Spotify is hands-down best music streaming service on the market today, and no, they didn’t pay me a dime to say that. It offers the largest streaming catalogue, boasting over 30 million songs across over 2 billion playlists; has the largest listener base, with over 140 million active users and over 60 million subscribers; and as of 2016, it has paid out over $5 billion to artists who use the service (although, for transparency’s sake, we should note that they aren’t the most equitable streaming service for artists – that title still belongs to Napster, believe it or not).
For listeners, however, it really can’t be beat. Find similar artists, discover new ones, listen to entire albums on demand, skip whatever you want, build up playlists, find the right song for every situation – it’s all right there, and it’s all pretty damn great.
But what if I told you it gets better? What if I told you there’s actually a bunch of other cool stuff you could do with Spotify that you probably didn’t even know about? Like a secret menu, but full of Spotify hacks? Well prepare yourself, because that’s exactly what’s about to happen.
Here are 8 Spotify Hacks You Probably Didn’t Know About:
Use “Artist Radio” and “Song Radio” to Discover New Music
Have you ever really, really liked an artist, and wanted to hear more stuff like them? Like, you’re sitting there, cruising along in your car or on the bus somewhere, and you just have that, “Ugh, YES!” moment where you realize that particular artist and their sound is everything you’ve ever wanted? Yeah, me too.
Well, when that happens, and you want to discover more artists like that artist, you can go to their artist profile, click the three dots in the upper right corner, and then click on “Go to Radio,” where you’ll get a custom playlist dedicated solely to that artist and similar sounds.
One of the best things about Spotify is that its algorithms don’t suck. Not only will it play similar artists that physically sound similar, but it’ll also play artists that other users tend to play with along with the artist you selected.
You can also do this for specific songs. No, seriously, Spotify will take a song, based on the genre and specific type of instrumentation it has, and then put together a playlist based around songs that sound similar. Yup.
Using Shazam & Spotify to Create a Playlist of Your Shazam Searches
Few things are more beautiful than when two useful apps come together to create something even better, and that’s pretty much exactly what’s happening here. Every time you Shazam a song at the bar, a TV commercial, on the radio, or wherever else, you can automatically have it added to its own Spotify playlist.
That may not sound that cool, but think about why we all use Shazam to begin with. You hear a song somewhere that you either love and can’t remember the name of, or love and need to know who the hell sings it. Either way, you’re Shazam’ing only songs that you love, and only songs that you love so much that you needed to pull out your phone and physically find out who they are. And now, you can have them all on a playlist. Together. Forever.
This website is pretty cool because it allows you to type in one song – literally one song – and then compiles an incredible, intuitive, and mostly kickass playlist from just that one song.
You just type a song into the search bar, and an entire playlist pops up. From there, you can delete specific tracks you’re not into, listen to 30-second samples of tracks you’re not familiar with, and then import the final product to Spotify with the click of a button.
The way MagicPlaylist works is that it uses its own algorithm along with Spotify’s API to create playlists based on the song of your choice. It’s important to note that it’s not perfect, as MagicPlaylist does tend to play a lot of songs by the artist whose song you’ve selected. But overall, it’s great.
Spotify has a literal metric shit ton of workout playlists, ranging from hip-hop bangers to industrial metal, but the frustrating thing about running is that it’s nice to get into a groove where you’re running with the beat, but when the song switches, it can screw up your groove and throw you off-pace. Spotify Running uses your phone’s accelerometer to detect your pace, and then will automatically play music at that same BPM.
You can pull songs from your own playlists for it to play (“Your Running Mix”), or select from several themes, including GO! (EDM), Epic (cinematic stuff), Seasons (live orchestra), and others. You can even select playlists by the type of run you’re on (Spring Run, Gym Beats, Morning Run, etc.), or do it the easy way and sort it by genre (Top Hits Run, Indie Kick, Funk n Soul, Reggae Run, etc.). Oh, and it’ll even crossfade between every new track for you, so you don’t get stuck in an awkward flow or get knocked off pace.
Speaking of crossfading, you can also just set your music to do it naturally from track to track. So, if you’re one of those people – like me – that hates the awkward two or three-second pauses between songs, you can edit your preferences to have songs fade into one another.
To do it, just tap the “Your Library” button in the bottom right corner. Then top the gear wheel in the top right corner to access preferences, tap “Playback” and then you’ll see a slider for crossfade. The best part about it is you can select anywhere from one second (to avoid those awkward one-second pauses between playlists) to 12 seconds (if you’re weird).
Don’t Forget About Collaborative Playlists
Whether you’re tired of passing the phone around in the car, want to put together a perfect party playlist for the weekend, or just want to stay connected with your homies while you’re all out and about – or any multitude of other reasons why you’d want to create a shareable playlist – you can make a Spotify playlist to share and edit with friends.
Create a playlist like you normally would, click on it, and then click on the three dots at the top right part of the screen. Click “Make Collaborative,” and voila; your playlist is collaborative. From there, you can click the “Share” button, and forward it to your group chat, copy the shareable link, or share it through social media.
The Playlist Miner’s tagline is “The best DJ is everybody,” and that’s pretty much the whole point. Basically, Playlist Miner is an aggregator that takes top tracks from the most popular public playlists across all of Spotify and then turns them into a crazy super playlist based on your search criteria.
So, for instance, if you’re looking for the best songs to work out to, you’d type “workout” into the search bar, then Playlist Miner would seek out all of the top songs in all of the public playlists related to “workout,” and then put them into one giant playlist. And the possibilities are endless. If you’re into some obscure genres or ultra-niche sub-genres, artists, topics, or even random words (seriously, the playlist for “blue” is some of the strangest shit I’ve ever listened to), Playlist Miner will have a playlist for it. Results vary, but it’s generally pretty great stuff, and at the very least, even in a sandbox, you’re sure to find one or two new diamonds.
Archive Your “Discover Weekly” Playlists
Everyone loves the “Discover Weekly” playlists that Spotify curates for us on Mondays because it’s the best way to check out new artists or albums you’ve never heard before. The only “problem” is that Spotify scrubs the list and gives subscribers something fresh every week, which means all of these songs get lost to the void every week, and there’s no way to save them.
Luckily, somebody over at IFTTT (“If This, Then That, a website that allows people to create custom command chains for different websites, apps, and web services) created an applet that does just that. The applet takes the 30 tracks from your Discover Weekly playlist and puts them into a personal “Discover Weekly Archive” that you can play over and over again.
For more like this, read our take on why the iPhone X is a disappointment right here.
- Cover Image: Spotify