Re: Desktop Update - Version 1.0.1

Re: Desktop Update - Version 1.0.1

Since we can't reply to the original thread, I'll start a reply here to this:

Why did Spotify bother to rewrite their desktop app and make all these changes?” one of the main reasons was simple: To improve our ability to build new features faster.

I'm not against change, and I understand that sometimes interfaces need to change a little and break some habits.
However, it feels like Spotify has always been changing fairly fast anyway. I've been a paying member for about 4-5 years, and I've seen many versions, often with a little something new, not necessarily with a clear benefit, but equally often with the loss of some feature I was using.

  • Spotify Desktop's upgrade process has always been confusing.
    Firstly, you force the upgrades automatically, at different point in time for all your users. There are times when it took weeks for everyone to be using the same client (even after a clean re-installation), so it was difficult to provide precise feedback in the forums and so on, since we're not necessarily all talking about the same version or seeing the problems together. That has contributed to make it feel like a permanent beta version (you don't even need to be part of the beta programme to be given a buggy version before others). Secondly, the overall objective of those changes has never been fully clear.

    There's a couple of easy things you can do to address these first points: (a) provide a clear list of changes (in one single place and updated for every release, not a new thread once in a while), so that we can compare and give you adequate feedback against the correct version number (many of us wouldn't be able to say which version we were running before something got broken); (b) do not force the upgrade automatically, and let us revert to a previous version if necessary. These issues have been requested many times here, but left mainly unanswered.

  • Frequent changes aren't necessarily bad, and I can tolerate a few bugs here and there, but you often seem to give us something new with one hand while the other hand takes away something unrelated. To make your own development process worse, you rarely even recognise what's been taken away as a problem. Many of the features that have been reported as now missing have progressively been filed under "New Ideas" in the forums. It's no wonder you have problems following a clear development path in this case.

  • Some of the way you interpret feedback is somewhat questionable. I'll take this particular example:

    The title was "Change the white interface". The two negative points were: missing Ctrl+F in the (then new) artist page and the reduced space for the track name in the tables on those artist pages. These requests don't actually criticise the colour of the background, but they point out that two very useful features have gone missing since that revamp. (I believe this happened in version 0.8.8, but again, without a clear changelog, I'm not sure...)

    Go forward a year or so, and this "new idea" (again, not really new) was marked as "Implemented", when the whole interface was turned into something super dark. The user was referring to the change of version as the version where the interface became white; yet this was misinterpreted as some form of endorsement for that mandatory extremely dark look (which some of us find much harder to read). To this day, Ctrl+F hasn't made it back into the artist pages, instead it has gone away completely.

    Even the "Close Button Closes Spotify" thread you quote isn't as clear cut in favour of a complete removal if you read the comments in details. Part of this has to do with the fact that the forums voting system only allows for upvotes/kudos, not negative votes, so (a) you have no idea how many people were actually against that idea and (b) when you get a split in votes such as +500 and -460, that doesn't mean the +40 should win, it most certainly means you have have a tick box to choose the behaviour in the preferences, to be able to satisfy an even larger user base.

I'm sure there are good reasons for this 1.0.1 release, but it's obviously far from perfect as it stands (that's a euphemism). All of these problems are exacerbated by the fact we can't downgrade easily. The main thing you can do in the short term is to let us not upgrade, and let us install official older versions. (Even Skype lets us skip upgrades at the very least.)

Then, you'll get more time to fix all the other issues that have been reported with this rewritten version.


Please, focus on the core features first: what prevents the application from working comfortably, suc as playing music, not being able to search quickly, RAM and CPU usage that has gone out of control (I'd almost include basic readability with this extreme contrast here). Then look at the friends feed and whatever you've absorbed from various apps. Some of these additional features can be good, and many of us appreciate these enhancements, but get the basics right first.

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