iTunes has taken a fair bit of criticism in the last few years. Recent updates have rendered it a bit of a mess. It’s still very useable, but in its current guise it isn’t providing the service modern music fans are after. Most users will have built up huge iTunes libraries and would find it hard to let go, but in Spotify, many users have a ready-made replacement. Whereas iTunes is your home for TV, film and apps, Spotify focuses its attention solely on music and it does it brilliantly.
We’ve been using it for some time now and we’ve been really impressed. So much so that we’ve put together a list of ten things you didn’t know about Spotify. We’re using a Premium account here, but anyone with a free account can join in, too.
1. Import your own music
So you’ve got a huge iTunes library and music scattered around in various folders on your Mac. Spotify lets you add all your music to the app’s Local Files tab that’s found in the main sidebar. Head to Spotify’s Preferences and tick the relevant boxes under Local Files.
2. Listen privately
Spotify could easily be used as a music social network given how strong and approachable its Facebook integration is. Don’t want all your Facebook friends to know what you’re listening to, though? Head up to your account menu in the top-right corner and select Private Session.
3. Radio stations
Not sure what to listen to but fancy discovering some new music? Spotify’s Radio feature is just what you need. From any track, album, playlist or artist page, you can click the threedot circle menu and select Start Radio to begin a journey full of new musical discovery.
4. Collaborative playlist
Spotify makes it so easy to create a playlist; all you do is drag and drop tracks. Hosting a party? Going on a long road trip? You can open your playlist to your friends by hitting that three-dot action menu again and selecting Collaborative Playlist.
5. Keyboard shortcuts
The volume keys on your Mac will change your device’s sound but not Spotify’s. Thankfully it’s an easy fix; simply select Command and Up or Down to change. You can see the other keyboard shortcuts, like Shuffle and Repeat up in the Playback menu.
6. Gapless playback
One of the original problems of streaming was listening to an album and being treated to a silence between every track while it skipped to the next. Spotify makes this a thing of the past; just make sure Gapless playback is selected.
7. Advanced searches
Spotify’s search feature is a real stand-out. You can search as you normally would, but you can now refine your searches by adding extra terms. For example, you can search by year (year:1986), genre (genre:“rock n roll”) or a combination.
8. App finder
Spotify recently introduced the ability to install third-party apps through the App Finder menu. You download the app and it lives in that sidebar, giving you the chance to read the latest reviews from The Guardian or get recommendations courtesy of Last.fm.
9. Play in browser
Once you’re set up with a Spotify account you can listen to your music wherever you go. Don’t have access to your personal Mac? No worries. Just log in to your account via play. spotify.com and you’ll find all your music in playlist, song, album and artist formats.
10. Sync to phone
Syncing Spotify between Mac and iPhone is the easiest way to ensure all your devices are up to date with your listening habits. You need to connect the two through the Devices menu, but once you’ve done that, you just need the two to be on the same Wi-Fi network to sync.