The New Desktop App

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

1,894 Comments
slug_camargo
Music Fan

I appreciate the reasoning behind this update, but it's one thing to use the same codebase for all platforms, and a whole other thing to basically turn the desktop app into the phone one, stripping it of so many usability options and having it display such vast amounts of wasted empty space. Phones are very limited in terms of user interaction and screen real estate, so it makes sense to make the interface as streamlined, clean and simple as possible. PCs, in comparison, have huge screens and a virtually infinite number of ways to interact: keyboard shortcuts, dragging & dropping, multiple selections, column resizing / customization, etc.

 

You have to take advantage of the differences. Not doing so makes it feel like your interface was designed by someone who never had to use it themselves - it's the classic issue of design vs user experience.

 

What we have here at the moment reminds me of what Microsoft did with the universally maligned Windows 8, and that went down so badly they had to roll back a lot of features and bring back stuff from Windows 7; ultimately coming up with Windows 10 as we it know now.

Kevla
Casual Listener

Despite 54 pages worth of complaints, we will still look like the minority to spotify compared to their userbase of millions of people. The only way for us to be heard is to reach out further. Unless we can also get this conversation going on social sites such as facebook and twitter, we have little to no hope of being listened to. 

MattSuda
Rock Star 24
Rock Star 24

Artist page list view is back! WOOOOHOOOOOO! And it has come to the web player for the first time. Desktop app update to be coming soon. (web player usually gets updates first) I like how more advanced the web player is getting at the same time. 

 

However, I don't like that you have to switch between an albums and singles view. There should be a little box you can check for combined view for those that prefer it like in the old desktop app. Having more options is good in this case. Maybe desktop app will show it a little differently than the web player once released. So glad to have this view back. Thank you! 💚

 

Update: I just got the desktop app update too. It looks the same.

 

Artist page list view is back!.png

ZbP
Newbie

@MattSuda Thx for letting us know.

It's nice they made some progress in fixing what they've destroyed, but it is far from 100%.

  • SPOILER, extra click is extra annoying
  • SPOILER, one must manually switch view type, at least it remembers the setting
  • SPOILER, it wont play next album in the lineup automatically
MattSuda
Rock Star 24
Rock Star 24

I just got the desktop app update now as well. In the desktop app you can now see liked songs at the top of artist pages. Thank you for this!

MAL90
Newbie

Glad to see some of the old features will be returning, but it's still such a headache of an interface to use. It's so disappointing when I spend hours in this program daily. Now I have to stop in my tracks and try to remember where to go to access basic stuff, because my saved albums, artists and podcasts are buried out of sight under extra clicks. The fonts and icons are either too big or too small, and make no sense relative to each other. The big coloured cards are a repetitive waste of space and don't help you to find or distinguish anything. The podcast skip forward/skip back buttons are so small and cramped either side of the play button, they're hard to click on and just look like a mistake.


The thing that's currently bugging me the most is the heart icon being moved to the far right side, next to the track length of all places, and hidden unless you hover. One of my simple joys of the app was hitting heart next to the title of a song I love or want to remember for later, or skimming down the tracklist of a well-loved album to heart all my favourites in one go. Being next to the track name in the list view was the most natural place for it - why would you move it almost as far away as it can get?

 

It's such a small and trivial-seeming thing, but it's so indicative of everything that's user-hostile and backwards with this new UI, just making it harder to appreciate and engage with the music in dozens of small ways. I'll keep on using Spotify because I love my music more than I hate the app, which is obviously what Spotify was counting on, but it's such a grim and counterintuitive experience now.

Macedonian
Newbie

GOOD NEWS!
Our folder taxonomies still exist. When you add an item to playlist, you can see them unfold in the same nested structure you had BEFORE the INFERNAL GRID took over. We just can’t move anything around any more because of the INFERNAL GRID that allows no dragging, dropping or folder nesting within our Libraries. 

MESSAGE TO SPOTIFY: DO NOT LOSE YOUR USERS’  FOLDER STRUCTURES AND TAXONOMIES (LIBRARIES) OR SOMEONE WILL DESIGN A BETTER LIBRARY INTERFACE THAN YOURS AND THEY WILL LEAVE! MAKE THEM EDITABLE AGAIN. 
YOU NEED YOUR CURATORS AND LIST MAKERS. GIVE US. THE TOOLS WE NEED.
Once you get your code base consistent, restore full librarian tools to desktop! In fact, invent some new ones! 

MsP68
Casual Listener

The more I interact with this new UI the more I hate it. It's too busy and there's too much information showing now that I just don't need. I don't want the album thumbnails in my playlists. They take up too much room in the lists. I don't want to have to scroll to the bottom of an artist's info page to find out about them. I want that up top. I'm on a Macbook Pro running 11.2 OS. There's no Recently Played list. I don't want to spend time relearning how to use this app. I use Spotify because it's easy and I can see info about what I'm listening to at a glance. But that's no longer true. Whatever is going on at the top of the Home page, it has nothing to do with how I actually listen to Spotify. I used be able to click right on what I wanted there. Now everything is all over the place. Really really disappointed with this one.

Britbrit
Visitor

when i go to "appears on" i cant see the years of the albums .
just one  annoying thing out of so many stupid things that have changed! the more i use it the more annoying it is!

AeroZ
Composer

Liked Local Files doesn't have a heart icon in Liked Songs Playlist and it's not possible to unlike them as well.

tonydefranco
Regular

I have noticed that, for artists with many albums (say, Leonard Bernstein or the Grateful Dead, that the artist's discography is incomplete, showing only up to a certain number and then abruptly cutting off. Please fix so that users may see an artist's complete discography, as we can with the web player!

DragonAbode
Newbie

I appreciate the continued work. But if you actually want community involvment you could make your Forums more accessable seriously it's all to easy for a comment to get lost in ... Fifty-Five Pages on just your latestpdate.
Smooth out the discussion system. (A search system similar to Amazon Product Reviews)
Also I'm trying to exert the effort to get involved. But you should understand that even as along time App user, the idea forum, feels like exactly where good Ideas go to die... Every time I have something I'm trying to do I'll google search it and find a post, years, months, or even weeks old that has already died from too little interaction
It feels like it's not accessible enough for a lot of people to engage with.

Like... 300 Million users... 300-ish forum threads, half of which are dead.
I really do love the effort that is clearly made. I just think...
Whether I'm right or wrong... I'm a long time, more than consistent user... and this represents my impression.
Could you integrate the forum system in your app? Scrollable? Reddit-ish? Who knows. Maybe closer interaction with your user base, will build report between them and your developers.  That PR connection just might help in the coming years when y'all eventually have to put a stop to the coninuous yearly financial losses.

Also Please just let me roll back. I'm not gonna ride an old version into obsoletion. But I'd rather stay where things work. Until y'all finish cleaning up the overlooked aspects. I use the desktop to organize my playlists and right now I can't even switch them from public to private

DragonAbode
Newbie

Okay... That was a bunch of pent up frustration. After browsing the forums a bit more, I realize things do look better than they've ever been. And there is more interaction than it ever seems with my niche issues.
I've still got that problem with setting public/private playlists... but take the rest as the ravings of an exhausted man

 

lukasprvy
Newbie

The drag&drop album to folder function has stopped working. At least for me, this is one of the essential features of this application. I don't see the point of having a folder without the ability to drag content into it. Please return this function back. Thanks

aadenav1
Casual Listener

New Spotify is one big hot Freakin' Mess. Up until this new version of Spotify, it was a very stable platform with very useful editing tools that had been improved over the years. It was very easy and stable moving large blocks of songs up and down in large playlists and editing songs into different spots in playlist. You could move a large block, as many as 500 to 700+ songs, from bottom of a 3000+ song playlist to the top and they'd stay highlighted and every song would be there. Playlists would stay organized. Now it's a giant crapshoot. You never know whats going to happen. When editing, highlighted songs end up un-highlighted, spread out on playlist, ungrouped after trying to move as a group in a playlist, you have to check to see if songs have bounced all over, which is happening frequently, and for some reason that I don't understand, songs that I DIDN'T highlight are now no longer organized within the album/group that I had them with. When editing playlists, the New Spotify is very unstable, crashing back to desktop home page. A lot! This occasionally happened on older Spotify, but not in the last few years. It was a really stable app. Who decided that this who'd be an improvement??? The playlists do not stay organized. Artist names in smaller letters underneath the song names is an irritating change, hard on eyes.  What is with the tiny thumbnails? Thumbnail size is ridiculously small, do you consider that a giant improvement?? This can't have been done by the original group of Spotify designers. Did you think that blowing up the latest Spotify prior to this new update and starting over would be a great idea??? Yes, let's do that.

kriswentzel
Casual Listener

Narrow Playlists feature missing 😞

 

Overall I love it but missing something I used often on prior versions...

 

When you try to add a song to an existing playlist you used to be able to type in a few letters and narrow down your playlists containing them but now you have to scroll looking for the correct playlist.  With several hundred playlists (yes, I have a problem) this makes it VERY challenging.  Would love to see this feature come back!!

 

-Cheers!

pit1288
Music Fan

What exactly is Spotify trying to do? Force a change to show some kind of evolution? Have they ever heard about the phrase IF SOMETHING WORKS, DON'T TOUCH IT?

 

Was people complaining about the previous UI? Were most of the users having a hard time using it? The answer is NO. They have created "solutions" for non-existing problems and now we are left with real problems which they are now re-touching all "on the go" because they know they **bleep** up big time here but still fail to bring the old UI completely like they want us to suffer for it.

 

We requested the view option and now they came up with this???

 

Albums.png

aadenav1
Casual Listener

Half Baked-like the movie

Eqyizo
Casual Listener

Found another problem with the update! EPs are labeled as SINGLES. Err... Single means one song. EP means, what, under 6? They are not the same, and it's very confusing. Apparently people who don't know the basics of music are designing this new music software. Google "define EP." Per Wikipedia:

 

"An extended play record, usually referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single but less than an album or LP record.[1][2][3] Contemporary EPs generally contain four or five tracks"

 

SINGLE means ONE song.

EP means more than one song, less than 6.

Album/LP means more than six songs.

 

This is a standard you are failing to adhere to in your new labeling.

Flanstario1
Composer

Hey @Dan,

 

the favourite colour sheme from the rotation present  in the community spotify when will be on the new desktop app.

 

the colour sheme  in every playlist it would be cool

 

 

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