My thoughts about the new library


My thoughts about the new library

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I wanted to create a blog but this is not possible it seems so I created this topic. If anybody can help me with creating a blog, let me know.


This topic is about the new library. There's a lot of frustration about the new library with old library fans.
I was a bit frustrated also at first but step by step I came to peace with it so I decided to create a small blog about thus topic.

Note: this is only interesting for users who like the old library, if you are a new user or if you don't have any problems with the new library, then skip this blog.


About the old library. With the old library you could save songs and albums.
You could also like songs but I never understood what for, there was no liked songs playlist.
So the like concept was slightly confusing me.
Then you could save songs and albums. If you saved an album all songs on the album were saved also.
Then you could remove songs from the album which was saved. If you did that on desktop, the saved button became unchecked. If you checked it again, all songs were saved again.
That was a bit odd also to me, so I kept it unchecked to only save parts of the album, for example because I was not interested in the bonus songs of an album.
So the album was not saved but the library had an album view with all your saved albums and an album was in it if you saved one song of an album, even when the album was not saved.
Strange indeed, but not a problem really, that was just the way it worked.
The old library also included an artist collection, if you had saved one song of an artist; the artist was in this list.
So you didn't have a lot of control of how the artist and album collection was shown, it was controlled by the songs you saved. Save album was more or less a shortcut for save all songs of the album, unsave the album would remove all the songs from your library.



The old library was nice but likes confused me, save album was not really clear either and you didn't have control over the artist and album collection.


Then we got a new library. Spotify combined liking songs and saving songs. Only like is supported now and all saved songs have been migrated to liked songs.
Not sure what happened with the old liked songs since I didn't use them and maybe Spotify stopped liked songs before doing the library update, not sure, didn't use it.


Ok, so all my saved songs have become liked songs and Spotify created a playlist for this one called Liked songs.
Liked songs is not just a normal playlist, it's a special one with special options, you can search this playlist on artist and album, if you set the sort order by album, it will group the result on album and the songs on the album are in the correct order.
You can also sort on title, artist, album and recently added. Even offline.
So this magical playlist has more or less replaced the old library experience: the liked songs control which artists and albums are in the list.

So far so good. So what happened with my albums? They were all there, probably because I saved all the albums, not sure if I missed any albums because I did not save all songs but it looks ok.

Then the artists, this changed completely because it's now based on artists I follow and not on liked songs. Is this a problem? Not really, I listen to albums not artists.
If I want to see all albums of on artist I did like songs from, I can use the liked songs playlist and search for the artist.
The good thing is I can control myself which artists shows up, I just need to follow them.
If you follow an artist and you select an artist it will show all the albums of the artist you saved. And which songs? All songs of the album, not only the one you like. Is this a problem? No, an album is something the artist created as a collection of songs in a certain order, that's why it's called an album and not a playlist.
You don't like this? Then you don't like the album so don't save it. You only like a few songs? No problem, go to the liked songs playlist, filter on artist or album and you will find only the songs you like.

Makes sense to me still.


Then downloads. Downloads is a bit tricky I think because it doesn't really fit in the library concept.
Spotify is a streaming service so why do we need downloads? Mainly because we are offline or because of costs.
But in an ideal world we don't need downloads, it's just a technical thingy.

So there's no relation between a library and downloads conceptually.

I'm on a airplane now, I downloaded a playlist and an album. I can play the playlist of course by navigating via library and playlists.
Can I play my album? Yes, it's on top of my albums list, very convenient. And it's only on top when I'm offline so it is aware of the online/offline context, when I'm online it is just there where you would expect it.
I can also filter on downloads only, this will show downloaded albums only.
I can also navigate to my downloaded album via albums. Again I can filter on downloads only (swipe down and you get the search/filter/sort menu). If I'd liked all the songs of the album it will be in my liked songs playlist also.

This brings us to another subject, should I like all the songs of an album at all? In the past saving an album meant saving all the songs.
Now you save the album and the songs are not liked automatically. There's a shortcut in the menu: like\unlike all songs.
Do I need to like all songs? I have about 9250 liked songs. What can I do with them?
I can download them all together, which means more or less downloading my full library. I don't need that.

What it will give me is an overview of my library, in the likes playlist I can sort all the songs by artist or album. If I sort on album it will show the liked songs in  the same order as they are on the album. If I then search on artist I will show all the albums of the artists grouped by album and the songs will be in the order of the album.
But I can also go to albums and then order or filter by artist.
Browsing by artist is not really what I'm doing, since I'm an album listener. Maybe I should stop liking songs and only save albums (this will solve my 10.000 songs limit also).
But of course it depends on how you listen.


That's it.

Conclusion, I don't really have a problem with the new setup anymore.
In the end, don't forget Spotify is about listening and enjoying music. Spotify helps you to enjoy your favorite music and helps you to explore new music.
The goal of Spotify is to make you find the music you want to hear and they are doing a good job I think.
Organizing shouldn't be a goal in itself; the goal is finding the music you want to hear.


5 Replies

Re: My thoughts about the new library


A very well written response, as are all of those that you have submitted.  You expressed your likes and opinions in a most admirable essay.  I'm of the rather strong opionion that Spotify has a well-versed employee (in you) working to head off some of the negativity.  I have to compliment them for that.  With 80M subscribers, it is a nice gesture in customer service.


I must confess, however,  I remain in agreement with most of the stated community displeasure over some of the recent changes.  After considering your suggestions as to why everything was an improvement, I don't find myself any less inclined to move on to another service over what I don't like about the changes.


If Spotify keep growing in number, then losing a few of us along the way to a service that we find more to our liking would still be a good corporate play.  If a competitor with much deeper pockets acts on your "weakness" and grows substantially while weakening Spotify market share, then you messed.


 I guess time will tell.


A VERY sincere thanks for the response.






Re: My thoughts about the new library

Casual Listener

Do you work for spotify René? Thanks for explaining all that I guess, didnt change anything for me though. That last comment you made, "the goal shouldnt be organization but find music you want to hear" lol. I know what I want to hear, that's why I saved songs. I'm not constantly out looking for new things, that's how i wind up listening to Hammerhedd one minute and Ludovico Einaudi another. 


Re: My thoughts about the new library


I think you've missed the point.


Not everyone wants to navigate and discover music the same way you do. What you perceived as a chaotic and largely pointless way to find music is the preferred method for others.


If you're a passive consumer of music and all you want is "play me something I'll probably like" then sure, the new approach might make some sense. Sit back and let the algorithms control your listening. The problem is those of us who like to take a more active role in choosing our music are left with little choice but to navigate our saved music through the liked music playlist. This is a very clumsy way to look for music compared to the old more structured approaches. As you said, you can sort and filter the playlist in different ways, but at the end of the day, you either need to be very good at remembering the names of all the artists and songs you like (and if that's the case why do you need to save them to a list?) or you're left scrolling through thousands of songs looking for the one you like. 


The old UI accomodated boths approaches to listening, but sadly the new UI has aliened a whole group of users apparently on the assumption that they way we want to listen is wrong or outdated and really we should just shut-up and listen to what we're told to. Not a great way to look after your users.




Re: My thoughts about the new library

Casual Listener

A much more elegant way to get across the point I've been trying to make this whole time. Thank you.

Re: My thoughts about the new library

Casual Listener

@DylanHall   My thoughts exactly