How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

Reply

How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

BillTerri
Regular

Plan

Premium

Country

USA

Device

iPhone 7, iPad (6th Generation), Windows Desktop

Operating System

iOS 12,  Windows 10

 

My Question or Issue

Spotify has lately started to treat all my devices as one device, continuing what I was listening to on one device to a different device when I start the new device up.  Sometimes this is okay, but more often, it's not what I want to have happen.  Mostly, I like to use my different devices in different places, and in different ways.  For example, I may want to listen to an album I found under the Spotify "Discover" heading when I'm working at my desktop, but when I get into my car, I want to resume listening where I left off the previous day to a playlist that I've downloaded to my iPhone.  Similarly, while I'm preparing my breakfast, I'm likely to want to use my iPad to continue listening to an Album that I started listening to there the previous day, not to continue to listen to what was last playing on my desktop.  This is the way Spotify used to act, but now it has changed.

 

Is there some setting I can change in Spotify to keep my listening choices on the different devices separate, the way I used to do? 

10 Replies

Re: How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

Mario_A_C
Casual Listener

Hi Bill,

 

You can definitely have Spotify Premium on as many devices as you wish, but if only one Spotify account is accessed and used through and across these devices (e.g. accessing account "X" a song is played for 15 sec) then the use of the account (song played for 15 sec) will be the same across all devices.

 

If you wish to keep the actions and listening history specific in relation to each device you use, did you already consider creating multiple accounts (one for each device)?

In this way your listening history will be resumed where you left it on each device.

 

Hope this is helpful :)

Re: How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

joanacsab
Visitor

I'm having the same problem. It used to be enough to close the Spotify app on one of the devices before opening it on the other, but for the past few days that hasn't been the case. Can't find anything on the settings that could help either...

Re: How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

BillTerri
Regular

Yes.  It seems to have changed, or at least gotten worse, in one of the recent updates.  I find it very annoying.  It seems like Spotify could include something in preferences to turn that "feature" off, rather than simply assuming that their one-size-fits-all listening mode will work for everyone. I wonder if there's some way to let them know that we liked it much better the way it was.  Maybe if enough people express an opinion about it...?

Re: How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

BillTerri
Regular

Using multiple accounts, with different accounts connected to different devices, is not a good option for me.  Apart from the extra expense, it would defeat one of the features I like best on Spotify.  Currently, Spotify "monitors" what I listen to on all my devices, and makes suggestions accordingly.  This results in Discover Weekly playlists that are tailored to my preferences, as well as a wealth of suggested listening in the Discover section of the desktop app.  All of this would be lost for whatever device I connected to the new account, and it would be a long time before there was enough accumulated history to make suggestions meaningful. And, meanwhile, the history on my other account would not get the benefit of the history accumulated on the new account.

 

The only good solution is for Spotify to provide an option under preferences to turn the feature that forces all devices to act like a single device off or on.  Spotify, if you are listening, please consider adding this option, so that I can go back to listening the way I prefer.

Re: How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

Mario_A_C
Casual Listener

Hey Bill,

 

I feel you with regards to how handy the fact that Spotify tailors the listening-related suggestions you receive based on your listening history is.

 

It's awesome because of course that allows you to keep discovering more and more new music based on what you already like and lets you expand on that (e.g. you have the Discover Weekly suggestions, as you mentioned).

 

But if that's what you're mainly interested into, why do you think it'd be worse to have multiple accounts on different devices instead of just one account for all devices?

 

By the look of things, Spotify does provide listening-related suggestions bases on all the types (generes, artists and so on) of music being listened to with respect to one account.

This inevitably results into these different types of input to balance each other out and into suggestions being inevitably reflecting all these types, somehow watering down your specific focus on each of them when considered individually.

Spotify will still be able to classify music types for one account and provide listening suggestions accordingly, but it won't be the same as it would be having Spotify to suggest music based on one, consistent history of listening, for example based only on one underground music niche.

 

Then, wouldn't it be just better for what you wish to get out of your Spotify experience (seemingly, getting meaningful listening suggestions based on the types of music you listen to) to have multiple (even Free) accounts each connected to a different device which account have each a specific listening history tailored to your listening needs?

 

For example, you can create as many Free accounts as you wish focusing on a specific type of music with each of them, and then receive, for example, Discover Weekly Playlists suggestions in the most meaningful way based on the particular type of music characterizing each account. 

 

And it would only take a few weeks for each account (say, less than a month) to get the suggestions straight :) It would also be a great chance to create a higher, better order of how you manage your music, but that's just my own perspective on it.

 

Have you actually considered something like this as a alternative anyway?

 

Curious to hear what you and everyone thinks about this since it's actually an important topic.

 

Hope you can find this input constructive!

 

Mario

 

Re: How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

BillTerri
Regular

Hi Mario,

 

Thanks for your thoughtful and very complete answer.  All your points are correct, and they would work well for some (maybe most) listeners.  I just don't think they would work as well for me, an here's why:

 

I've been involved with music for a very long time, both as a producer (musician) and as a consumer (listener).  Over the years, I've developed very diverse, and slightly eclectic tastes that range from classical to punk to metal, and include everyting in between.  However, I don't like to limit things to any specific genre or style at any particular time.

 

My way of listening to Spotify has, in the past, accomodated this perfectly.  I could listen to multiple albums by a single artist for an extended period of time on my iPad, while ocaisionally also listening to new suggested material from Spotify on my desktop.  If I found something I liked while listening on the desktop, I could add it to my list of favorites, so I could take a deeper dive into the artist's catalog (generally using my iPad) at some later date.  This scheme of using two devices on a single account created a synergy, I believe, between the two listening styles that would not be achieved with multiple accounts that did not share my complete listening history between them.

 

Obviously, there are still work-arounds that will continue to allow this even with the new style of non-device-specific playback.  They are simply less convenient, and more time consuming.  Since I have relatively little quality listening time available (generally less than an hour a day, most days) I am jealous  of my time, and don't want to have to spend extra time getting back to the album and track I was listening to when I turned off a particular device.

 

The bottom line is this:  All my options now involve a work-around of some sort.  This should not be the case.  Spotify should provide the level of control needed to allow any listener to listen the way they want to.  The  scheme that Spotify has adopted is probably adequate for the average listener.  The problem is that they don't have any average listeners.  They only have individuals, whose needs and tasted diverge in infinite ways.  The more they can accomodate all these varying needs, the more successful they will be in retaining existing customers, and attracting new ones.

 

That's my take on it.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

 

Bill

Re: How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

Mario_A_C
Casual Listener

Hi again Bill,

 

Thanks for the insightful, well-informed reply. I totally see where you're coming from.

 

It makes a lot of sense the idea of Spotify allowing users to develop a unified as well as compounding listening experience (which reflects the complexity of the users' multi-faceted taste across generes, artists, niches, cross-overs and so on), for one.

 

Likewise and correspondignly, it also makes sense the idea that such experience should remain associated with one user's one and only account although stemming from the particular listening history of all the devices where the same account is used, in a way that each device still has its own listening history (e.g. you will resume the play-back on each account by the song which was the last being played on that account).

 

It's legit to take into account the extent to which the combination of these two circumstances (as described above) can reasonably help to preserve as well as boost the unicity and individuality of the user's experience with Spotify, also when the platform is used by the same user across different devices.

 

At this point, I'd suggest that you or anyone who feels the same try and submit the idea in the Community Ideas Exchange page. 

You can click here to start submitting it.

Make sure you read the guidelines to submitting ideas for Spotify so that we make the most of these precious input we've been discussing!

 

All the best guys,

 

Mario

Re: How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

Cbc3
Visitor

I have experienced the same problem and 

found this post tonight while looking for a solution. 

 

In my case, I use three devices: my phone for Android Auto in the car; my desktop for music while working; and a Google Home Mini that I use at night by asking Google Assistant to play the Nightstorms playlist. 

 

The problem is that in the morning, my car automatically resumes playing Nightstorms rather than the last song I was listening to in the car. 

 

I just spoke with Spotify customer support in chat and their recommended solution is to download the playlists I listen to in my car to my phone's Spotify app and keep the Spotify app on the phone in offline mode, so it won't sync the last played track with the other music I listen to on other devices. 

 

This should work for me because I only use Spotify on the phone in my car for Android Auto and I have already downloaded the playlists that I listen to in the car to save mobile data, so I can just switch back to online mode when I want to update or add a playlist. The Spotify app does apparently check in by requiring online mode to be turned back on every 30 days, but this does not bother me. 

 

I can keep my desktop online since I like to explore new music while working, and on the Google Home Mini I just tell Google Assistant "hey Google play nightstorms" before bed so that's not a problem.

 

I am not sure if this is helpful for you but wanted to share just in case. Hopefully it works out for me. 

Re: How do I keep what is playing on different devices separate?

BillTerri
Regular

Thanks for sharing this.  I have been doing the same thing (downloading and going offline) for the playlist in my car ever since things changed, and it works okay for that, but it is still only a partial work-around.  It still doesn't address the problem of losing the queue on my iPad every time I listen to a little of something new on my desktop.  Spotify really needs to provide a control to allow the queues on different devices to stay separate.  It is really annowing when they decide that they know better than me how my music should be listened to.  Not the best way to retain customers, and attract new ones, in my opinion.

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