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7 useful Spotify tricks you’re probably not using
All things considered, Spotify is pretty great– right? Not only do we all now share the world’s largest music collection, but finding the song you want is as easy as bashing it into a search bar. Just as fast as you can decide what you want to listen to it will pop up like a rabbit from a magician’s hat.
But what if we told you we could make Spotify…better? Despite so many of us relying on it to soundtrack our everyday lives, there’s a host of handy built-in features that are being left in the cold. So, here are 7 tips and tricks to help you get even more out of your subscription. Alright cheapskates, you can use them if you don’t pay the monthly fee as well.
1. Supercharge your search
Spotify’s search is already pretty powerful, capable of finding almost any song you’re looking for by simply punching in a few letters. But what if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for? Or how about trying to narrow down your selection from an artist with a 30-year back catalogue? The solution is easy, if a little hidden.
While the otherwise good people at Spotify haven’t done a good job of telling anyone about it, you can in fact set search modifiers to filter your findings to a specific genre, year or age range. To do this, simply type in genre:[insert genre], year:[date-date] or label:[insert label] or even a combination of a couple. So, looking for some mid 90s indie released on 4AD? Type ‘year:1993-1997 label:4AD’ and browse through the section just like you would in a record store.
2. Hide your guilty pleasures
Following your friends on Spotify is a great idea so that you can share music and keep-up with each other’s tastes – but you might not always want to broadcast your listening habits to the universe. It’s okay, we all feel the urge to relive The Spice Girls’ glory days every once in a while – or is that just us? Next time you feel like having a cheese feast, though, it’s worth clicking your username in the top-right hand corner of the screen and selecting ‘private session’ – that way your guilty pleasures can be our little secret.
3. Sing along with Spotify
Another feature that is often left unexplored is Spotify’s growing app store. There are load of brilliant add-ons here to enhance your listening experience, including Last.fm to track your taste or new music experts like Pitchfork and NME to keep up with the latest releases.
Perhaps best of all, though, are lyric apps like musicXmatch and TuneWiki which sync to the songs you’re playing and display the words on screen. MusicXmatch claims to have more than 6 million songs in its database which makes it perfect for those post-pub karaoke sessions – sorry neighbours!
4. Share moments, not just songs
Sharing songs on Spotify is as easy as a right click and choosing between copying either the HTTP or URI link. HTTP links are best for quick sharing over instant messaging, while URI links are perfect for posting on blogs and websites.
What’s even better is that you can also share a specific part of a song – that way, your friend doesn’t have to listen to the 9-minute prog rock epic you’ve sent them to get to the part you want to show them. To do this, just copy the Spotify URI and paste it into your message or email, then edit the URI and add ‘#time’ to the end. If the bassoon solo that you’re interested in starts at 4:34, for instance, add 4:34 to the end of the URI. For HTTP links, replace the hash tag “#” with “%23”.
5. Create your own radio stations
Another great tip for when your mind goes blank is to try the radio. This isn’t just any radio station though, but a custom station that’s based upon your mood on any given day.
You can find the radio feature in the sidebar and then create a station themed around a single song by clicking ‘Create New Station’. Alternatively you can go for one of Spotify’s genre stations by choosing from the list at the bottom of the page –including everything from rock and R&B to hip hop and heavy metal.
6. Everything has it’s right place
If you’re an avid Spotify user then you’ll probably soon find yourself drowning in playlists. The number of playlists you subscribe to can quickly get out of hand, so make it easy for yourself by organising them into playlist folders. Just click file at the top of your screen and you’ll see the option to create a new folder. You can then sort them into categories of your choice like ‘exercise’, ‘work’, ‘parties’ or ‘favorites’.
7. Follow your favorites
Finally, keeping up with music can be a challenge in the digital age, so follow your favorite artists and let their new music come to you. Navigate to any of your favorite bands and click follow at the top of their page – now, anytime they release something new you’ll get a notification about it so you’ll never miss a beat.