Casting connection issues using multiple devices / groups

Spotify has an ongoing casting issue which isn't present with it's direct competitors. I am able to replicate the issue across multiple devices / accounts / networks and see consistent behaviour which I believe attributes to a bug.

 

This is on a OnePlus 3 Android device (not tested iOS). Version 7.1.1, latest version of Spotify. Also tested a Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2016) and a Samsung Galaxy S7. All are up to date with their latest OS and Spotify updates. The app has been removed, multiple accounts tested, and it can also be replicated on another network.

 

To explain the issue / scenario:

 

I want to cast to my Google Home downstairs, so I click on 'devices available', the list comes up. I select 'living room'. It connects and successfully casts.

 

The problem starts when you wish to change the casting device.

 

If you bring up the list of devices again, and select another, for example 'kitchen', Spotify will just sit there connecting forever and not do anything. If you click 'kitchen' a second time, sometimes it will then play on 'kitchen', however it does not close off / stop the previous cast to 'living room'. This then causes all sorts of issues because you have multiple casts open from the same device, and things get messy. Spotify gets confused and the whole thing fails. If you try to connect to a third device, the same thing happens, all **bleep** breaks loose and often you lose the list entirely until you reboot the app.

 

The ONLY reliable workaround I have found is, if I want to change the casting device and have it actually work properly (say, change from living room to kitchen), I have to pull down the notification drawer during casting, pull down the built in Android casting notification so it displays all the controls, and click the "stop" button to stop the cast. Then, in Spotify, I can select another device and it will connect first time. It doesn't get confused because I am manually making sure there is only one cast active from my device.

 

Google Play Music does it a bit differently, and it works. Once you are casting to a device or group, if you want to switch casting device mid song, you click the cast icon in the app, it brings up the currently selected device with a casting volume slider, but only one option is available - "stop casting". It doesn't display the device list like Spotify does during casting and allow you to select others. Only once you've clicked "stop casting", you can then cast to another device or group by clicking the casting icon again. So it's a bit more simple, but it works reliably. It essentially makes sure you only have one cast active on the device which requested it originally.

 

Spotify need to fix the app so that when you are selecting different casting devices during playback from your device, it ceases casting on the previous one. Either that, or do what Google Play Music does and force the user to stop casting before allowing them to select another device.

 

If Spotify can somehow make it so it "automatically" stops casting from the previous device when another casting device is selected, that would be the best of both worlds and even better than how Google Play Music does it, because it would remove a step and be very slick. But as it is, the functionality is essentially broken and needs fixing!

 

Currently you have to rely on built in Android controls (if you have them available), and remember to perform this workaround every time you want to switch devices in order to have Spotify NOT break things. Having subscribed to Spotify for a year and then discovering quickly that this key functionality is broken, one of my main uses for it is badly hampered. My girlfriend has already lost confidence with the app and hardly ever uses the casting now, because of it's issues and the confusion it brings.

 

I can replicate this across three Chromecast Audio's, three Google Home's, and all the groups I have created.

 

Without meaning to sound abrupt, please do not suggest solutions such as reinstalling the app, trying another account, trying another network, clearing out my Android device, reinstalling, rebooting, resetting my casting devices, etc, etc, etc. This and many other things have already been tried and the issue persists across a multitude of different devices.

 

Perhaps have a look at how Google Play Music / Deezer deals with casting?

 

Please see this forum post:
https://community.spotify.com/t5/forums/v3_1/forumtopicpage/board-id/spotifyandroid/highlight/false/...

 

This was originally raised by someone else, but I have posted some of the information above within the thread prior to raising this issue, to try and get some attention.

 

If you need any information, videos, etc which demonstrate the issue, as long as Spotify takes the bug seriously and adds it to an official tracker or is willing to report it to the devs, I will take the time and provide anything you need which helps resolve the issue!

 

Casting devices such as Google Home's, Chromecasts, etc are becoming more popular, and with Google opening up to third parties to create their own speakers with Chromecast / Assistant built in, this issue will only become more prevalent with time.

 

Thanks

Comments
movisman
Music Fan

I will just add to this that I have also tried Deezer now, and this works in exactly the same way as Google Play Music does. It is identical. You cannot select another casting device without disconnecting the previous cast first. When you click the cast icon, it pops up with the volume, current device details and a "stop casting" button. When this is selected you can then select another device.

 

This works reliably. Unless Spotify can come up with a way to cast / move between devices and have it "automatically" close the previous cast as it does it, they should follow suit and have it behave in the same way as the other apps for Chromecast / Google Home type devices. That way, it would at least function.

FabianS_Bogota
Roadie
Status changed to: Need more info

Hey @movisman!

 

Thanks for letting us know about this. We'd just like to gather some more info about it to report it to the right team. Just to confirm, did this started to happen after an app update? Let us know the devices you've used to test it, the operating system and the Spotify version installed. We'll see what to suggest.

 

Keep us posted.

movisman
Music Fan

Hi,

 

This started to happen when I moved back to Spotify after using Google Play Music (24th August). This was several app versions ago now. Currently using 8.4.18.743. The behaviour has not changed at all with the 3-4 updates already received since I started using the app. It is not clear when this issue started to happen.

 

My girlfriend has been having this issue for a longer period of time whenever she visits, so this issue might stretch back some time. It is so easy to replicate if you follow my instructions above.

 

I have tested on OnePlus 3, Android 7.1.1, Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2016), Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S7. All on latest OS for the device and running the latest version of Spotify. The app has been removed, multiple accounts tested, and it can also be replicated on another network.

 

Thanks

 

Alfredo
Roadie

Hey @movisman, thanks for all the info!

 

We've reported this issue on to the right folks. Fingers crossed we'll have an update soon.

 

Stay tuned.

movisman
Music Fan

This would be excellent, I have Spotify for the next year - and this feature really is key for me. If you need any further information please let me know. It is so easy to reproduce on all devices and networks if you have a Google Home or Chromecast Audio handy. It is not a Google or OS issue because Deezer and Play Music are all good.

 

Cheers!

Tom
Community Legend
Status changed to: Under investigation
 
Jack
Roadie

Hey @movisman,

 

Thanks for the extensive info so far. We'd just like to check a few more things. 

 

1) Do you happen to have Guest Mode enabled on the Chromecasts?

2) You say you've attempted this on another network. To be sure, are all the Chromecasts and devices involved on the same network?

 

Just in case you haven't seen this yet, we've got some more info about Chromecast troubleshooting which may prove useful.

 

We're aware that this exact issue won't be covered in the article, but it's worth noting that there's some other steps which might be effective for you. 

 

Keep us posted!

movisman
Music Fan

Hi,

 

No worries, to answer your questions:

 

No, guest mode is disabled on the Chromecasts.

Regarding another network, yes I can confirm all Chromecasts and devices involved are on the same network using the same IP address range.

 

Don't forget this issue does not exist when using another provider, eg. Google, Deezer, etc. This is Spotify specific and is still an absolute piece of cake to replicate on a multitude of devices on 100% of occasions. Currently, Spotify is just not capable of automatically shutting off the previous cast when changing the destination device (eg. change device from bedroom to living room). This is what results in all sorts of unwanted behaviour, especially once you have more than 2 open casts as they just pile up and then Spotify gets stuck on connecting. See my initial post for what happens, how it should work and how the other competitors do it.

 

I am more than happy to troubleshoot further, but it's so easy to replicate, you just need a few Chromecasts or Google Home devices available to demonstate. If you need further info, please let me know. I still have a month of Google Play Music on trial, and to be honest i'm using that again at home because this issue doesn't exist. It infuriates my girlfriend! But I have Spotify for a year and i'm really keen to get this fixed. I would say it's high priority not just for me, but because of the amount of casting devices which are starting to flood the market, Google Home mini, etc.

 

Thanks

Jack
Roadie

Thanks for the extra info, @movisman - we appreciate your patience whilst this is still looked into by the right team.

 

Rest assured, the devs are still investigating and should have access to a similar set-up to test this on. In the meantime, just be sure to check for any updates to the app or any devices since we last spoke. We'd always encourage this to be done when possible.

Chris
Spotify
Spotify

Hey @movisman,

 

Could you you let us know a bit more about your set up?

 

Just get back to us with the firmware version of each Chromecast Audio and your Google Home. 

 

We'll pass it on!

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