The New Desktop App

dan
Roadie

UPDATE - April 16th, 2021

Hey folks,

 

We've tried to cover most of the frequently asked questions concerning the new update in this Spotify Answer - Make sure to check it out!

 

We'll continue to go through all your posts in this blog, so if you have any other questions besides the ones in the FAQ, feel free to add them in a comment below.

 

Thanks,

The Community Moderator Team

 

UPDATE - April 8th, 2021

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday we published a blog post on our engineering blog which goes into more details on the new UI, the reasons behind it and the process of building it.  If you'd like to read a few more details like that you can check it out here.

I'd also like to mention a few things coming in upcoming versions of Desktop

  • We're working on bringing back a list-like Discography view, something many of you have mentioned missing in the new UI.  We expect this to land in an upcoming release, so do watch this space and make sure you remain fully updated.
  • "Discovered On" playlists for artists will be back in an upcoming release.
  • We're working on bringing to Desktop the ability (like in our mobile apps) to see all the saved songs by a particular artist from within the artist page itself.  Again this will be arriving in an upcoming Desktop release.

Thanks,
Dan

 

ORIGINAL POST -----

 

Hi everyone

Dan here from the Desktop team again. I wanted to make another post to once again thank you all for your continued feedback, and also give a little more detail about what we’re doing from here on in.

 

In short, the new user interface is the future of the Spotify Desktop client, and over the coming weeks we’ll roll out the new UI to all Desktop users. Many of you will have noticed already, but we’ve based the new experience on the more modern and scalable Web Player codebase, and in doing so made both versions more aligned and easier to use than ever before.

Why are we making this change?

We believe in the future of the Desktop platform and want to make sure it can still serve the needs of our users now and into the future. 

The existing Desktop UI codebase became increasingly hard to maintain as time went on, and you may have noticed a growing gap between the Desktop and Mobile apps in some cases. For those of you interested in the technical details, a blog post on the engineering blog is coming soon. The short story, however, is that our desire to continue pushing Desktop forward and bringing new features to it became incompatible with the reality of maintaining the legacy experience.

 

Meanwhile, we had a Web Player serving similar user needs, but built in a much more modern and scalable way — with a more cohesive Spotify “look & feel”. We therefore resolved to use the Web Player UI code as the basis for both Web and Desktop in the future, and have been spending quite some bringing the Desktop-class features that you’ve come to expect to this shared platform. You’ve had a sneak peek of this as we’ve been testing and building things out, so once again I’d like to thank you for both being a part of it and giving great feedback on this thread that has definitely helped us improve.

Benefits of this approach

Firstly, I’d like to say that this really is a new beginning for the Desktop app. Long-term Desktop users will start to notice more rapid iteration on the app than they’ve seen in the past.

 

I’d like to call out some of the things in the new Desktop, and also give you a little taste of what’s to come.

 

Design - We’ve focused on consistency, are using more color to enhance the experience where appropriate, and are making better use of cover art and album images in the app. We're also better aligned to other platforms, put an increased focus on accessibility, interactions and animations, and have tightened up our design language, so it’s more in line with what users have come to expect from Spotify.

 

Functionality - We’ve brought the functionality that users expect from Desktop, like sorting/filtering, drag & drop, and advanced settings and options, whilst improving areas like playlist creation and curation, profile pages, and more. In many cases these improvements have landed in the Web Player, so the work here has benefited our combined users on both platforms.

Tip! You’ll also find new keyboard shortcuts for many tasks (press ctrl+? to see them) which makes certain actions much faster and easier for any user.

We are also aware that there are a few aspects raised in the community that haven't been fully addressed as part of this update, but items like the Search Bar and discography on artist pages have ultimately been brought closer in line with other Spotify applications. That said, we will continue to iterate on the experience across both platforms moving forward.

 

The future of Desktop

As mentioned above, this change to the Desktop UI gives us the ability to move faster in bringing you new improvements, features and functionality — so you can expect to see continued improvements to the client in the weeks and months to come.

 

Once again, I’d like to thank you all for helping us shape the Desktop App over the past year on behalf of everyone here at Spotify, and please do continue to post your feedback and use our Ideas section here in the Community to tell us what you’d like to see and why.


Thanks again,

Dan

1,501 Comments
decker12
Casual Listener

This app update is absolutely inferior in almost every way to the previous app. This is the final straw in my Spotify adventure - the first and foremost being Spotify's absolutely awful handling of the shuffle algorithm which has made me hate the songs I used to love.

 

Take a moment and check out the huge Reddit thread filled with your customers who have picked apart every single UI mistake your team has made. It's frankly embarrassing the bugs and non-features you've "tweaked" in for the new desktop product. Real amateur hour there, Spotify. 

 

You've taken a decent product and destroyed it. The only reason I'm on Spotify is because Amazon did the same with their product, and Apple's product isn't great but it's better than what Spotify is.

 

I'll be speaking with my wallet and cancelling my family account. 

decker12
Casual Listener

Oh, forgot to add to the previous post, I'm also making sure to backup my original Spotify application and then set it to Read Only to prevent Spotify from updating itself.

 

I suggest ya'all do the same.

RobMarr
Regular
Oh my God why did you do this? I absolutely hate it.
whatdidyoudo
Visitor

I'm gonna go ahead and give this update a big poopy stinky / 10.  Why would you decide to make the album art take up 10% of the alleged "full screen" and show me low resolution artist pictures instead? Why list albums out of chronological order? Why not match the shades of gray being used so it doesn't look like the home page is made out of legos?  Why make the play button smaller? Why hide the "made for you" tab? Why not ask my consent before forcing this on me?

cammeadows
Visitor

Hi there, I don't have twitter and I didn't know how else to reach out. I'm a long time Spotify user and consider making playlists a hobby of mine. I have much love for the platform, and have always found the layout to be well designed with great features.  Having just updated my desktop app, I am appalled to find the resemblance to the UI of mobile app.  While I understand the purpose of collapsing and condensing certain items on mobile, it makes no sense for the desktop.  While on mobile generally you would be playing music, so the app is streamlined for that functionality. Hiding the discography and enlarging icons and album art makes sense.  However when I'm using the desktop app, I am much more likely to be adding music and editing playlists.  Even if I'm just listening, the much larger screen and full keyboard offer an opportunity for a different experience than on a phone. It makes sense to have an artist's discography laid out below the popular songs, because you can easily scroll down and view all albums/singles.  By collapsing this menu you now have to click see all to view the albums, and then additionally click on the album icon to get to the music.  Not only is this a much more tedious process to browse a newly discovered artist's music than simply scrolling, but it also causes other issues: for example, if an artists has singles/E.P.s/albums that share a name and artwork there is no way to discern which is which without clicking through all of them individually.  These are just a couple examples of the ways that the new UI update hinders and draws out the user experience on desktop.  I've already noticed other small issues, for example not being able to sort a playlist by most recently added without first hiding the friends feed. Despite all these issues, the new layout just looks bad.  Lots of empty space, unnecessarily large icons, and wildly varying font sizes are just a few examples of why the aesthetic doesn't work on desktop.  Hiding the search bars serves no purpose when the space is just being left empty, and ads an additional click every time you need to find something. The old UI looked much better.  In summary, I think the new UI update only hinders the user experience on desktop.  I understand wanting to keep things consistent between the mobile and desktop apps, but I know that many users would greatly appreciate some regression on these changes.  At the least it would be great to have an option in settings for an expanded desktop view or something to get the UI back to how it was.

defnenuhoglu
Visitor

Yeni güncelleme gerçekten çok kötü. Hiç beğenmedim. Bilgisayarda dinlerken sol altta şarkının/podcastin kapağı büyük gözüküyordu ve boyutunuda ayarlayabiliyorduk şuan küçük, yazılar da küçük, boyutu ayarlayamıyoruz. Sağ tarafta arkadaşlarımızın dinlediği şarkıyı bu kadar büyük görmemize gerek yok bence. Sonuç olarak hiç bir şeyin boyunu, şeklini ayarlayamıyor olmamız çok kötü. Tek güzel olan şey 'BU AY EN ÇOK DİNLEDİĞİMİZ SANATÇILAR VE ŞARKILAR'. ESKİ HALİNE GERİ DÖNSÜN!!!!!

Jeremy
Moderator
Moderator

Hey there @Raxater and @RobMarr,

 

Thank you for your posts and feedback.

 

Can you let us know which version of the app you have?

We'll keep an eye out for your replies.


Take care!

LawTurk
Visitor

Did you guys at least add album cover art to be displayed next to each song in one's playlist???  I'm copying a post made in 2013 requesting this change.  Please make this change.  After reading the comments about the new desktop app I think I'm going to hold off on updating to it.  I swear you guys are literally forcing people away from something that used to be awesome.  Apple music suck, but at least they have album cover art...  The 2013 post is below.  Don't get why this hasn't been done in 8 years...

 

View as Album List was a great feature. Based on comments I have seen on other forums, I am not the only one who thinks so. Please restore this feature.

 

Reasons:

1) Images are much easier to see than text. I have reached the age of reading glasses. Before this feature was removed, I could easily find songs / albums in playlists. Now I have to find my glasses beforehand!

 

2) Images are much more compelling and attractive than text. A picture tells a thousand words etc. The whole look and feel of Spotify is enhanced through the use of album images. Removing them seems like going against good user experience practice.

 

3) Nostalgia. Although I love Spotify and I firmly believe that subscription is the future of music, I still feel some nostalgia for "possessing" a collection of albums. Displaying album covers reinforces the feeling of having a collection of albums in a playlist.

 

Note that all three arguments apply equally to desktop and iPad versions of Spotify.

LawTurk
Visitor

Nevermind, I see that you added album cover art.  Thank you for doing that!  However, I still agree with all of the other comments.  Please add back the Artist column and the Date Added column as I use those frequently to sort my playlists.  Also, completely agree that unknown artists are getting **bleep** by this update.  I've found so many amazing artist through the about tab and now that's gone too?  Please bring back! 

TimonS
Visitor

Having used Spotify for a long time, the new UI is user unfriendly. Please change it back. Here are some of the Problems.

 

  • You're a music library service... and you hid the search bar? There is absolutely no reason to have removed the search bar from it's permanent spot at the top of the window, and now searching new music is more annoying because it requires not only pageflipping, twice as many movements and clicks, for no reason.

  • Replaced the search bar with a second play button that has no purpose. We have a play button at the bottom of the window with transport controls, why do we need two play buttons available? For what purpose?

  • Why is discography RANDOM? Not sorted by release year (best method), not even sorted alphabetically, NOT even sorted as albums->EPs->singles. Nope, you just throw them in randomly. It takes NO EFFORT to make them sort chronologically, it is purely a benefit and there's no reason to have it randomly listed. Now you want it sorted chronologically? More mouse clicks and page flips needlessly.

  • When you do select see all, you could have added a list view/tile view toggle, but instead we're locked to tile view which yet again requires more pageflips and more clicks, needlessly. A list view with collapsible/expandable albums (similar to the old UI) would be awesome! But you didn't do that, you made it worse.

  • Full screen mode is bad. It's choppy as **bleep**, doesn't prominently feature album art (which is often shrunk into the corner) and the background images are greyed which, despite taking up the majority of the screen, takes them out of your attention (most pop-ups for settings or info on your phone or websites do this for a reason). This is conflicting to the way we naturally view things and makes full screen very unpleasant to look at.

  • Moving artists to be under the song title in playlists makes it MUCH more difficult to identify both the songs and the artists quickly and easily. Furthermore, adding more clicks if you want to sort by artist, for no gain whatsoever.

  • The queue button has largely been unaffected, except that if you switch between "queue" and "recently played", the queue button stops working and instead of returning to your playlist or previous menu, it just flips back between the queue and recently played until it returns to your previous page.

  • Very small, removing playlist search bars in favor of an icon is just another needless change that wastes space. Computers have search bars, not search icons, they're more intuitive, leave them alone.

  • Why have the "playlists" section on the left (Liked songs, Create Playlist) if you're going to remove the "Made for you" section, and don't have a section for stations?

  • All this purposeless stuff, and still no ability to hide devices from Spotify Connect? You're too busy pushing politics on my home page to focus on useful features, huh? I came here to listen to music and relax, not see political**bleep** that I'm trying to get away from. It's no surprise that services like Qobuz or Tidal are growing while Spotify is stagnating.

 

florianinnocent
Regular

Dan,

 

We are almost in april 2021, you write a long post about the bright future of the desktop app and… not a single word about an M1 Apple Silicon adaptation ?

 

Seriously. Have you been following the news recently ?

 

17341057
Casual Listener

Hey just wrote my thoughts on this yesterday and found another issue.

When skipping through songs through the arrows on my laptop IT GOES THE WRONG DIRECTION. What? How did anyone think this would be a good idea? And how on earth did others agree to this?

To clarify: If I play a track from an album and click next, either on the apps next track button it goes to the previous track rather than the next.

Is this a joke? Please fix this, it's ridiculous

CeramicCash
Casual Listener

these guys are completely useless its a joke! 🤣 

OfficialLexor
Visitor

I find the new Desktop UI 2021 update questionable its not that user friendly seeing that u have to search a whole lot longer in the Artists profil to find the song u want (english is not my first language) but you probably get the point (if there is a way to revert back to the old UI i need to know....

redman5087
Music Fan

Premium subscription

Ubuntu 20.0.4.2

Latest spotify with the new ui experience (from yesterday)

 

My Question or Issue

 

Friends activity not updating unless I restart spotify or within settings 'toggle' 'show friends activity'

 

 

 

 

Tech-S1
Newbie

Are there any plans for Apple M1 support when this is released? Because without that the desktop app is useless to many Apple M1 users and constantly crashes. Along with that Spotify just seems to be ignoring the many Apple users out there and not giving updates on any of the topics.... 

hamsteroj
Newbie

Awful update, and I'm "glad" to see I'm far from the only one who thinks this is a huge step backwards.

While future proofing the interface is certainly a good thing, it should not be a big ask from a billion dollar company to be able to retain basic functionality with an update.

My main gripes, like everyone elses it seems, is the completely unexplainable removal of the Search Bar from outside the Search tab, and the new playlist interface which is clunky and lacking some sorting functionality. The Artist Page also seems designed for a touch device rather than a desktop and has acres of fancy but useless space.

I have a hard time seeing any usability improvements at all in this update.

Ege-S
Composer

Operating System

Windows 10

Hello everyone, I already posted this and received an answer but still, I wanted to put this in the right section too.

  I've had this new desktop version for about 4-5 months. It was not that good at first, but in time most of the issues were fixed. Still, I want to share some issues with the app (in my opinion of course):

1- The new social activity tab is very inefficient because the name of the song and the artist are next to each other. If one of the names is rather long, you can't see the other one. Knowing the album is not that important but; knowing the name of the song or the artist is important.

2- The profile button is also not very useful. It would be better if it was just click&go. Like, if I click on my name, I want to go to my profile, not get a bunch of choices. You can put a small arrow next to it so if I want the choices I can click on that.

3- I know this one is rather new. The full-screen feature came back but it is different and kinda worse. It shows you the album cover in the bottom left, and on the background, the artist. The problem is that most artist's pic on Spotify is just terrible. So my suggestion is to put the album cover only like it was before. Or maybe just colors.

4- Artist's name is right under the name of the song. I just simply think that's 'bad', as I mentioned before artists are more important than albums. The artist's names should be more visible. If you want you can make it a choice of the user. (This can apply to all the problems. You can give the tools to users so they can perfect the app for themselves.)

These are the most important issues in my opinion. Also, I want to thank everyone who are working on this app, because it improves weekly. I just wanted to give you some opinions.

Have a good day 

Ege-S_0-1616753541301.png

 

Ondow
Newbie

Never bothered to search such things but I felt so uncomfortable using the new desktop UI that I've found myself here checking if I'm the only one that's not enjoying it at all.

As I desktop user I liked how everything was clear and sorted in columns. It looked compact, it looked solid. Just at a glimpse you recognized were you were and was easy to navigate and decided where to go next.

Using it on a big screen at 4K resolution leaves a lot of blank spaces and you don't know if you're browsing an album, someone's playlist or what.

Why merging artist and title and then leaving albums separated? What kind of cataloguing is that?

Feels so ugly leaving all the albums capsuled inside a button without being able to see the track list by its side. Really liked scrolling down and artist and seeing all his releases sorted by Albums by year, then EPs, singles, etc. It really gave you an overall image and identity of the artist and felt like you were somewhere.

Now just... Yuck, yuck, yuck.

I think I'm leaving.

JustAnEarthling
Visitor

"this change to the Desktop UI gives us the ability to move faster in bringing you new improvements, features and functionality"
I hope this, at least, will translate in the update of the Podcast section on Desktop, because it's inexcusable to not have yet the episode list like on the mobile version.

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