Spotify's App Sucks. How would you fix it?
I love Spotify. In a sexual way, as Josh would say. I want to make sweet, musical love to the service. The app, however, is like a genital wart that really makes me question my relationship with it. Analogy over.
It's not just ugly, it's unhelpful. Look at this front page and see if you can find any single piece of information that's actually useful:
There's a banner for Spotify Radio, which might be helpful if a) Radio didn't suck and b) I hadn't already seen that banner 19,000 times. There's a sidebar dedicated to Facebook friends, but I don't tend to base all of my friendships on musical compatibility, so unless I surrender myself to a lifetime of Lincoln Park it's entirely useless. The recommended albums thing has come in handy one or two times, but that's not enough to justify the massive amount of space it takes up. Seriously, if you're going to take half the screen, please give me more than 5 suggestions! Finally there's the sidebar, which is loaded with so many unnecessary items that my playlists are actually below the fold. My music is below the fold.
This is a music service that simultaneously thinks it's the next Facebook and the next App Store.
And can we talk about starred songs? It's just a flat list of all the songs I like. No album art, no grid view, no nothing. Sure, we all complain about iTunes 10, but this is like iTunes 1 crap. And it's the only way to bookmark songs. There's no button that says "I like this album, please put a picture of its cover somewhere so I can access it in the future". You have to scroll through your list and find the first song and play it that way.
Let's compare it to the competition. Rdio, weird as it looks now, takes every opportunity it can to present you with a grid of music to listen to. Netflix is nothing but scrolling shelves of movie posters. iTunes Store has banners and curated sections and recommendations scattered all over the place. By that logic, the casual bystander might think that Spotify is trying to sell you your own Facebook friends.
I don't have Premium, but from what I've seen the mobile apps aren't any better.
The selection is great, the quality is amazing, and the app is a hot steaming turd. The worst part is that Spotify has had 2 years to fix it and they've only made it worse.
The one beacon of light in this matter is that Spotify has an API for third party developers to use. It only works for Premium subscribers, but it has complete access to the entire music catalogue. That means it would be possible for an enterprising developer to flush this hot steaming turd down the toilet. Or, pop this genital wart, or whatever. If that were to happen, how would you want it to work? What would you like to see changed? What, if anything, would you keep?
Also, why do you think it's still so horrible? Did somebody lose a bet? Does the CEO enjoy seeing people in pain? Is this a vast conspiracy by Rdio's secret designer mafia? We may never know.