Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music feature and Stars (and Spotify overall)

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Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music feature and Stars (and Spotify overall)

jimeh
Music Fan

Update 2: I found the root cause of the issues I've been having, and reported it properly here: http://community.spotify.com/t5/Help-Desktop-Linux-Mac-and/Bug-Report-Your-Music-doesn-t-sync-correc...

 

Update: I have dug further and found primarly one specific bug (#1 below) that's behind most of the issues with Your Music. So here's a new a revised request list of issues/fixes:

 

  1. Adding songs/albums to Your Music does not correctly update SongsAlbums, and Artists sections. The intended purpose behind Your Music seems to be that adding a single song to Your Music makes it show in Songs, it's album showing in Albums, and it's artist showing in Artists. That is currently not true 90-95% of the time.
  2. It is not possible to add songs/albums from local files that are not in Spotify's database, like this one for example: Time's End: Majora's Mask Remixed by Theophany
  3. Replace the + button next to each song with the old Star icon and add a "Add to My Music" contextual menu item for songs. The "Save" button on albums can stay as it's quite useful. A music library is not the same thing as your few specific favorite songs. 

 

To get technical about #1: There seems to be two internal lists that make up Your Music, one for songs, and one for albums. The Artists section is derived from the albums list, as saving an Album always adds the artist too. The idea would be that these two lists are always kept in sync when a song/album is added to your library, but this currently fails. Hence adding an album doesn't always add it's songs to the Songs section, and adding a song rarely adds it's album and artist to the Albums and Artists sections.

 

In my testing, saving in album adds all songs from the album to Songs about 90% of the time. While adding a song adds the album and artist to the Albums and Artists sections about 2% of time when clicking on the + button next to songs. If you drag-n-drop the song(s) onto the Songs section, it never updates the Albums/Artists sections.

 

Fixing the above bullet points will in my opinion solve 95% of the issues with Your Music. As it ensures Your Music is a singular storage of your actual music, including songs/albums from local files that Spotify aren't aware of.

 

Personally I had until now simply created playlists from albums and playlist folders to try to build a "Library".

 


Origianl post:

 

I'm not fully sure what the new Your Music feature is trying to acheive. It feels like a bit of a split brain feature not knowing what it's trying to acheive as it's very functionality is inconsistent and confusing. And has also butchered the Starring feature in the process.

 

Here's my theories on the potential  things it was originally intended to do, and why it fails at each of them. Which one is closest to the actually original intended purposes is anyone's guess it seems.

 

 

Theory 1: 

 

Funcioning as completely separate "favorite" lists for SongsAlbums, and Artists. Meaning adding a song to the Songs list, does not add it to the Albums list. Adding an album to the Albums list, does not add it's songs to the Songs list. Nor does the Artists list effect the Albums or Songs lists, or vise-versa.

 

Why it fails:

  • Saving an album to the Albums list DOES add it's songs to the Songs list about half of the time. For some albums it does, and for others it doesn't.
  • On rare occasions when adding a song to the Songs list, it's album and artist does get added to the Albums and Artists lists too. It's rare, but I've had it happen for a couple of songs.

 

Theory 2: 

 

Functioning as a Library/Collection feature, similar to how you'd have a set of locally stored songs in iTunes or other music players, effectively this collection is ALL "Your Music", and the SongsAlbums, and Artists lists should effectively be different views of that collection. This means that the Songs list is the definitive list of what goes into your collection, and the Albums and Artists lists are just an alternative view of all your songs.

 

Why it fails:

  • Adding a songs to Songs doesn't make it's album and artist appear in their respective lists, except on rare occasions as mentioned earlier.
  • Saving an album always makes it's artist appear in the Artist list. So here it seems to following the Library/Collection philosophy at least, but since it's only in this one case, it overall fails.

 

Theory 3: 

 

An attempt at replacing the Starred songs feature/playlist.

 

Why it fails:

  • You can not add any local files from artists/albums Spotify doesn't know of. For example I have this album added to Spotify via the Local Files feature. But the album nor any of the songs can be saved to "Your Music".
  • You can not mark the Songs, Albums, or Artists lists as "Make available offline".
  • You can not start a radio station based on the Songs list.
  • It's called "Your Music", not "Your Favorite Music". I might be alone in this, but I like to keep a long list of songs from various artists/albums, which overall are good, but I wouldn't classify all of as "Favorites". This is what I would consider as part of "My Music", a bunch of great, good and even maybe some less good songs. The new "Your Music" does not enable anything like that.

 

Current State of The Starred Playlist:

 

Horrible. To use one word. Replacing the starring feature on each song with the + symbol to add it to Your Music makes the Starred playlist horrible. You can't tell if the song is already starred or not, so you'll probably add it to the Starred playlist again, creating a duplicate entry. Which leads me onto missing features like "Show Duplicates" for example.

 

My Suggested Solution:

 

  • Revert the Star feature to working just like it did, complete with the star next to each song, everywhere.
  • Replace SongsAlbums, and Artists lists with a single list/item called "Library" or something similar. Within the Library view there are "Songs", "Albums", and "Artists" tabs as alternative ways to view your "Library".
  • Add a contextual/right-click menu item called "Add to my Library" to all songs, and as a button for Albums.
  • Adding a song to the Library, will make it show under the Songs view, and it's album and artist show under their respective views too within the Library.
  • All local files should be part of the Library.
  • And potentially, enable making the whole Library available offline.

 

Bonus Features:

 

Not vital to fixing the mess that is Your Music, but a few other things I'd darn love to see in Spotify.

 

  • Add a "Show Duplicates" feature for playlists, showing all non-unique songs. Preferably basing song uniqness on "[ARTIST_NAME]:[SONG_NAME]".
  • Show a OK/Cancel warning dialog when attempting to add a song that's already in the target playlist. Include a "don't show this warning again checkbox" to make the masses happy.
  • Add a artist/album browser/list/sidebar/something that can be shown/hidden within each playlist. Potentially do it in a similar way to the above mentioned Library view. Potentially do something similar to what iTunes does (example).
  • Add back the Album Cover view for playlists, which was removed about a year ago.

 

Final note:

 

Overall Spotify is a great service. But it's various apps and interfaces does leave things to be desired. And a few things seriously worry me, like the removal of the Album Cover feature. Acknowledgements of people wantings album/artist browsers withing playlists in the Ideas forum, but years later no sign of such features.

 

This latest "feature" of Your Music just makes me worry even more. It doesn't function in a consistent or expected way and overall feels like a **bleep**ty alpha/beta product with lots of bugs, and it almost kills the Starring feature. It makes me almost want to go back to just using iTunes and finding some decent way to sync my music to my Android phone.

 

And additionally, it makes seriously think about if I should put some research into the technical possibility of building my own Spotify desktop app that works the way I want it to. That would obviously depend on API availability (official/unofficial doesn't matter, as long as it works). If for nothing else, it might at least get Spotify's attention and take some of the ideas on board.

 

 

Update: I've submitted a summery of my suggestions as an idea in the Idea forum/section as it might get more attention there: http://community.spotify.com/t5/Spotify-Ideas/Fix-the-Your-Music-catastrophe/idi-p/739291

11 Replies

Re: Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music feature and Stars (and Spotify overall)

monster71
Regular

Qobuz does favourites perfectly.

 

Favourites Icon with tabs for Favourite Albums, Favourite Songs and Favourite Artists.

 

Simple.

 

It even has custom tabs feature.

 

Why does Spotify find this task so difficult to impliment?

Re: Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music and Stars (and Spotify overall)

Rollo_
Roadie

Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

 

I see Songs as an enhancement of the Starred list, with some built in filtering.  However, when some artists have multiple listings, and there are some with as many as four in my Artists list, it actually removes rather than adds to the functionality.  Great idea, really poor implementation. 

 

There are a number of threads expressing your observations.

Re: Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music and Stars (and Spotify overall)

Tetsuo6995
Roadie

Your Music is TERRIBLE.

 

The more I think the more I'm wondering what they were thinking when they deployed this.

 

I just don't get it. The fact that the "Star" was all together removed and replace by the "+" means that MyMusic is supposed to replace the "Star" feature.

 

But it's the MOST terrible replacement possible. Impossible to maintain. The most excruciating pain is when you notice that "saving" an album to your library instantly adds all tracks to "Songs". This shows how clueless the designer is about the way Spotify is currently used.

 

Again, and again we will all repeat that a "Favorite album" is different than adding to Favorites all songs separately.

 

I don't think you noticed too but exporting your Starred playlist to "Songs" makes you lose its "order". You lose the timestamp value of tracks and the result is a randomized version of your starred playlist. Then you go to the Album tab and it's HORRIBLE, every single album included in the Starred playlist is displayed. How is that of any help ? Is it really worth having an album cover displayed for every single song ?

 

The more I try to use MyMusic the more I'm infuriated...

 

MyMusic is the "forced" replacement of Starred playlist, and it's TERRIBLE at it.

 

Anyway I did a similar post this morning... and came to similar conclusions... 

Re: Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music and Stars (and Spotify overall)

jimeh
Music Fan

Your point about having "Favorite Albums" separate from favorite/starred songs is interesting. Personally I'd solve that by simply adding the whole album to my "Library". Or in the iTunes days, I simply added the whole album, and rated the songs I liked. The different here being that Starred songs are not automatically added to your Library

 

Hence I think having a simple Library feature, to where both individual songs, and whole albums can be added is a simpler more predictable solution. Also, Library should NOT automatically include any songs from your playlists, it's specifically for stuff you manually add to your library. At least that's my opinion.

 

And here's hoping Spotify don't ignore this and just power on making it worse and worse, cause I've seen a number of big complaints to changes the past year or so without any sign of willingness to fix/add/acknowledge it.

Re: Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music and Stars (and Spotify overall)

Tetsuo6995
Roadie

@jimeh wrote:

Your point about having "Favorite Albums" separate from favorite/starred songs is interesting. Personally I'd solve that by simply adding the whole album to my "Library". Or in the iTunes days, I simply added the whole album, and rated the songs I liked. The different here being that Starred songs are not automatically added to your Library

 

Hence I think having a simple Library feature, to where both individual songs, and whole albums can be added is a simpler more predictable solution. Also, Library should NOT automatically include any songs from your playlists, it's specifically for stuff you manually add to your library. At least that's my opinion.

 

And here's hoping Spotify don't ignore this and just power on making it worse and worse, cause I've seen a number of big complaints to changes the past year or so without any sign of willingness to fix/add/acknowledge it.


 

1\ This is where I'm doomed. For me the starred playlist was kind of the "Latest top of of the top disocveries". Only the very best song I could find other Spotify. Unrelated songs, various genres, various styles, but the top of the top for me.

On the other hand, I like to store some albums that I just like as a whole. That doesn't mean I would have "Starred" all songs of this album. As you stated, some songs are better than others (doable with the rating system in Itunes indeed). If I do as you tell that means that the full album content will be shoved in my library and as a result in the "Songs" playlist. This is what is a nightmare for me. The Starred playlist and library are two very different tools for me. And here it seems Spotify is pushing me to use the library as my new Starred playlist. And that is very irritating...

 

2\ I agree that all playlists should remain untouched that's for sure. At least not until Spotify has cleared up a bit this "situation". What I don't understand is what part of the content of your playlists would you like to see in your library ? All of it ? Only the best of your playlists ? Nothing ? What content deserves more to have an "album view" than other ? Wouldn't you be bothered to see the content of one playlist mixed up with the content of another playlist ? What use would that be to you ?

I mean My Music is excellent at displaying information but is also merging everything into one single "virtual playlist". So it's BY DESIGN very different to the Starred approach I used for years.

 

3\ I don't want to dramatize but I don't think we will be heard at all. I rarely see any staff here :/

And I still don't understand how this could have passed the beta stage. I'm SURE that other users are in the same position as me. Puzzled as to how they should use this brand new Library with 100+ playlists that we accumulated for years and especially how to "recycle" their Starred playlist.

 

You have only one library, so either :

 

A - You decide to put all your music in it (content of all playlists). In that case it's a bit clutered but at least you can easily search by album and artist in your playlists. There is some added value in that case. But then what does replace the "Starred" playlist and it's position as a container for the "very best content" ?

 

B - You use it as your new "Starred" playlist. The fact that the "+" symbol replaced te Star means that you somehow should do so. But if you do, you are doomed by the fact that saving an album will pour it's content in a playlist intended for only the very best of.

 

Sure I can still manually add songs to the Starred playlist but it just made the process more annoying to do. I liked the fact that I could just listen to some radio in the background and just click on the Star when a song sticks out of the rest and is especially good. That era is other as of now. 

Re: Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music and Stars (and Spotify overall)

SubzeroSC
Roadie
  • And potentially, enable making the whole Library available offline.

This. It really is strange to me that it is not possible, makes the hole point of available offline useless for me as I want my "library" which was the starred playlist to be available on my devices. Now I need to double add a song for it to become available offline and in the "Your Misuc".

If you like using the "Your Music" feature have in mind that you are LIMITED to 10 000 tracks. If you want this to be fixed vote for this post

Re: Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music feature and Stars (and Spotify overall)

Tetsuo6995
Roadie

Here is a copy/paste of my most definitive answer to the My Music nightmare. With suggestions and diagrams...

 

Ok.

 

Here is why I think the new "Your Music" feature is crippling Spotify if it's replacing the Starred playlist:

 

It doesn't work the same way

 

I use the Starred playlist to store easily in one click any song I found exceptionally good. That means it's very random and mostly consist of a few songs from each artist I'm fond of. 400 tracks unrelated but that all shares one thing, I like them a lot.

The thing is, if I like an album, I usually saved it as a playlist which was by design not a really good way to store it obviously. Now we are supposed to use the "Save" button and voila. But this is completly different of the way I handled the content of my starred playlist. If I save an album in my library (Your Music) all its songs will be added to what was before my "Starred playlist". As my Starred playlist was only the very best of some random albums, it simply defeats it's purpose. I mean, I may want to save an album and yet not "Star" all its songs. That's the first very irritating thing with My Music. It wants to replace the Starred playlist, but by allowing full albums to be shoved in, it defeats its original purpose. Collecting individual songs. And NOT full albums. 

 

---> Solution: Call it "My favorite Music" and make each tab independant. Songs are the equivalent of the "starred playlist". Albums are only the albums you "Starred", typically the albums you would have usually inserted in a playlist of it's own. And finally the artist tab is only the artists you Followed or all the artist in the "Songs" library.

 

You will lose your history

 

Spotify wants you to switch to "My Music" and pushes it as a replacement for the Starred playlist. Yet they don't provide any way to do it cleanly. You can drag and drop the content to "Songs" from the starred playlist, but that will randomize the track order and you will lose that "timestamp" value linked to all tracks. Unfortunately when you drag and drop, the content is randomized when added to the library. Too bad. It was handy to find the tracks I favorited last week. Now I can't do so with the Songs feature.

 

---> Solution: Provide a tool or something to migrate decently the content of "Starred" to your "Songs" library. Including the date it was added at first or at the very least preserve the order.

 

You can't offline it

 

Too bad, you can't access it offline contrary to the "Starred playlist". So it's suppose to replace that good old Starred playlist, but you can't sync it offline. How on earth could this pass the beta test stage is a mystery. None of the beta tester wanted to listen to his favorites song offline ? 

 

---> Solution: Simply let us sync it offline like the playlist it's suppose to replace !

 

You can't share it

 

Too bad you can't follow others people "Songs" library. So if they actively switch to Songs from "Starred" that essentially mean you made all Starred playlist private by default from now on. We won't get that sweet new tracks our friends just found on Spotify.

 

---> Solution: Give an option to access people libraries. Otherwise tell us why after years of public Starred playlist we should make that content private by default.

 

-----------------

 

Conclusion:

 


Ideally, My Music shouldn't be a separate "container" for song. It should be a "display style". I mean if you coded something that lets you display the content of your library, why can't we do the same to all our playlists ?

All our playlist should have an Album tab and an artist tab. It's just a different viewpoint of the content of a playlist.

 

The starred playlist needs to be transformed/enhanced and not replaced by that awful My Music library.

Rename "Starred" to "My favorites". When you click on that the songs from Starred are displayed just like before. Except now you get two extra tabs. One for favorited albums (doesn't affect the songs tab), one for your favorite artists (followed). Essentially, you just make the Starred playlist some kind of meta playlist that can now handle "Album favorites". The final step is letteing people choose what they wan't to sync offline. You should be able to decide to offline mode your "Favorites songs", or specific Albums in our "My favorites album" tab.

 

THAT would be the elegant and flexible solution we would need.

 

The worst thing is Spotify replaced something that was working rather than simply enhancing it. What was missing was the ability to "Favorite" album. Now you can do so but it will destroy your "Starred" songs playlist. Especially if you use it like me to pick only the very best songs of each artist you like.

 

Here is the diagram of the ideal way to display organize Music in an enhanced Starred Playlist (My favorites):

 

My favorites |> Songs > 'Starred songs/favorite songs'  |

                  |                                                            |> Normal Display mode

                  |                                                            |> Album display mode

                  |                                                            |> Artist display mode

                  |-> Albums > 'favorited album'

                  |-> Artists > Artists currently followed

 

Do note that adding an album to favorites doesn't add its content to the Songs playlist. Keeping the "Starred" concept intact.

 

And a diagram insisting on the fact that "My Music" should be mostly a way to display content. Not a library on its own competing with Starred.

 

Other Playlist1 > Normal Display

                      > Album display mode (what is now in the Album tab of the library)

                      > Artist display mode (what is now in the artist tab of the library

 

Anyway, I would be sad to leave Spotify after 4 years of premium subscription, but if the Starred playlist is downgraded like that for too long. I will export my playlists and simply go to Deezer or another competitor. 

 

Please study these diagrams, I think they would be a great way to organize music, more respectful of the way people were using there playlist. Just adding feature while keeping the system flexible.

 

Re: Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music feature and Stars (and Spotify overall)

janpeeters
Music Fan

I would like to see it work like this…

 

Songs should work like the previous starred playlist. I think a 'star' sign is more clear.

Albums is for full albums (like a bookmark) to save me from adding playlist for each album.

Artists is for the artists I follow.

 

No action in these three should cross influence another. That all songs of an album get added to songs seems ridiculous to me and is really unwanted. To me these three are different entities with different uses.

I've noticed that (only in the desktop client) you can unlink the songs in 'Songs' and remove them without losing the songs in the added albums. They however still show up in Spotify for iOS.

 

I have not seens albums getting added when adding songs like someone else reported in this thread.

 

Some suggestions:

- Spotify could also choose to add Starred as a section of Your Music and make Songs a full overview of all songs in albums, playlists and starred together. The songs list would then become uneditable.

- I would like a big play/shuffle button in each of these three sections.

- I also want my friends to be able to see everything I have in 'Your Music'. This doesn't seem the case at the moment. I can only see playlists in My Profile. Please provide an option to also set Your Music viewable to friends.

 

Thanks for considering.

 

Re: Thoughts/complaints about new Your Music feature and Stars (and Spotify overall)

sparkyhughes89
Casual Listener

My biggest gripe, and one I have noticed that is shared by other spotify users, is the lack of access to an overall music library. A place which shows you every song you have on spotify, including every playlist, starred and local files imported.

 

When I first heard about 'Your Music' I thought this would be solution required - however this appears to be just another playlist, similar to starred,  which has 3 sub playlists sorted by artist, songs and albums and needs to be manually updated.

 

I have dragged and dropped all my playlists into the 'Your Music' collection and, at this exact moment in time, it is everything I would like from my premium music streaming service. HOWEVER, as soon as I start discovering music and adding tracks to playlists, the Your Music collection gets out of sync with my playlists.

 

What I would love spotify to do is to add a button on the top of each playlist (similar to the available offline toggle) which allows a user to have that playlist synced with 'Your Music'. This would allow users to use Your Music in the current form, as a standalone playlist, or for users to use it as an overall music library like those that are available on every other music service.

 

If this minor tweak is included, I am done! I will be a premium user for many many years.

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