I'm sorry for the long read, but I would be very grateful if one of the developers would take the time to look through my thoughts and mockups, and give me actual feedback on it. If you don't care to read all the text, just jump right down to the mockups, it will give you a pretty good sense of what changes I'm aiming for. Give it some kudos! 🙂 I love the Spotify service, but there are certain parts of the experience that can be extremely frustrating for users with larger music collections. After reading countless threads here on the community, it almost seems like the developers doesn't care about this minorty, because according to their data, "most users doesn't use the service this way blah blah blah..." I'm getting tired of it, and I'm getting tired of seeing Spotify prioritzing features that very few, or no people have requested, instead of the countless features/fixes that thousands of users have requested on this forum. I'm pretty sure the majority of the users on this community is not the casual music listener who only listens to a couple of the current hits, which Spotify has seemed to tailor the service for in recent years, aka "the average user". The fact that they based their implementation of "Your Music" on the amount of songs users had in "Starred" is ridiculous. The fact that they tailor the service for the average users is great, but that doesn't mean the "above average music fans" should be left out. There should be a middle ground so both ends of the spectrum can be satisfied by the service. I believe that is very doable, it's a matter of the developers actually implementing the most requested features here in this community. I understand that some of the development takes a lot of time, but I think Spotify should be more transparent and engaging in conversations with the users if they put highly requested features on hold (not right now).
I waited paitently over 12 months for the new "Your Music", but when the time came I was let down by its weird implementation and lacking features. The root of this problem is the 10000 song limit, but there are also several smaller problems that gradually builds it up to a nearly unusable feature in my eyes. The frustrating thing is that these things shouldn't be that hard to fix. Most of issues exists within the desktop application, I'm mostly satisfied with the android version. I actually find the mobile version of "Your Music" more usable than its desktop counterpart. It has better sorting and searching features and is actuallly faster to navigate and more visual.
I believe that the "Your Music" feature is fundamentally broken, and here are some of my suggestions to fix it. This is how it should have been implemented in the first place.
REMOVE the 10000 song limit. For gods sakes, please! I read in another thread that this limit is supposedly set is set for improved performance. I'ts understandable that this limitation is set, but not giving the user any response that they've reached the maximum limit is really bad. Users are left believing its a bug that is cause of the issue. Suddenly you cant save anything, without knowing why. Make the lists load in chunks for collections larger than 10000 songs, don't leave the users that have this out, just for the sake of the data you have on the "average user". Spotify is a community for music lovers. Let us have the option to create the collection we want, on our own terms. I can't use "Your Music" in its current state, mostly because of this.
Before "Your Music" launched I sorted everything through playlists and folders. I created a folder with seperate playlist for each artist, and I had to sort everything manually, it was cumbersome and time consuming. I also created playlist for new albums I listened to and eventually sorted them in folders for each year. I have done this since around 2009. It is was my way of having my own digital collection on a streaming service. Your Music should work as your own personal iTunes inside of spotify.Things start to get very unmanageble when you have hundreds of playlist in different folders in the side menu. Something needs to be done here. My suggestion for fixing folder clutter is enabling a folder to have it's own view on the desktop. This brings it more in line with how it looks on mobile and web. (BTW: Where is folder suppport on webclient?) It's more visual and a lot more manageable if you have a lot of playlist. Why not use the extra real estate that you have on a desktop, instead of cramming everything in the side menu. Here is a mockup of how it could function.
Example 1: http://i.imgur.com/n7dQHN0.jpg Example 2: http://i.imgur.com/F9D7iYW.jpg
Naturally I was excited when "Your Music" launched, and I instantly started the process of switching over my collection made of playlist and folders over to the new "Your Music" system. I quickly reached the 10k song limit, and I thought it was a bug, so I waited for ages for a fix, only to find out that Spotify weren't going to change it anytime soon as it was a "feature". There were also other issues I had with "Your Music" that made it less useful compared to my own playlist and folders system.
No "official" support for local files
Less sorting options compared to a regular playlist. Why?
Featureless artist view. Better to just go to full artist profile instead of what your music gives you.
Songs feature is basically useless, it's just ends up as a long list of songs. Starred functionality makes a lot more sense.
No ability to sort albums by year of release. only date added. This makes it unusable for users who frequently follows new albums.
Incredibly slow to navigate "artists" with only large images and no listview, and no search
Your Music redesign mockups:
Main view - collections: http://i.imgur.com/8MPG7l5.jpg Starting with the side menu we see that "Your Music" now has three tabs.Starred, Collection and Local Files "Songs" is removed in place for the old "Starred". The naming is not important, but the function of it is. This feature should act just as the old "Starred" , an easy way of adding new songs that you're checking out or favorite songs. This feature acts independently of the "Your Music" function. Right click a song and you have the option to add it to both "Starred" or "Collection" Next we see that "Artists" and "Albums" is merged together in one view. "Collection" is new the main view of "Your Music". When you press it you are greeted with a view of all you saved albums. A noticeable difference here is the extended sorting options for the albums view. With sorting option "Year" selected the albums get sorted and grouped by date of release. (the examples in the mockups are just random albums) There is also a added shuffle button which creates a queue with random songs from every album in the collection. To the left we se a new side menu with a search box, "All albums" and a list of artists. Pressing one of the artists takes you to your own personalised artist view, with only the songs you have added of the artist. Redesigned artists view Your Music: Example 1: http://i.imgur.com/juP2rpt.jpg Example 2: http://i.imgur.com/mEKO5uK.jpg
Here we can se a close similarity to the regular full artist profile. The main difference is that this is our own personalised view of the artist, with only the songs and albums that the user has added. This is especially useful for artists like Elvis and Johnny Cash which has endless of compilation albums with the same songs on the main artist page. Songss and albums are divided with its own albumart and info, there is no longer a long boring list. There is more sorting options, and also a search functionality. It supports local files You can switch between large album art and a list. Ability to see your most played songs by artist.
Other issues with Spotify:
Bring back "CTRL+G" view for playlists
Ability to hide apps in sidebar in a folder
A-Z scroll for android (artist view), example http://www.technologytell.com/gadgets/files/2012/12/action-launcher-app-menu.png
Better scaling of "Your Music" on different resolutions. eg. more albums on higher res screen.
Folders in WEB gui
More consistency between desktop, web and mobille. eg. album graphics for playlists/folder. (as showed earlier)
Same seach and sorting options for desktop, mobile and web. Why limit the desktop platforms? I realise that I'm most likely going to get the standard response of "divide ideas into separate topics". If someone liked some of the suggestions, feel free to do so. I know a lot of these issues have been mentioned numerous times before. I just had to go at this topic in one post, as I feel that a lot of the issues intertwine with each other. It's not a matter of fixing one single issue, but several issues, in order to make better "Your Music" experience for the user. The way "Your Music" works right now fundamentally needs to change.
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Make viewing your Following a main feature so that it is more easily accessible from the main window.
As it is now, you have to enter your profile first and click on Following to view that list.
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