The New Desktop App

dan
Spotify
Spotify

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

999 Comments
Tarindel
Casual Listener

Well guys, it's time to pack it in.

 

From https://engineering.atspotify.com/2021/04/07/building-the-future-of-our-desktop-apps/:

 

"We’ve conducted extensive user research and run continuous tests over the past year that have informed us of the direction we should take. We’ve made the experience more accessible than ever, so everyone can enjoy using the application."

 

Despite hundreds of pages of complaints from users itemizing how and why these changes are horrible, Spotify believes this design is what users want.  These threads are likely being written off as a "vocal minority" who are resistant to change.

 

We're wasting our breath.  The change we seek will not be forthcoming because there is no recognition of a problem here.

tapenoon
Roadie

dear spotify devs,

I will not be overly negative, I don't think 😉 

 

things I like: 

- artwork next to tracks in playlists 

- new headers, new profile, more colors across board, I even like the liked songs colorful button. 

- the app in general looks pretty, modern, and sleek. 

- the dialog that pops up when adding a song to a playlist. 

 

some things that I wish you hadn't taken away: 

- scroll position: as others have mentioned already, when navigating away from a view the app no longer remembers the position you were and always jumps back to the top of the previous page. this really is a pain 😞 

- artist view: I know I will get used to it, of course, but I just wish I didn't have to. I've been using spotify since '08 and have always been so glad that the discography (on the desktop) was all laid out, in chronological order (newest to oldest), albums and singles/EPs clearly separated. it made it so easy to browse, and add songs to playlists. and also made spotify unique, because, as I am sure you very well know, nobody else offered this. 

- Date added column. I hope this is not gone for good and that you will add it back in a future update? I know you can still sort playlists by date added but it was still nice to be able to see when a song was added to a playlist.

- Discovered On: I know you said you intended to bring this back in an earlier comment in this thread and I'd just like to say you can't bring it back fast enough. it'd be so cool if you'd expand it to include more playlists too, pretty please.

 

closing, I'd just like to thank the team for their work on the new app.

personally, I can live with and adapt to the changes as long as the music is there.

xrypak
Newbie
Alt+Left

and

Alt+Right

keyboard shortcuts to navigate backwards/forwards inside the app (NOT to change tracks, NOT to control the music) stopped working.

 

 

xrypak_1-1617874529083.png

 

Let me rehrase: Alt+<arrow> is supposed to do the same as clicking the marked forward/backward buttons.

 

Thanks.

 

robigouk
Composer

if you press Ctrl+?  you'll see a list of the keyboard shortcuts.   Ctrl+<arrow> works to change track.

xrypak
Newbie

To add more detail...

 

So you used Electron, I (as a tech guy) understand and welcome that.

 

No matter what I do, not even the suggested shortcu works for in app navigation:

xrypak_0-1617875167183.png

 

Just please use

 

Alt+<arrow>

 

and not what the shortcuts suggest.

 


P.S.: I came here from this post

17341057
Casual Listener

Hey spotify team.

Just letting you know how bad of a time I'm having using the new Spotify desktop app. Please bring back the artist column to unclutter the display. The user experience is bad enough that I consider switching to Apple Music, which is a very large change of mindset since I've been a daily Pro user since 2013.

Not angry, just disappointed and sad.

dawgimon
Visitor

Hi.

 

One of the most common use cases with Spotify for me is sharing songs between people (mostly on Slack). I've always used Share by URI instead of URL, so you don't get thrown into the browser player, but the actual desktop app. It seems this feature is hidden behind the "option" modifier (which took me a while to find). BUT the most annoying thing now, and the biggest reason for using URI, is that songs are AUTOPLAYING when you click them, which is the worst.. I want to queue them, not totally disturb my current flow and starting playing from another album/artist than the playlist I'm listening to.

TLDR; Please stop autoplay when clicking on URIs (like it was before) - I wan't to queue, not play.

 

My second issue is that there is very little space for my actual playlists to show when I'm showing the album cover (which I love). The big "Create Playlist" and "Liked Songs" button are totally worthless for me - I can just right click to create a new playlist. 

Screenshot 2021-04-08 at 13.26.44.png

 

Lastly, I kinda miss the Search bar always being visible on top.

 

Best regards,

Andreas

raniaphoenix
Visitor

I absolutely despise the new desktop app. There was nothing wrong with the old one. I am absolutely appalled by this, especially because none of my friends have this update. First of all, it looks horrendous. Second of all, it is non functional. I cannot change the order of playlists anymore. Nor can I see tbe date of when things were added to a playlist, something I essentially RELIED on. It looks so hideous and I cannot stress this enough. I am normally not one to critique so hard on a new launch but this is unacceptable. Take back the launch now and change my spotify back. 

iamtheplauge
Visitor

My only major issue with the new update is that some of the URI functionality with regard to playlists no longer works.

 

I can no longer paste local file URI's into a playlist at all. I realize many people don't bother with this, but this is a HUGE issue for how I use Spotify. Additionally, importing a list of URIs demarcated by a consistent separator, " / " for example, no longer imports anything into a playlist. Both of these worked before the update.

 

URIs are an extremely important part of how I utilize Spotify, and if these previously working functionalities are going away permanently, I will have to find a new music platform. I hope I can get a response for this.

CorneliusQ
Visitor

I like to the new desktop platform. A small but important thing: in the mobile app in the podcasts, there is a feed of all the latest episodes released. Why has this feature not made its way to the desktop or web version? It seems an integral part of the "podcast" experience.

MattSuda
Rock Star 24
Rock Star 24

Thanks for the update Dan!

 

I'm really looking forward to the future update with a list view for discography on the artist pages and being able to see liked songs on the artist pages like in the mobile app. 

Donitsi
Visitor

New UI has many steps in the wrong direction

1. Removal of artist column from playlists makes readability horrible. You just cant see the artist names at a glance anymore. Makes me not want to use spotify.

2. Removal of search bar. Just why would you do that?

3. Hiding of "made for you" lists behind some useless junk

4. Hiding the songs of an album from artist view adds completely unnecessary clicks and makes it harder to browse artists discography.

 

 

Donitsi
Visitor

New UI has many steps in the wrong direction

1. Removal of artist column from playlists makes readability horrible. You just cant see the artist names at a glance anymore. Makes me not want to use spotify.

2. Removal of search bar. Just why would you do that?

3. Hiding of "made for you" lists behind some useless junk

4. Hiding the songs of an album from artist view adds completely unnecessary clicks and makes it harder to browse artists discography.

 

 

kvoe
Visitor

I have happily been using spotify just about every day for the past 7+ years but this update is so bad I may have to finally get rid of it and say goodbye to my 100+ playlists.  The desktop app was never perfect but it worked perfectly fine for all these years.  Everything about this update is really bad.  One of the biggest disappointments is there no longer being a "Discovered on" section in the about section of an artist.  I found a lot of great stuff from that.  

Starboy1
Newbie

Please bring back the search field in the top bar and the separate sortable artists column. These are two items I used most frequent in the previous version. I also miss the "First Heard on" section with playlists in the artists profile.

Jendon
Regular

Just going to throw my voice into the mix too, but who knows if it'll matter:

 

This update is ... not better!

 

Mobile UI and Desktop UI are different for a reason! You tap on mobile phones with a thumb / finger (need more space), and use a mouse / keyboard on desktop applications (don't need more space). Letting the tail (mobile app) wag the dog (desktop app) is puzzlingly tone-deaf, and in my opinion, kind of frustrating. Spacing songs out more to elongate playlists so you have to scroll more to see it all... why?

 

I don't want to see album artwork as I'm scrolling, but being able to quickly sort by artist is extremely useful. Now I have to chose the special sort option instead of just clicking on the column header to sort by artist (and it disappears when I scroll down! *shakes fist in the air!*)? Ahh!

 

Okay, I'm cool, I'm cool.

 

Listen, sure, you want the desktop app to be cooler-looking - cool. Give us the controls for it, though. Don't just make the choice for everyone. See Gmail's option for spacing - compact / comfortable / spaced out. Could something similar be implemented to give users the option to view album artwork while scrolling if they wanted it?

 

Unifying mobile / desktop UI *sounds* like a good idea on paper, but it's taking two different interaction methods and shoehorning them together, which (again just my opinion) doesn't always work.

 

Thanks for your consideration; cheers!

b5mrjkz-_rrnc
Newbie

And it seems you can't play all the songs from an artist in album order anymore. Why? All I managed to do is get a random playlist from the search.

Bun-Bun
Music Fan

Stop changing the desktop app and give us a way to stick to an old version if you feel the need to innovate.

 

Things like decrease density (increasing row height) and moving the artist column to a line under the song title shows you clearly do not understand how to make a desktop UI and any attempts to unify your apps is just going to ruin the experience.

 

Just stop.

 

And why today am I on the old interface? Clearly  it's still there, give me the option to stay on this!

Punky_John
Music Fan

I have just had a bug were my desktop app has a different playlist to my phone.

 

I generally use the Desktop UI to organize playlist, as generally easier, and listen on my phone; a different track started playing than I was expecting which highlighted the issue.

Bun-Bun
Music Fan

"We knew we would have a lot of work to do to bring our Web Player up to those power users’ exacting standards."

 

YOU FAILED!

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