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
brunzzy
Casual Listener

With the new 1.1.56 desktop update I do enjoy the cover art places next to the tracks in the playlist and there is a bit more content that is easier to explore on the home tab.

 

There are a couple things I really miss that were well executed designs previous to the new 1.1.56 desktop update. Including an artists discography view, popularity bars, playlist column formatting, and statically showing heart option. 

 

Discography view

Of all the things, I really miss the list of the artists discography songs. It's hard to find or explore an artists songs. 

 

Popularity bars

The popularity bars are gone in the discography view. I don't necessarily care about how many plays it has (sure it was cool to see it on hover if I really wanted to see). I want to see which ones are popular and which ones people are listening to. I can't EASILY tell the difference when it's just in number format.

 

Playlist column formatting 

The column format is harder to read. Also harder to find songs or artists since they are mashed into the same column now. I spend twice as long trying to find a song or artist. Before it was just a flat row I could scroll through and pick out what I was looking for by song name, artist, or album. Now I have to parse that whole song and artist in my head rather than a dedicated column that is easy to to read straight across than multiple lines. 

Also when you sort by artist it is not as inherent on where the sort is being applied.

 

Take a look at the column formatting when put into a table. Which one is easier to understand?

 

The new view

 TitleAlbumDate AddedTime
Album Pic
Hey Joe
Jimi Hendrix
Are You ExperiencedOct 13, 20203:30
Album Pic
Radar Love
Golden Earring
MoontanOct 14, 20206:27

 

Previous view

TitleArtistAlbumDate added
Hey JoeJimi HendrixAre you Experienced2020-10-13
Radar LoveGolden Earring Moontan2020-10-14

 

 

Heart option is now only visible on hover

Why hide the heart option? Now I have to think where it is at. It's not a natural find and click.

 

Song duration on playlists

Personally I don't care for the new duration column in the playlists. But maybe people wanted that to find a specific song for their timing needs. I liked that it was in the discography view, where the data there felt raw and you got the info on the songs. 

matttsku
Visitor

This new design hurts my eyes. Like, literally. I am getting a headache staring at this new design.

And this is after playing around with it, not just an initial reaction, but in seriousness I am unable to look at the desktop app for longer than a moment.

 

There are too many elements, and some of the elements don't really play well together. The left column with the list of your playlists, which is white text on pitch black surface seems like it is from a different universe (that universe is the past app design) than the right side (aka the 'mobile cool', but not all functional) that has a soft black background with tones melting from the header pictures. I find especially the very dark grey, near black, boxes between an album art and the black background on artist pages very uneasy to the eye. They serve no purpose, it just creates unnecessary background noise.

 

It is important to notice that these features that do not work are not a part of the visual appearance of the mobile app, where we have just soft tones and no extra black boxes around albums. The smoothness of the mobile visual design is not transferred to the desktop with this update, but it is just added on some patches, creating an uneasy mess.

 

As someone in this thread smartly pointed out Spotify is like a database. And with so much information you really need to mind how many elements you can comfortably fit in the visual layer on top of it before what you have created is simply chaos. If not chaotic, this updated desktop appearance is extremely miscellaneous.

 

Some of the visual choices made do not seem justified. I understand the wish to streamline the mobile and desktop experiences where appropriate, but it is just bad design to not take into account what functions for the display and usage properties of the device you’re designing for. It seems to me that the current visual appearance is a mitch-match of compromises, of the past and the mobile designs and is built on quick fixes instead of designing for the desktop specifically. This has led to the users missing on a coherent visual desktop experience that would support and enhance the listening, playlist creating and skimming artists' discographies, using the app basically.

 

____

And this is just to leave a comment on the visual execution of this update. Many have left extremely insightful and in-depth comments about the issues of functionality of this update. I notice some of the issues brought up on the first pages have been fixed by now. I hope that the visual execution will be reconsidered too and given the resources needed to build a functioning outlook for a desktop application (it requires more than moving visuals from a mobile app and quick fixing the rest as you go).

 

EsWi
Visitor

I have been reading up on the engineering post, but I am not impressed (and still  tad enraged so bare with me).
If this is the way to do damage control on recent issues you are doing a bad job.


Let us ‘evaluate’ your self-called success shall we.

 

2. unification.
"...Thus, having one set of components that service multiple clients ensures that we can implement designs more thoroughly, thereby improving our users’ experiences."

Well OK, so if this is needed technically, fine but then you had to make sure to investigate the needs of all of your users before rolling out the update. You did investigate but never listened, neither implemented the user needed options.

 

"The result is a more consistent experience when users switch between mobile and desktop, as well as a more modern, contemporary, accessible, and user-oriented experience for everyone."

Well, yes you did make 'desktop' more 'mobile' and ruining the whole desktop user experience with it. It is simply not-user-oriented by taking away a lot of options people actually use!

3. Speed
“The architecture we chose had unexpected benefits in terms of making UI coding simpler and easier to understand as developers, and so we are hopeful this platform is going to be a solid foundation for us to build on in the years to come.”


Great, so why are your developers not able to maintain a solid ‘power user’ experience on desktop if this was so easy?

4. Satisfaction: Meeting Desktop and Web Player user needs
“The new experience has been developed with Spotify users in mind — both existing Desktop power users, and new users coming from the mobile app or completely new to the Spotify ecosystem”.


I am not sure which ‘mind’ was at work here, but it clearly did not involve your current paying users.


“From the very beginning, we’ve been evaluating and testing our progress at each step to make sure we deliver an experience that fulfils our users’ needs.”

 

How are you able to state this when this is clearly NOT the case.
No, you did NOT deliver that which full fills the user’s needs, you probably got the wrong reports or something but reading this topic alone should make clear this is NOT the case.

“We are looking closely at the feedback received and are continuously shaping the application to satisfy users’ needs. The new architecture lets us move faster, and users can expect the client to evolve more quickly than ever before.”


So, to sum it up, you made the decision to toll out a mobile version to the ‘power-users’, with a few tweaks to keep them on the brink of stopping paying for your services and now you are going to post react and bring back certain options? That is one of the worst managers speak design idea’s ever.
How can you even come to such a decision in the first place.

 

What does all this mean for you as a user?
“As a music listener using the Spotify Desktop client or Web Player, we hope it feels like a fresh new experience, but with all the features you use and love still there.”

Who wrote this article? Seriously, the person who wrote this article clearly does not understand the changes made to the desktop environment. No, the options we all loved are gone, taken away, and now we got to beg for them to come back if they are ever. Come on…

“The launch of the new Desktop, for us, is not the end. It’s just a new beginning for the app that started everything here at Spotify.”
Great, so this started everything… but breaking it down simply because people will throw their money at you every month anyways is not the issue here. It is baffling to read this and the see how bad Spotify is in recognizing the needs of their users and their needs.


I just can't continue reading this and not shaking my head in disgust over how you are treating you loyal paying customers. It's awfull, all I can say. I hope for improvement in a week or so but if it's not yet fixed I will cancel my ongoing subscription until resolved or Spotify gets their heads out of their backsides and DO start meeting user requirements. With the new and improved system in place cooking up a working power user enviroment shouldnt take that long as the engineers state in their post.

daddsy
Casual Listener

Glad to see the discography lists are expected to return - shame these were removed as it's made the interface a lot less useable.

 

It generally feels less user friendly, although I'm sure I'll get used to most things, but if it's possible to arrange song title/artist/album in playlists a bit better that would be nice - it feels wrong at the minute and when I want to see more by an artist I keep clicking album title instead.

zenubio
Composer

PLEASE restore the ability to "Like" a song in full screen mode as well as add it to another playlist!

zusman12
Visitor

removing the artist column and forcing it under the name of the song is frustrating. This causes accidental clicks on the artist's name instead of on the song.

hpmagui
Newbie

With the new version of the application, it is no longer possible to filter the playlists when you want to add a title to an already created playlist (right click, add to playlist).


So, when you have several hundred playlists, it is impossible to add a title, because you will not browse all the names to find the right one....

With the old version, there was no filter field displayed, but it was enough to type the first letters of the playlist in order to filter the drop-down list directly.

 

It's a big regression....

JT298
Newbie

Seriously, what madness made you remove the artist filtering as standard, and what made you prioritze album and duration over date added? I absolutely do not care at all about the album name or the track duration in the main view. I want to filter by artist name and date added - that is it. Please, as someone who's invested years of subs and curation in your app, please don't make it less user-friendly to me.

BigDoggeTom
Regular

The update is alright, but it's far too concise. It's now an extra click to navigate anywhere, such as your library items, radio, individual artist's songs, etc. This was one of the reasons I joined Spotify instead of staying with YouTube Music (though at least Spotify loads quickly, so there's no waiting in between each of the many button clicks)

 

The biggest problem is the removal of the old radio. Playlist radios suck, but at least I could still drag a song to it and get a different set of songs each time. Now every I'm stuck with playlist radios that are consistently the same each time

st0rmtrooperx
Casual Listener

Just saw the new desktop update and this seems like a step backwards in a lot of ways. I've only used it for maybe a half hour and I'm hating it. I'm going to agree with a lot of people here, this is BAD.

  • We need the artist column back. Having it in the same column as the song name makes it a lot harder to identify who the song is by, it's very cluttered. The change makes sense for mobile view but for desktop it's unnecessary. There is now a lot of empty whitespace that could be used for an artist column. I don't care about album or duration columns as much as I do as the artist and date added columns. Bring the artist column back please.
  • I read the comment about bringing a list discography back. PLEASE DO THAT! I like going to an artist's page and seeing all their albums and singles in order and being able to scroll through all the songs on each album, this helps discovering new music by the artists much easier. Your new discography view isn't even in order on the artist's page unless you click "See All" and then I still have to click on an album again from that view to see the songs. So many clicks compared to the old view. Just bring back the old artist page view!! This change is a step in the complete wrong direction.
  • Search bar needs to go back to the top! Having an extra click to get to the search makes no sense. 
ninotztan
Newbie

The new update broke spotify for me. I'm on Windows 10, using spotify for the desktop, and am experiencing the following problems:

  • Songs more often than not won't load. I get a message saying, "Spotify can't play this right now. If you have the file on your computer, you can import it." I know that my internet works well enough to play songs since I always would before the update
  • Playlists, more specifically the release radar and discover weekly, won't load. They take a long time, then I guess the connection times out and just says that it couldn't find the playlist
  • When those playlists do load, they are often not complete. The banner says that it is 30 songs long, and give a time significantly less than expected for 30 songs. Actually looking at the songs in the playlist shows that there are only 5 or so songs
  • These problems persist after closing and reopening spotify, reopening spotify after restarting the computer, uninstalling and reinstalling, and reinstalling after restarting my computer.

I also used to play around with the host file in the past, so I figured that maybe I still have something there that is messing with spotify right now, but when I went to check, the host file was empty.

spokify
Regular

@Dan one more thing that I've noticed that I forgot to mention. If I'm in a playlist and search for a title, and then I click on an empty area of the row of the song I found to highlight it -- when i click the X to close the search, the desktop app no longer maintains my selection, nor does it automatically move to that song's position in the playlist like it did before. Thx

gv3music
Visitor

Eu odiei essa nova atualização. Façam o favor de voltar com as opções de copiar e colar múltiplas músicas de uma só vez em uma playlist. Fora que esse novo design é extremamente grotesco, tudo muito grande. Não era pra ter alterado algo que funcionava perfeitamente, era só deixar como estava...

I hated this new update. Please come back with the options to copy and paste multiple songs at once into a playlist. Besides that this new design is extremely grotesque, everything is very big. It wasn't supposed to change something that worked perfectly, just leave it as it was ...

Hidduh
Gig Goer

Bring back the artist column and the discography.

danwcx
Newbie

The ability to Disable the Media Overlay that appears when I use the media keys has disappeared from my client. I think the media overlay is a very poorly-designed feature. It blocks a significant portion of my screen for several seconds at a time, and moving my mouse over it resets the countdown. It loudly broadcasts what music I'm listening to to the other members of my shared office (heaven forbid an explicit album cover appears), and it really offers no functionality I couldn't get by just Alt+Tabbing to the Spotify window. The fact that I cannot disable this awful feature anymore is strongly making me consider leaving for a different streaming service.

Lazy_Vibes
Casual Listener

I keep discovering more bad coding in this new update.

When I move a track in my playlist using the Win10 desktop app, and I check on the browser web player, some tracks do not move. Or some tracks move to a completely different location then where I had them on the desktop app.

 

This is so frustrating. A simple thing like ordering tracks in the way UI like, does not work.

Please give us back the old version.

COMIZONE
Visitor

I was on the new update and it downgraded to its old version for no reason. I was actually enjoying the new UI. Bit weird.

cbowe66
Visitor

From all the comments I'm seeing, these are probably the top two beefs about the changes (FYI -- it is NOT an upgrade when you make something less easy to use).  

  • PLEASE bring back the search bar at the top of the screen.  It might not seem like a big deal, but there's a lot of extra mouse-moving now.  I use the search feature a lot, and it used to be convenient.  It's a pain to have to mouse left, and then mouse back  over to where the search bar was in the first place.  
  • PLEASE make a separate artist column again; stacking the title and artist makes it more cluttered and harder to read.  It's super easy to sort by clicking on column headers, but deleting the artist column has forced you to create a drop-down sort feature so we can still sort by artist. 

Also, I do not care whether the desktop version looks exactly like the mobile app or not.  Making the desktop version less easy to use so that it is more in line with the mobile app is a bad call.

 

 

 

ware4me
Regular

It looks bad... lyrics font is huge, hope you add a way to resize.

 

At the bottom of custom playlists, I got used to see more recommended songs, now that part is gone. Why do you keep removing good features?

 

Do not get it.

szdåt
Visitor

With this new desktop version, the major disappointment for me is a removal of quick way of adding albums (or any other type of release) as a playlist to a folder. I have a huge library of playlists, sorted by labels, genres, ideas etc and it is sorted as a playlist folders (which, in my case, is the only good way to manage your library of playlists).

Before the update it was possible to grab an album by its "name" and drag it to folder and it would be added to your folder.

And now this function is removed. Now, i need to manually right-click, create playlist (which will has New Playlist name) and then drag album here. And the name wont change, i need to manually rename it with artist-album name.
And when you have like 30 playlist folders and over 3000 playlists and you dig through 50-60 new releases each day, adding it for future playback - this is just insane.

First, when the limit for Library was added and everyone were forced to switch to playlist way of managing library - it was really painful. Now, when you have almost automatic system of quickly managing your playlist library - it gets removed.

For me, this is a hardcore way of making changes.

Shortly, it would be great if you will get this feature back. I dont think that i will try to invent  a bicycle for myself again this time. Especially with no guarantee that anything we will come up with will not be removed again.

Otherwise i don't see any problems with new client (speaking for myself, of course).

Best regards.

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