Spotify isn’t the only music streaming service out there, but it certainly is one of the most popular. Even so, countless lesser-known Spotify tips can turn it from a mediocre radio replacement into your own personal music discovery DJ.
Whether you use Spotify’s free or premium services, there are all kinds of things you can do to get the most out of the experience. New features are frequently added to the service, but there isn’t much in the way of a tutorial when you start using the platform.
To help, we put together a list of 15 Spotify tips and tricks that everyone should know. Don’t have a Spotify account yet? Sign up for free at the button below!
Up your Spotify search game
Spotify features an enormous library of music, all available behind a simple search. Just tap search and enter an artist, song, genre, album, mood, or just about anything, and the service will display tons of relevant results.
However, if you want to narrow down your search without wading through a massive list, there are some shortcuts you can enter directly into the search bar.
For example, let’s say you want to listen to music from the 1950s, but don’t really know any famous artists from that time. You can find this easily by searching for the year:1950-1959.
Below is a list of all advanced search strings in Spotify. Also, note that you can combine them with standard search terms (Herbie Hancock year:1960-1970). You can even include several advanced strings in the same search with AND (year:1984 AND genre: metal) or exclude results with NOT (year:1993 NOT genre: grunge).
Spotify advanced search strings:
- year: — music from the year or range of years.
- genre: — music from a specific genre.
- label: –music released by a specific label.
- isrc: — search for songs matching an International Standard Recording Code number.
- upc: — search for albums matching a Universal Product Code number.
- AND — displays results matching two or more terms. Also works with +.
- NOT — excludes results matching the term after NOT. Also works with –.
- OR — displays results matching one of several terms.
Explore with Spotify radio stations
Spotify radio stations are a great way to explore what’s out there if you’re new to Spotify or love finding new music. All you need to do is find a single song, album, or playlist that you like, and the algorithm handles the rest.
As new songs come up, be sure to rate them with the thumbs up or thumbs down icons. This way, the algorithm will get to know your taste even better, improving personalized results in the future. Just keep in mind that you can only skip a few songs a day unless you’re a premium member.
How to listen to Spotify radio:
- Find a song or album you like.
- Tap the three dots.
- Tap Go to Radio.
If you find yourself liking every song on the playlist, tap Follow to save the playlist for later. If you’re a premium subscriber, you can even download it to your device.
Check the Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlists
After using the service for a while, Spotify learns what kind of music you like and generates personalized playlists. These playlists are often junk on other services, but Spotify has really nailed its algorithm, and the results are always filled with gems to discover.
The first playlist is Discover Weekly, which displays 30 tracks matching your taste. It refreshes every Monday, so it’s a great way to start your week out on the right note.
The other playlist to check out is Release Radar, which updates every Friday. It contains new releases from artists and genres you’ve listened to in the past. It’s a great way to stay up to date without having to keep an eye on release schedules.
If two custom playlists a week aren’t enough to satisfy your need for tunes, check out any of the six personalized daily mixes. Like before, be sure to rate songs to get even better results and toss your favorites into a custom playlist.
Recover deleted Spotify playlists
If you’ve spent months building the perfect playlist, losing it can be painful. Maybe a vindictive ex you shared your account with deleted it, or a family member did it on accident, but either way, it’s a serious loss.
Fortunately, Spotify makes it easy to recover deleted playlists. It takes just a few moments, but it must be done on Spotify’s website. The recovered playlist will immediately be added to the end of your playlists.
How to recover deleted Spotify playlists:
- Navigate to Spotify’s website.
- Click Log In.
- Select Recover playlists on the left.
- Click RESTORE next to the playlist.
Listen to thousands of podcasts on Spotify
Spotify is investing in podcasts in a big way, making it one of the best ways to listen to the new digital medium. In fact, it’s the very first genre listed on Spotify, ahead of any genre of music.
Read also: Best podcasts you can listen to in 2020
With huge purchases of shows like The Joe Rogan Experience and entire networks like Gimlet and Parcast, Spotify has quickly become a giant in the podcasting industry. It’s the only company with the means to make, distribute, monetize, and play podcasts, giving it a huge leg up on the competition.
After these acquisitions, the company features a star-studded list of exclusive podcasts to listen to on the web or official app. Here’s a shortlist of current and future Spotify exclusive podcasts:
- The Joe Rogan Experience
- The Michelle Obama Podcast
- Renegades: Born in the USA
- Unnamed Kim Kardashian true-crime podcast (upcoming)
- DC Comics narrative podcast (upcoming)
Just like any other podcast app, you can find and subscribe to your favorite podcasts, so you never miss an episode. They’re also ad-supported like the rest of Spotify’s content, meaning it’s completely free and doesn’t require a Spotify Premium subscription to listen.
To sweeten the pot even further, Spotify has also added support for video podcasts. It’s also super easy to switch between devices, with audio automatically syncing up. The app also automatically switches from video to audio when you turn off your screen to save data.
Spotify privacy tips
Privacy advocates might be alarmed by the amount of private data Spotify and other companies have on customers. Nowadays, it’s just the cost of using these convenient services. Free never comes without strings attached.
Still, there are a few Spotify privacy tips to help you take back some control. First and foremost, you can opt-out of Spotify harvesting your Facebook data for ads, or opt-out of personalized ads altogether. This won’t prevent you from getting ads, but it will give you just a bit more anonymity.
If you want to know the extent of the info Spotify has on you, you can also download it in the privacy settings. The entire process can take up to 30 days, and once finished, your data will be delivered to your email address.
All of Spotify’s privacy settings are located in the same place in account settings. Here’s how to access them.
How to change Spotify privacy settings
- Navigate to Spotify.com and log in.
- Click Profile in the top right, then Account.
- Click Privacy Settings in the left-hand panel.
- Toggle the privacy settings off.
Play local music on the desktop app
Spotify might have 35 million songs, but there are always obscure artists that can’t be found on the platform. Using the desktop app, you can listen to any music files you have saved on your computer.
First, you need to download the program. Click the link below if you don’t already have it installed.
How to play local music on Spotify
- Open Spotify for desktop and log in.
- Click Settings.
- Toggle Show Local Files.
- Click Add a source and select your music folders.
- Access them under Your Library on the left.
Use Spotify web from any computer
Can’t install programs on a work or school computer? That’s no reason to stop the jams, thanks to Spotify’s browser-based web app. It has all you need to stream your favorite music without downloading any software.
Just navigate to Spotify web, and you can start listening without even logging into your account. If you do log in, you’ll have full access to your playlists and saved albums.
Listen to Spotify on other devices
The integration goes beyond simple music reproduction. With a Google Home, Amazon Echo, or Sonos device, you can control playback with your voice. Just ask it to pause, turn up the volume, give the name of the song playing, or whatever else you’d like it to do.
Note that while Spotify can connect with most devices on a free account, Sonos devices require Spotify Premium to work. If you’re invested in a Sonos home audio system, Spotify Premium is more than worth the price.
Hide your guilty pleasures with private listening
One of the great things about Spotify is that you can follow people and see what they’re listening to. Unfortunately, this also means that your friends can see your history, including that three-hour Backstreet Boys session last week.
Spotify has two ways to hide your guilty pleasures from the discerning public. The first is private sessions. These remove all listening activity from your history until you stop listening for six hours or more.
How to start a private session on Spotify
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down to Social.
- Toggle Private Session.
If you want to build a playlist for a friend’s surprise party, private browsing won’t hide the playlist and might spoil the surprise. In this case, what you want to use is a hidden playlist.
How to hide playlists in Spotify
- Navigate to the playlist to hide.
- Tap the three dots.
- Tap Make Private.
Change your audio quality to save data or enhance your listening
If you’re on a limited data plan, using Spotify on the go can be worrisome. Likewise, if you have a decent connection, you might want to stream higher quality than the standard 96 kbps. Both free and premium members have several options available to suit their needs.
If you’re a Spotify Premium member, you can go all the way up to 320 kbps on the desktop and mobile versions. For the web version, the quality is fixed and depends on whether you’re a free user (128 kbps) or a premium user (256 kbps).
How to change the audio quality in Spotify
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down to Music Quality and select an option from the drop-down menu.
If you’re worried about data overages, a data saver option automatically changes the quality to low when on a cellular connection.
How to turn on data saver in Spotify
- Open Settings.
- Toggle Data Saver on for Audio Quality and/or Video Podcasts.
Get Spotify Premium
The free version of Spotify is great to get your feet wet, but if you really want to get the most out of the music streaming service, you’ll need to pay to become a premium member. This not only removes ads from the stream and lets you skip songs freely, but it also unlocks several unique features on the platform.
Spotify Premium starts at $9.99 a month, but it includes ad-supported access to Hulu as well. There are even discounts for students, families, and Playstation music users.
If you’re still on the fence, you can try out Spotify Premium for free for 30 days. Just click the button below for more details.
Download Spotify songs for offline play (Premium only)
If you’re in an area with a spotty connection or planning to take a long flight, streaming music is out of the question. Fortunately, it’s easy to download songs, albums, playlists, podcasts, and more, provided you are a premium member.
You can download up to 10,000 Spotify songs on each device with a single account. That’s more than enough music for any user, plus you can swap them out regularly on the mobile or desktop apps. However, the desktop app is limited to downloading playlists – albums and podcasts are not available for offline play.
It’s worth noting that you cannot download individual songs via the Spotify mobile app or desktop version. You’ll need to add them to a playlist first, even if that playlist only contains one song.
How to download Spotify songs, albums, and playlists
- Navigate to the album or playlist to download.
- Tap the toggle next to Download.
By default, downloading music with mobile data is disabled. Follow these steps to be able to download Spotify songs while away from a Wi-Fi connection.
How to download Spotify songs using mobile data
- Tap Home, then Settings.
- Tap Music Quality.
- Toggle Download using cellular on.
Listen with friends near or far (Premium only)
As the world gets used to a new social distancing norm, many people might miss the days when you could hang out with friends and listen to music. Spotify’s got you covered with Group Sessions.
The program is still in beta, but it allows two to five Spotify Premium users to listen to the same playlist simultaneously, with playback controls shared between them. This means your audio will always be synced, so you can get that listening party atmosphere whether your friends are around the corner or a few thousand miles away.
Group Sessions is also a great way to listen to and watch podcasts with your friends if that’s your thing. Open a video or text chat and enjoy the viewing/listening party!
Connect Spotify with other apps (Premium only)
Spotify is a great way to listen to music, and now you can bring your favorite songs and playlists to some other apps. You will need Spotify Premium, but by connecting it to Google Maps, for instance, you can control your music without interrupting your directions.
Another great integration is Uber. If the driver allows, you can select the music you want to listen to in their car directly from the app. You can even skip songs while in the car.
Even Tinder has Spotify integration. In the Show your music interests section of the app, you can connect your account. You can then check which artists you and your match have in common and gain a few invaluable talking points for your first date.
That’s all for our list of Spotify Premium and free tips! Check out some of our other guides and comparisons below.