’t gotten a new phone. It seems in 2 years old problems have been sorted but there are now plenty of new ones. Looks nice though.

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  • Funny, finding this article 5 years later and many of these same problems (or similar ones) are still there. I’ve gone back and forth with Spotify “cares” Twitter support so many times I won’t even talk to them anymore. They asked me what version of spotify and what my OS was like 5 times. I just kept sending screenshots of the last time they asked me and the answer I gave them then. It’s like they want to lose all their customers or something! 🙂

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