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[Your Library] Remove individual track from saved album

I don’t know when this change was made, but today I noticed that when I am looking through my saved music library by album, there are songs I specifically did not save for a reason, whether that be because it is a re-released song from a previous album I already have saved, or a song I just don’t like that I don’t want to play when I’m listening through an album. This change gives us way less control over our own saved music library. Please change it back. 

Updated on 2019-09-18

Hey folks,



 

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



 

We're setting 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
Casual Listener

@Rene01that is far from an ideal solution because you're still sifting through the entire liked songs playlist (a pain if you have a lot of music) and you can't queue up just one album if you play from there - every single song you've liked that's next in the playlist gets added.

 

Buying individual songs and listening to parts of albums has been a thing since the inception of digital music. I don't really see why Spotify has to go messing with that now.

Casual Listener

Hi René,


Your comment makes some sense. However, some changes are certainly needed. With several hundreds or thousands of files, the liked-song playlist is unusable even if filtered by album or anything else really.


Following your comment, I could decide to create one playlist for each album I want to save, leaving out the songs that I don't like. This is obviously not a great solution. First, it would necessitate a lot more work than the current mechanism for saving albums. Second, there is no way to nicely display hundreds of playlists on the desktop client.


Albums, on the other hand, are nicely tiled with an image which makes it relatively easy to find what you are looking for. Removing a few songs from an album is a very convenient way to enjoy an album without the annoying bonus track or remix. Removing a few songs from an album was a simple and intuitive way to customize a "playlist" that was made by the artist or their label.

 

This option could be re-enabled with a simple "play only liked song from albums" toggle in the settings.


Dominik

Regular

I know some people like separating the concept of "whole saved albums" or "followed artist" from "tracks that I liked," but I treat them all the same. I want my "artists" view to be any artist whose track I've lacked, and my "albums" view to be any album with tracks I've liked (but only those tracks). If you want to keep those concepts separate, then give us an artist and album view onto the "liked tracks" collection, and not just the clunky sorting of lists—I want album covers and artist pictures and everything.

Newbie

Some albums that only had 7-8 songs when originally released are unfortunately only available as the „30th anniversary edition“ or something, with 50 more songs consisting of Demo and Mono Single Versions of the same songs, live renditions random songs from other albums etc.

 

Please bring back the ability to save albums only partly and still have them show up under the album tab! The only alternative is saving albums as playlists, which nobody wants to do...

Community Legend

Ok, 

I thougt about how this could be implemented. I subimmted a new idea:

[All Platforms][Your Library] New library improvements to bring back old library experience

 

If you agree, than like the idea.

 

Regards,

René

Visitor

I have a suspicion about the recent systematic changes implemented.  As a social scientist I have to be clear that I'm framing a hypothesis, rather than trying to parlay an opinion or gut feeling into a statement of fact.  Here's what I suspect:

 

- Like all bundled media service businesses, Spotify has a similar challenge to what Netfilx had to solve when it first established its model in the era of mailing DVDs back and forth.  It's called the "long tail distribution" problem, and it's the fundamental reason why recommendation systems exist (i.e.: "People who shopped for this item also shopped for...").  Imagine a graph that showed every available song across the horizontal axis and the measure of popularity on the vertical axis, like this example (source: https://medium.com/@kyasar.mail/recommender-systems-what-long-tail-tells-91680f10a5b2😞

 

long-tail-problem.png

 

- To grow the business, attract new artists, gain rights to more media (that is, expand the supply side of the platform), the platform owners need the demand signal to spread out.  For early Netflix, the driver was the fact that there were only so many physical copies of a given title, so while you waited for the popular one you wanted to be available, they would recommend lesser-known films you might (actually) really enjoy in the meantime until they could ship you a copy of the more popular film.

 

- For Spotify, that means the platform owners need the platform users to stop listening to the same songs, branch out, and try new music.  So if you use Spotify to listen to the same select songs from various albums, and you tend to go right into the "library" screen and ignore the "browse" screens where the platform can push you new content suggestions, your use pattern does not help the platform owners expand the business. 

 

- The difference between the old and new library screens is significant with respect to what software engineers formally refer to as "use cases."  The old one was optimized for the use case of sorting and finding items with varying levels of granularity from among a fairly static collection of items (though you could freely add to that collection at any time, of course).  In the new library screen, you have to "like" an artist to see them show up in the artist list, where the screen can then show you a list of recommended artists.  You can "like" an album if you want it to show up in what used to be a "sort by album" function, but only if you "like" the WHOLE album, and then the screen can show you a list of other recommended albums.  The use case has changed: it's now about pushing the user toward recommendation systems (whose economic function is to spread out demand, which in this case means getting you to stream other pieces of music)

 

- You can like individual songs, and still find the entire list, but you cannot just play the select songs you've curated from albums without manually creating playlists.  I even noted that in the Android Auto screens for Spotify, the "shuffle" button had been promoted to the top level screen of the interface while the "repeat" button had been hidden in a sub-menu of a sub-screen.  I suspect these changes are related to platform owners' incentive structure deviating from the platform users' incentive structure.  It seems many people reacted negatively and even got angry, and I confess I did as well.  Why did we feel anger?  One way to frame that issue is called a "Principal-Agent" problem, and it's basically where an agent has to act on behalf of another person, but the incentives for the agent deviate from the interests of the person the agent is supposed to represent.  In this case Spotify users (particularly paid subscription types) gave up owning digital copies of media themselves to allow the platform (Spotify) to hold the files and stream them on-demand.  The trade was unlimited access to a huge library in exchange for a fixed cost (monthly fee or tolerating advertisements).  There's a great discussion of this point in McAfee and Brynjolfsson's "Machine, Platform, Crowd" book (both MIT professors).

 

- If you used Spotify like a radio, you probably don't care about this recent change to the library feature.  But if you used the platform as a replacement for having to own your curated collection of MP3s, you're experiencing the effects of that Principal-Agent problem.  You, the principal, expected the agent to honor the trade and let you continue to listen to your library on your terms, while the agent saw your pattern of using the platform as unhelpful to its need to grow and expand.  The problem for the platform is that "library curator" customers exist because people use music for a variety of purposes.  For example, I like to listen when I'm writing for hours trying to get through my dissertation, but encountering new music unexpectedly in that setting would be distracting rather than helpful.  (And yes, I know I could create a manual playlist, but no, I don't care to use the software that way.)

 

So with that hypothesis, my prediction is that this series of recent changes is not a technical oversight, and that no requests from users or "up-voted" ideas will cause the platform owners to reverse course from their current direction.  What will ultimately determine the outcome is the ratio of user types: radio-like users who don't mind being pushed suggestions continuously (and don't mind mobile data being used up in the process when they're listening on the go, either) versus users who are more like music library curators who want to control the balance between exploration of new music and enjoyment of a collection of favorites.  If the percentage of users who abandon the platform because of the perceived principal-agent problem is above the financial pain threshold the company leadership can tolerate, there may be a change back to the more familiar library function.  But if the radio-like users vastly outnumber the curators, then there is no business reason that drives that reversal.

 

Personally, I'm more in the curator camp, and while I do like exploring new suggestions, I do also insist on controlling when to go on those explorations.  I don't like anyone redesigning the software interfaces to discourage me from my preferred use cases.  That's WAY beyond the "nudge" (Cass Sunstein and Rich Thaler's concept of using indirect suggestions and rewards to shape societal behavior), and I cannot support that behavior.  Everyone has to make their own decision, but right now I think mine is going to be: literally inventory everything in my Spotify library, drop the platform, and go right back to the older method of buying out MP3s and storing them on a network-attached storage device.  I would legitimately consider returning to Spotify if it were willing to return to supporting the "music curator" use case (that, yes, sorry, predominantly ignores the recommendation system components of the platform).  Thanks for some great years of listening experiences, Spotify; you really did very well for a very long time.

 

-- Mike B, PhD candidate, Tufts University

 

 

 

Visitor

I have a suspicion about the recent systematic changes implemented.  As a social scientist I have to be clear that I'm framing a hypothesis, rather than trying to parlay an opinion or gut feeling into a statement of fact.  Here's what I suspect:

 

- Like all bundled media service businesses, Spotify has a similar challenge to what Netfilx had to solve when it first established its model in the era of mailing DVDs back and forth.  It's called the "long tail distribution" problem, and it's the fundamental reason why recommendation systems exist (i.e.: "People who shopped for this item also shopped for...").  Imagine a graph that showed every available song across the horizontal axis and the measure of popularity on the vertical axis, like this example:

long-tail-problem.png

 

- To grow the business, attract new artists, gain rights to more media (that is, expand the supply side of the platform), the platform owners need the demand signal to spread out.  For early Netflix, the driver was the fact that there were only so many physical copies of a given title, so while you waited for the popular one you wanted to be available, they would recommend lesser-known films you might (actually) really enjoy in the meantime until they could ship you a copy of the more popular film.

 

- For Spotify, that means the platform owners need the platform users to stop listening to the same songs, branch out, and try new music.  So if you use Spotify to listen to the same select songs from various albums, and you tend to go right into the "library" screen and ignore the "browse" screens where the platform can push you new content suggestions, your use pattern does not help the platform owners expand the business. 

 

- The difference between the old and new library screens is significant with respect to what software engineers formally refer to as "use cases."  The old one was optimized for the use case of sorting and finding items with varying levels of granularity from among a fairly static collection of items (though you could freely add to that collection at any time, of course).  In the new library screen, you have to "like" an artist to see them show up in the artist list, where the screen can then show you a list of recommended artists.  You can "like" an album if you want it to show up in what used to be a "sort by album" function, but only if you "like" the WHOLE album, and then the screen can show you a list of other recommended albums.  The use case has changed: it's now about pushing the user toward recommendation systems (whose economic function is to spread out demand, which in this case means getting you to stream other pieces of music)

 

- You can like individual songs, and still find the entire list, but you cannot just play the select songs you've curated from albums without manually creating playlists.  I even noted that in the Android Auto screens for Spotify, the "shuffle" button had been promoted to the top level screen of the interface while the "repeat" button had been hidden in a sub-menu of a sub-screen.  I suspect these changes are related to platform owners' incentive structure deviating from the platform users' incentive structure.  It seems many people reacted negatively and even got angry, and I confess I did as well.  Why did we feel anger?  One way to frame that issue is called a "Principal-Agent" problem, and it's basically where an agent has to act on behalf of another person, but the incentives for the agent deviate from the interests of the person the agent is supposed to represent.  In this case Spotify users (particularly paid subscription types) gave up owning digital copies of media themselves to allow the platform (Spotify) to hold the files and stream them on-demand.  The trade was unlimited access to a huge library in exchange for a fixed cost (monthly fee or tolerating advertisements).  There's a great discussion of this point in McAfee and Brynjolfsson's "Machine, Platform, Crowd" book (both MIT professors).

 

- If you used Spotify like a radio, you probably don't care about this recent change to the library feature.  But if you used the platform as a replacement for having to own your curated collection of MP3s, you're experiencing the effects of that Principal-Agent problem.  You, the principal, expected the agent to honor the trade and let you continue to listen to your library on your terms, while the agent saw your pattern of using the platform as unhelpful to its need to grow and expand.  The problem for the platform is that "library curator" customers exist because people use music for a variety of purposes.  For example, I like to listen when I'm writing for hours trying to get through my dissertation, but encountering new music unexpectedly in that setting would be distracting rather than helpful.  (And yes, I know I could create a manual playlist, but no, I don't care to use the software that way.)

 

So with that hypothesis, my prediction is that this series of recent changes is not a technical oversight, and that no requests from users or "up-voted" ideas will cause the platform owners to reverse course from their current direction.  What will ultimately determine the outcome is the ratio of user types: radio-like users who don't mind being pushed suggestions continuously (and don't mind mobile data being used up in the process when they're listening on the go, either) versus users who are more like music library curators who want to control the balance between exploration of new music and enjoyment of a collection of favorites.  If the percentage of users who abandon the platform because of the perceived principal-agent problem is above the financial pain threshold the company leadership can tolerate, there may be a change back to the more familiar library function.  But if the radio-like users vastly outnumber the curators, then there is no business reason that drives that reversal.

 

Personally, I'm more in the curator camp, and while I do like exploring new suggestions, I do also insist on controlling when to go on those explorations.  I don't like anyone redesigning the software interfaces to discourage me from my preferred use cases.  That's WAY beyond the "nudge" (Cass Sunstein and Rich Thaler's concept of using indirect suggestions and rewards to shape societal behavior), and I cannot support that behavior.  Everyone has to make their own decision, but right now I think mine is going to be: literally inventory everything in my Spotify library, drop the platform, and go right back to the older method of buying out MP3s and storing them on a network-attached storage device.  I would legitimately consider returning to Spotify if it were willing to return to supporting the "music curator" use case (that, yes, sorry, predominantly ignores the recommendation system components of the platform).  Thanks for some great years of listening experiences, Spotify; you really did very well for a very long time.

 

-- Mike B, PhD candidate, Tufts University

 

 

 

Regular

@mike_b1, that makes so much sense! (Best wishes on your Ph.D., btw!) One of the reasons I liked Spotify was their "discover new music" stuff—recommendations on custom playlists and after listening to albums. But yes, I like to do that on my own terms. I've discovered tons of music I never would've found on my own (especially since I listen to a lot of wordless trailer music while writing, which is like its own whole subgenre on Spotify), but I have to be able to filter out songs with words or it's not worth the money to me, because it doesn't fit my listening style (which is definitely curator). I was glad for streaming services back in the day because it replaced my previous habit of illegally torrenting music in college, ha. So I'll probably try another streaming service, but Spotify seems to have the most songs, so it'll be sad.

Community Legend

@mike_b1 

Nice  comment! I'm not sure if I agree with your statement that Spotify want users to listen to new music. I think their goal is to have the most paid users. They will get more users if they like the service and the best service is to give people the music they like. People like to explore new music so it makes sense that they give you the option to listen to new music. But if you, like me, saved all your favored albums to your library, then you can just listen to these albums.

So for me it's about a service to explore new music and you can decide yourself to use it.

Regards,

René

Regular

"Hey, what's the response to our new UI?"

 

"Complete disaster. TONS of angry comments across multiple threads and various social media sites. Users are helping each other manually change back to a previous release just to avoid the new UI until they can switch services. A PhD student even came in with charts just to hypothesize about what we could possibly have been thinking in the first place."

 

Get your **bleep** together, Spotify.