Spotify is a great way to listen to pretty much any music for a low monthly cost. Of course there are plenty of rivals with similar features - just check out our ‘What is the best music streaming service?’ review to see what’s on offer - but Spotify has become the one by which others are now measured. We’ll show you how to get the best out of your musical experience with the best Spotify tips and tricks.
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Best Spotify tips and tricks: Import your iTunes Playlists
There are a lot of iPods, iPads, and iPhones in the world, so there’s a good chance that you might have used iTunes in the past. If you’ve created Playlists for all your favourite moods and moments then it would be laborious to have to emulate this on Spotify. Thankfully it’s actually very easy to import your creations.
First of all you’ll need to open iTunes and select Preferences > Advanced then tick the box marked Share iTunes Library XML with other applications.
Now go to Spotify and click File>Import Playlists > iTunes.
Best Spotify tips and tricks: Link your Facebook account
Spotify has some great social features which allow you to share your playlists with friends as well as see what they’re listening to. The simplest way to do this is through linking your Facebook account. Click on the View option at the top of the screen, then ensure that Friend Feed is enabled.
Now you’ll see a column on the right side of the screen with a Find Friends button at the top. Click this, enter your Facebook details, select which friends you want to connect with, and you’ll be audio-stalking them in no time.
Best Spotify tips and tricks: Get a little privacy
While it’s great being social, sometimes you want to be alone. Say you fancy relaxing with the subdued tones of John Denver, but don’t want friends to know that you dabble in easy listening when you should be listening to the latest hip indie tracks.
To take a break from these overly judgemental comrades click on your account name in the top right hand corner of the desktop, then select Private Session from the drop-down menu.
When your guilty pleasure is over you can reverse the process or close down Spotify as it will default to the public settings when you relaunch the app.
Best Spotify tips and tricks: Move to a family plan
While it’s possible to share your account with other members of the family, there are a few drawbacks. First, it’s naughty. Second, all of your playlists are shared, so it’s easy for your little darlings to stumble into your Deathcult Metal Greatest Hits collection. Thirdly, if someone else is listening to music then you’ll have to wait until they’ve finished before you can begin.
The answer to all of these problems is the new Family Plan that launched in May 2016. For £14.99 p/m you have six premium accounts, with all the normal features included, so long as all the members live in your house.
Best Spotify tips and tricks: Collaborate on playlists
Traditionally playlists are a solo affair, but on Spotify you can work together with other members to create collaborative efforts. This is useful if you’re off on holiday together or maybe planning a party and want to share the load (blame) of selecting the perfect songs.
Achieving this is very easy as all you have to do is create a normal playlist then right-click on it. The menu that appears includes the option Collaborative Playlist, click this you’ll see a little circle appear on the name of the playlist.
Right-click again and select Copy Playlist Link, then send this to friends who have Spotify accounts and they’ll be able to access the list.
Best Spotify tips and tricks: Try the new videogame soundtrack portal
PC and console games often include fantastic music which rival movie soundtracks for their beauty and complexity. Anyone who has ever listened to the elegant and wistful Journey soundtrack or the spacious and lamenting Last of Us album, will tell you just how powerful these compositions can be.
Spotify has recently introduced an experimental portal that brings all of these together, one which will eventually find it’s way into the main interface and apps. For now though visit http://www.spotify-gaming.com/ to explore the best of the genre.
Best Spotify tips and tricks: Get moody
One of our favourite Spotify features is mood playlists. These, as the name suggests, gather together music to match whatever you’re doing. Say you’re writing a helpful guide to a popular music streaming service, but the coffee shop you’re sitting in is loud and distracting.
Clicking on Browse then selecting Genres and Moods then clicking Focus, opens up several collections that range from Peaceful Piano to White Noise. If you choose Mood from the Genres and Moods option you’ll also have access to, among others, the Stress Buster, Confidence Boost, Life Sucks, and PMS playlists.
Best Spotify tips and tricks: Create instant playlists with Song Radio
If you’re in the mood for a certain song and want to hear ones of a similar ilk you can create an instant playlist by using Spotify’s Radio feature. To do this you need to click or tap the three dots to the right side of the song title then select Go To Song Radio from the list.
Now Spotify will collate a list of songs that match the tone and genre of the one you were listening to. If can reject ones you don’t like, and in the long run this will help Spotify tailor its results to your particular taste.
Best Spotify tips and tricks: Discover new music each week
One of the great advantages of having an eat-all-you-want-buffet of music is the chance to find new bands and albums. Spotify realised this and created the Discover Weekly playlist. Each Monday a new collection arrives in the Overview section of the app, featuring music based upon your listening habits.
It’s a great way to explore the sonic landscape, but it should be noted that if you let your younger daughters use your account you’ll see far more Disney Princesses and Pentatonix in the list than is easily explainable. Honest.