A serious Spotify problem, shared with other services, is how poorly duplicate versions of songs and albums are managed. There are many different (re)releases of what is apparently the same album. Also, the same song can appear in many different albums/compilations. Spotify largely fails to understand all these different versions of albums and songs as being duplicates. Meaning that:
More detailed problem descriptions:
Spotify badly needs to implement a strategy for handling this, such as making one version per album and song preferred and making sure that their interface consistently use these preferred versions everywhere by default, automatically migrating all a users Liked songs and playlist songs to this version whenever it changes. The user should only need to see this horrible mess if they want some very specific version of an album/song. Then some way of opening the doors to this pandora's box can be provided. Like a "See all releases" link when you open the preferred version of an album or song. Combined, perhaps, with the option to lock liked songs and playlist songs to this specific version.
However, it is a huge burden for a company to manage this data and the choices made may be controversial. This is likely to be why it is still not fixed even though doubtlessly Spotify is well aware of just how big a problem this is.
For a single company managing this data is prohibitively expensive, for the community of tens of millions of users doing so is a trivially small amount of effort. So here's my suggested solution to all these problems: Crowdsource it. Let the users mark different versions of albums and songs as duplicates of each other and possibly vote for which one should be the preferred version. The user would simply paste in the links to other songs or albums into a "Report duplicate" function on a song or album. This would remove the immense burden of managing this data from Spotify employees and, if voting is implemented, makes it very hard for users to complain about which version is preferred. It would be a democratic process among all the users.
I think that solving this problem first could be a huge competitive advantage. I have already posted this as a suggestion to Tidal as well. Please get moving on this Spotify if you think it a good idea, or you might miss the boat.
Updated on 2021-06-09
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