First, let me explain my background with Spotify.
I use Spotify since mid-2014, back then primarily the web player and very rarely. After about half a year, I switched to a paid subscription for various reasons:
Ability to download songs:
In the beginning, this was a HUGE deal for me. I had a pretty bad mobile plan and therefore the ability to download songs to my phone/notebook was a must-have so I could save on mobile data consumed.
No sound ads:
In the web player, there was a pretty easy way to circumvent ads: Use an ad blocker. Hell, I didn’t even knew that Spotify had ads until I downloaded the android/desktop app. But getting rid of them was necessary, also for sanity reasons (IIRC they were pretty repetitive and of the kind you hear on the radio).
Easy music library management:
There is a huge benefit of having your library synced on every device and always available. I always used playlists on iTunes (which I used and liked, as a Windows person) and the addition with folders I got in Spotify made library management super convenient (Even though it was pretty messy until the beginning of this year, but that’s my bad)
So far, so good. Now we come to negative things.
Removing working features:
I never got understand why Spotify removed working features, for example lyrics and playing all songs in a playlist folder, just to name two. Let me review them more closely:
Once upon a time, the desktop app of Spotify had this neat feature that allowed you to show the lyrics of a song (IIRC, the mobile version had that too, in a way, but you needed to download an app from a partner of Spotify). This was just gone at one point. I understand when a partner no longer wants to work with Spotify (or the other way around) and therefore a feature (like lyrics, for example) are removed. But in such cases, Spotify should find a new partner ASAP or at least communicate clearly why that feature got removed and what they’re planning to do to bring that feature back or how to replace it.
Currently, the mobile app has this “Behind the Lyrics” thingy, but it’s far from what we had before. The worst part about it is that you get, alongside the lyrics, info about the song and it’s making, if you want it or not. The community already asked to have a toggle to just have the lyrics, but it was put on the “Not right now” list as many other feature requests (I will come back to that later). For me, I can’t figure of a case where I would use “Behind the Lyrics” over searching the full lyrics on Google.
Play all songs in a playlist folder:
For a very long time, you could show all songs in a playlist folder and play them regardless of the playlist they were in. As an example, I had some bands/artists sorted by gerne and if I wanted to listen to EDM, I could just shuffle through the folder of artist playlists. But all of a sudden, the function was gone from the app. You can still play from a folder if you start that on the desktop client, then reroute playback to your phone and just resume there. But that’s even a worse user experience than not having the feature at all.
At least Spotify get’s regular updates, for god’s sake. But they can’t even do that right. When developers from other apps (excluding Google here, they’re terrible in that point too) push an update, they explain what they did in this version. The best example I remember is the unofficial Reddit client “Reddit is fun”. Version numbers, short but clear explanations of what has been fixed/changed/added/removed, done.
And for Spotify? Well, the update message was the same as always since a long time:
We’re always making changes and improvements to Spotify. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, just keep your Updates turned on.
What makes it even worse is that they review Ideas from the Community, implement some of them (And this includes huge things like the ability to create an alarm with a Spotify playlist for sound or rearranging songs in playlists on mobile) but keep the users who would like and read a changelog in the dark.
And it’s the same for many other features that have the status “Not right now”. But some features remain in that state for more than 4 years, evidently.
And now to the biggest issue:
The worst thing as a regular user of both the mobile and the desktop client, is that I have some features on one platform, but not on the other, like the friends feed, lyrics, creating and manage playlists in folders, playing all songs in a folder an so on.
Spotify could be a great service, if they would work against inconsistency by implementing everything everywhere, implement community ideas more quickly and really show they care for their paying customers.