If you’ve got an Internet connection and a PC, laptop, smartphone, or tablet then there’s a huge collection of free music waiting for you at Spotify. You can find all your old favorites, see what’s trending, and follow others to discover great new tunes. It also lets you create playlists and share them with anyone, and if you don’t mind the odd ad, then the whole thing’s free.
A good deal is a good deal, and that’s why Spotify has more than 24 million active users. If you’re one of them, these helpful Spotify tips and tricks are just for you.
Click on a link to jump straight to the tip you want:
- How to use folders to organize your playlists
- How to import music MP3s that you own
- How to privately listen to music you’re embarrassed about
- How to search for music more effectively
- How to get lyrics for almost any song
- How to share music with your friends
- How to create Spotify radio stations
- How to listen to Spotify for free on the Web
- How to collaborate with someone else on a playlist
- How to use keyboard shortcuts to speed up Spotify
You’ll inevitably end up with loads (dozens and dozens) of playlists over time, so it’s worth creating folders to organize them. You can only create folders on the desktop PC app for Windows or Mac. Go to File > New Playlist Folder… and type your desired name, then drag and drop playlists in there. You can also create a folder by pressing CTRL + N. You can also create sub-folders by creating another folder and drag and dropping it into an existing folder. If you want to play all the playlists in a folder then right click on it and choose Play.
If you’ve got an existing music collection then it’s pretty easy to import it into Spotify. Go to Edit > Preferences and scroll down to Local Files. It automatically sucks in tracks from Windows Music Library, Downloads, and Windows Media Player, but you can also tap Add Source … and choose any folder you want. You can also pull in your existing playlists from iTunes and Windows Media Player by going to File > Import Playlists.
The social side of Spotify is one of the best things about it, but you may not want to share what you are listening to all the time. If you want to dance around to JT, or something else, and don’t want your friends knowing about, click on your name at the top right and select Private Session. You’ll find more permanent options in Edit > Preferences under Activity Sharing at the top and further down under Social Network. If you’re using the app on Android or iOS then head into Settings and you’ll find the Private Session option there.
It’s pretty easy to find what you want by using the search box at the top left of Spotify’s Windows/Mac app, but you can set search modifiers for a little extra help in narrowing things down. Say you just want a few suggestions from a specific year and genre, you could type “year:1992 genre:alternative“ in there. It also works with year ranges, so you could try “year:1992-1996”. You can also try things like “artist:nirvana”, “album:incesticide”, or “title:turnaround”, and if you know the record label of a track, something like “label:tuff-gong” will work. If you want to find a specific user to follow then try typing something like “Spotify: user:snoopdogg”.
Sometimes it’s nice to sing along. Spotify actually has its own range of apps. On the desktop client tap App Finder in the sidebar and in the Top Apps list you’ll find TuneWiki. It plays the lyrics to the songs you are listening to as a scrolling feed, karaoke-style. Be prepared to find out you’ve been signing the wrong words for years.
It’s easy to share your musical finds with friends. As we mentioned before, you’ll find the Activity Sharing and Social Network options in Edit > Preferences. You can also share playlists or individual songs directly by right-clicking and choosing Share … then posting it in social media or sending it directly to a friend. You can also right-click on a playlist or song and choose Copy HTTP Link or Copy Spotify URI. If you’re going to send it through IM or email, the HTTP link is probably best because it will be a clickable link. The URI will be faster, as it should open in Spotify directly, but not everything auto-detects URIs. If you want to go even further and share a specific point in a song then use the Copy HTTP Link or the Copy Spotify URI option and put the time at the end, like this “#1:32”. Here’s an example: spotify:track:7G7nUpG5KvkjjJtzvF1TLB#1:32
The radio feature is a good way to find new music or listen to something you like without having to choose specific tracks. Tap Radio and then Create New Station to get started. You can type in tracks, artists, albums, and playlists that you like and it will throw up songs it thinks you’ll enjoy based on those choices. (It works kind of like Pandora, but using computer algorithms instead of human song analyzing.) You can also use one of your playlists to create a radio station, just right click on your playlist and choose Start Playlist Radio. In order to help it learn what tracks you like and don’t like, which will make it better at suggesting, use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons.
You don’t have to install Spotify to log in and start listening. If you’re out and about and you want to log in on another machine without installing it then just go to https://play.spotify.com/discover in your browser and you can access your account.
It can be fun to create a playlist with a friend or even a group of friends and it’s easy to do. Create a playlist or choose an existing one and right click on it to choose Collaborative Playlist and then use the Share option to send it to friends. When they tap Follow the playlist will be added to their account and they’ll be able to edit it too.
We’ve mentioned a couple of keyboard shortcuts already, but there are loads of them available. A few of our favorites are Space to play or pause, CTRL + A to select all, CTRL + Up or CTRL + Down for the volume. You can get the full list for Windows or Mac at the Spotify support website.
That’s all of our Spotify tips for now, but we’ll add more in future. If you’ve got any tips you want to share then please do post a comment.