I was also having the dreaded error message or having the app zip through an entire album without playing anything. None of the suggestions worked.
- Deleting the local-files.bnk file in Roaming? Nope
- Running the Spotify app as Admin? Nope and this is a huge security issue
- Uninstall/reinstall with either the downloaded Spotify installer from Spotify OR the Windows Store version? Nope
But I found something else. I am running two separate USB DACs on my Win10 PC (excessive, I know). And both have their advanced settings set to the highest bit rate possible. Other music apps and services (e.g. Qobuz) allow me to resample the streams to the DAC's highest levels (one is 24bit/352800Hz and the other is 32bit/192000Hz), but the Spotify app won't play its streams unless I dropped the sample rate to 192000Hz or lower.
Solution: The Spotify app would not let me upsample the stream through my DACs unless my Windows Audio settings had its sample rate set to 192000Hz or lower.
The bit rate (24bit or 32bit) did not make a difference but changing the sample rate did.
If you don't have any external DAC's or fancy soundcards, this probably won't help you. But if you suspect you do, try this to test:
Note: Do this at your own risk. I am not liable for anything you do to your equipment or the results that may happen. Use caution if you're not sure what to do - which means don't touch anything.
1. Go to Windows Settings (Win10) or >> System >> Sound (or Control Panel >> Sound)
2. In the "Output" area, you'll see your Output Device set to something in a dropdown box - don't change this. Below that is a link that says "Device properties" - click that.
3. In the "Device properties" section, scroll down until you see a link for "Additional device properties" - click that and another window opens.
4. In this new popup, click on the "Advanced" tab.
5. In the "Default Format" section, *WRITE DOWN THIS SETTING* before changing anything. Take a screenshot of this popup window in case you need to roll back and restore this original setting.
6. In the dropdown box, select a lower value to test with - 24bit/44100Hz (CD quality) would be a safe setting since Windows should play CD's without issues (it did for me). Click Apply and note down any warnings, then click OK.
7. Keep the other Settings windows open and switch to the Spotify app. Close the Spotify app and reopen it and try to play a song. If this works, you will have to test which sample rate is the highest setting that the Spotify app will allow resampling and playback from. For me, it was 192000Hz - anything higher would prevent the Spotify app from playing, even though I have hardware that can play higher.
Note #2: If you have any playback issues, change your audio settings back to the original settings that you wrote down in Step #5 above.
I hope this makes sense and works for you. Either way, Spotify's developers need to add some functionality that will AT LEAST display a warning if a user has sample rates higher than what the app will allow. I say this because Qobuz and Tidal (Spotify's competitors) allow their apps to stream without issues if the Win10 user has a high sample rate. Spotify doesn't - so fix your app.