[Playlists] Ability to link together Tracks in Playlists

Status: Not Right Now

Hi,

 

Wouldn't it be great if you could "pair"/"link"/"lock" or "chain" tracks together in a playlist? Then even if you shuffle-played, certain songs would always play together.

 

mock-up of how linking/pairing a song might work.mock-up of how linking/pairing a song might work.

 

This idea was actually started by @Sartoris in 2012:

 

https://community.spotify.com/t5/Closed-Ideas/Ability-to-link-together-tracks-in-playlists-also-for-...

 

But in 2015 it was closed as not having enough votes. Coincidentally, about the same time, I signed up for Spotify premium.  As I listened to all the songs I've "liked" with shuffle, the one thing that kept coming into my mind was the terrible feeling you get when a song that is meant to follow another is not played.  You get the feeling of being violated; it is a terrible experience.  As I searched for this feature, I saw that idea was marked inactive and decided to open it again.

 

That idea had gotten 138 likes in 2015 and as of January 2020 has gotten another 116 for a total of 255.  There were another 18 ideas then that all linked to the one above (see attached). So I re-submitted this idea in 2015 and since then you wonderful people have given it over 880 votes! Thank you!

 

From the rules, we see that we needed to have over 500 votes to keep the topic alive in monthly discussions (check!). We also see that we need 100 votes per year to keep it alive (check again!). So we're in good shape on that front. Now we have to see what we need to do to get it moving forward from "Not Right Now" to "Under Consideration".

 

Again, from the rules above, Spotify says that they use these criteria:

  • Helping artists.
  • Data and other information we've collected.
  • Information from research testing, focus groups, and surveys.
  • Feedback in the Community and other support channels. (That's us!)
  • Our overall short- and long-term business strategy.

Hmm. Ok. So I would say that playing tracks that are meant to be together really helps the artists because their work is rendered in the correct way that they intended. I'm wondering how many artists are dying inside when their specially arranged songs are cut up because someone shuffled their playlist?

 

I can't speak to Spotify's data and research, focus groups and surveys, or about their business strategy. However, it occurs to me that anything that affects the order of which song plays can affect revenue because Spotify pays someone when a song gets played and they don't pay the same amount of $ for every song... Sure its a tiny fraction of a cent, but it adds up. So my first guess is that Spotify's hesitation to implement this idea is economic. I think we should continue the discussion along these lines to see if we could come up with some kind of consensus on this notion.

 

Letting a song "pair" with another in a playlist would be enough to make a lot of people happy.  Would we be willing to put some $ behind having this feature? Lets say Spotify charged you $0.01 (a cent) everytime you were shuffle playing and the queue hit a linked song and played the one that came after it. Would you be ok with that? If not, what would make it ok? I think answering the economic question is one thing that is keeping this idea from moving forward. @wsmyth commented in May 2019 that he would be willing to spend $1/month for this feature. I would do that too, would you?

 

From the many, many great comments, @WesleyM77 posted in April 2019 a link to a US Patent. There are two patents, actually, [US8214740B2] and [US9396760B2]. Reading through the two patents, it's clear that they cover this idea in many of its possible methods. So apart from the economic impact, Spotify may be prevented by the patent holder from implementing this feature. It has been noted that only one service has this feature, and now this explains it. The patents expire in 2030.

 

So, here we are. We want a feature, someone has successfully patented the feature and so we can't have nice things. Everyone including the patent holders want to make money, so is there a price that Spotify could negotiate with the patent holder and then pass on to the users that would be acceptable to all parties?

 

Spotify, would you look into this and get back to us?

 

Thanks very much!

 

-bogdan

Updated on 2019-05-23

Hey folks,



 

Thanks for coming to the Community, and adding your vote to this idea!



 

We're keeping this idea to 'Not Right Now', as this isn't something we have any immediate plans to implement. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

 

If we do have any new info to share, rest assured we'll check back in here with a new status.

 



Thanks

Comments
SlimMcBrah

Sheesh, here we are in 2017 and no traction for this?  It's surprising given how many music nerds (like me) use Spotify these days.  All the examples above make sense and so do many more!  I listen to mostly rock but plenty of classical as well and this is one of the very reasons I was reluctant to join.  

So, what more will it take?  I've voted and commented and what else?  

UselessMan

Wanted to link Flying Lotus' "MmmHmm ft. Thundercat" with "Do The Astral Plane" as they go on the album but wanted them in a random playlist. Googled to see if Spotify had the fuction to link two tracks but, alas, it doesn't. 😞

 

I strongly support this idea!

 

For now I'll avoid the random function specifically on that playlist, as I prefer to listen sequentially everytime - you know, to avoid the cringe inducing feeling that is listening to the introduction of one song that in the end doesn't play.

Tonyborbony

I'm just going to remain hopeful that this will be implemented one day. There are so many songs that are meant to be played back to back but are listed as separate songs. The most prominent example I have is The Hellion/Electric Eye by Judas Priest. I can't bring myself to add The Hellion to my Playlist because it's just really unnerving to have a different song than Electric Eye playing after it. 

 

This obviously hasn't been the first time that this idea has been suggested, nor is it the last. I wish the devs would pay more attention to little things like this, surely some of them must have noticed this as well. 

lloydian0

All of what everyone else has said, and the specific songs I want to link right now:

The Beatles:

Sgt Pepper/With a Little Help from My Friends

Sgt Pepper Reprise/A Day in the Life

Sun King/Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Through the Bathroom Window

Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End

Dig It/Let It Be

 

The Alan Parsons Project:

Sirius/Eye in the Sky

 

Electric Light Orchestra:

Concerto for a Rainy Day

Prologue/Twilight

 

Queen:

Will Will Rock You/We Are the Champions

 

Pink Floyd:

Another Brick in the Wall Pt 1/The Happiest Days of Our Lives/Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2

 

Alternatively, just make the tracks in question available as singles.

leathamsw

I'm starting to wonder if there might be licensing issues related to doing this.  It seems like it would be such an easy feature to add.  If they haven't done it by now then maybe there are other reasons?  It would be nice if they would respond and tell us if that was the case or if it just needed more backing from users.

 

Does anyone else think this could be the case?

wsmyth
If you remember the old Lou Reed "Rock and Roll Animal" album, the tracks "Intro" and "Sweet Jane" were two tracks.

But now in all music services, it is one track: "Intro/Sweet Jane." You have hit the nail on the head on how to solve this problem.
wsmyth
In a similar thread, they have explained to us that this is indeed a licensing issue.

Apparently the contracts for Apple Music, Google Play, and the other services have been written more recently, and that is why the Spotify contract continues to have this restriction.
lloydian0

I would love to find that thread. I can understand the licensing logic of not allowing a combined track to be created as that could be considered a new creation, but why would licensing be involved with telling software to always play one track after the other? It seems like that would just be a special way of handling playlists.

Magmystour
I think it's just an added code to the program language. iTunes has had it
for years under gapless playback.
wsmyth

My mistake.  That was one of the threads that refer to the problem of downloading 3333 tracks to a device or 10000 tracks in a playlist.

 

Gapless playback does not solve this problem if the list is in random and the tracks are not linked.  Does Apple Music allow tracks to be linked?