A followup post from when I posted approx 3 weeks ago... 1) Spotify will NOT respond to these community posts. 2) I tried the solution posted earlier in some of the threads and it WORKED for me. I just followed the instructions (relatively easy), and started up spotify again, and in less than a minute everything appeared and I was able to start a song! This is how it used to be! 3) so clearly there is an issue with the cache (or other preference) that effects the speed at startup. (My cache was previously around 4GB). I adjusted the pref's file (as indicated in the post to max 1GB) and I hope I'll see a continued decent startup speed. I'll continue to monitor this solution and will see if the cache is the main culprit. I'll try to remember to post a followup in a few weeks. Until then, I strongly encourage you to follow these steps (and save it as a PDF if you can in case the original poster takes down the link!).