What's wrong with Spotify?
Spotify became my favorite music player since the day i discovered it which was almost three years ago. I loved the idea of cloud music service, where you don't have to store all your music files in your HDD that totals a notable amount of Gigabytes. But that wasn't all that i loved about Spotify. It was neat, clean and a beautiful application. For me it had a promising future because it was not half baked product. Although it was not feature-rich application, it had a bright future because the company did not rushed all the features which would lead to a disaster.
But after almost three years when i look back i don't see any major changes. Ok. We got Mobile, which i love. We got Offline Playlists, very useful when you are out in the wilderness. But these were all obvious updates that Spotify had to release to stay in the cloud music streaming market. I always waited for some innovative features from Spotify, and this post is about those features that never arrived.
My biggest complain is about the user interface. Spotify did not change much in terms of look and feel since 2009. The most of UI elements stayed the same. The overall design still looks great but the functionality can be improved very easily with minor changes. Most annoying thing about UI is that a newly formed playlist goes to the buttom of your playlists. Why would a new playlist that user creates goes to deep of playlist frame? It becomes more annoying if you have a long list of playlists, than you have to scroll down to check your newly created playlists. Dragging? Dragging a playlist to the top is the next-gen torture multplied by the number of the playlists you have.
Spotify has also released the "Library" feature that listed all the playlists you had plus the local files that you've imported from your computer. Well the library is only practical if you are searching for word in a song or in a artist's name. Because if you have hundreds of playlists and local files the only way to browse is to scroll down. Which will eventually give you no browsing feel at all. And thats where Spotify is not totally good at. The lack of browsing feel is causing me to look for another service.
What would make Library tab great? Cover Arts. Spotify has high-res cover-arts for all the albums. Why can't we make use of this while browsing the library. I believe this can be a great feature. Recently Spotify introduced wi-fi syncing with mobile applications. It can be accessed from the Devices tab on the left frame if you have mobile device in the same network. This tab uses cover-art for browsing and interacting with your device. I have to say that cover-art browsing and interacting looks and feels great, and much more easy on the eyes. Why not use this layout for Library tab as well? Spotify?
As i said before playlists are only way to have a quick access to listening music. As for myself i have around hundred and fifty playlists. Scrolling the playlists is not comfortable at all, which only indicate the text. Can folders help? Maybe. But still foldering the playlists seem too virtual for me. I really would like to see a artist pages listed as well with playlists. Or there can be a separate tab where you can store and browse favorite artists. Favorite artists tab can also provide a feed on latest releases of user's favorite artists, and easily be supported with the ability to "Star" artists. Currently "Related Artists" layout looks great to me which can be used for this tab's layout.
Still Spotify is very very good application in desktop and mobile. It is just so good and addicting. The easiness and mobility it serves is well-appreciated. It just needs to be more active in developing new features, now that socialization process of Spotify is complete maybe they will now return to improve their application in terms of UI and design. Spotify is in version 0.6.2 as of today, so we may yet to see some exciting features. But the question is will they ever come?
The current version of Spotify is 0.6.2. This post is written for that version. I have not been able to try other similar services due to my location, so feel free to compare Spotify with the similar services that you use.