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Here’s How to Use All of Spotify Features to Their Fullest (Part 1)

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Do you have Spotify? But maybe you're not sure how to use it to its fullest? Check out this post to find some helpful tips and tricks to make your life easier.

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If you’re like me, you absolutely love Spotify, but you don’t know how to take advantage of all the wonderful thing it has to offer.  Which means, you’re missing out on a ton of shortcuts and buried treasures that can help make it a stellar music companion for whatever you’re doing. Did you know, that you can get Spotify to beat-match music to your workout/run?  Or be the soundtrack to your PS4 games?  Also, you can automatically save your Discover Weekly playlists.  If you’re new to Spotify or been using it for a while and just don’t know it’s full capabilities, I implore you to read on.

Spotify Playlist Folder

Embrace Playlist Folders

After a while of use, your playlists can become chaos.  You could have hundreds of them jumbled up with no particular order.  You can get them organized by dragging them into named folders.  To do this, click: File > New Playlist Folder in the desktop app, and voila, you’ve got some kind of organization.

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Narrow Your Focus

I feel like this should be the theme of my life, but it also works in Spotify.  If, when you type the name of an artist into the search field, gives you like 10,000 results, you can focus your search by using the term “year”.  From there, you can enter a range like “1990-1994”.  You will be surprised to see what kind of combinations you can come up with.

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Take it Offline

Streaming can eat your data, so take advantage of Spotify’s download feature whenever you’re on Wi-Fi. In the mobile app, hit the slider next to ‘Available Offline’ on a track, album or playlist and it’ll save to your phone. This is a super-handy feature when traveling abroad, but on long trips remember that you’ll need to connect your phone to Spotify’s servers every 30 days to keep offline mode working.

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Rescue Deleted Playlists

I go through phases when it comes to music.  For two weeks, I might only want to listen to 90s R&B, and the next two weeks, I might want to be emo and indie.  Which means I will often delete a playlist when I think I’m done with it.  With Spotify, you can retrieve that from the trash can.  Simply head to your account page in a web browser and click the “Recover playlists” option on the left.  Just hit “Restore” on any of those playlists and they will return to you.

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Increase The Sound Quality

Spotify isn’t well known from a quality perspective, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  And, if you’re a Premium user, you can actually boost the default streaming bitrate (96-160 kbps) up to 320 kbps.

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Share the Love

If you’re trying to save some money, a family plan with Spotify is the way to go.  It’s only $14.99 a month and gives you up to six separate, and unique Premium accounts.  Each account can have its own library, playlists and offline music, so the only thing you’re sharing is the cost.

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Import Your Music

If you open Preferences in the Spotify desktop app and scroll down to the Local Files section, you can import all your music files from iTunes, folders and various other sources – even if they’re not in Spotify’s own library.

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PS4 Soundtracks

I said this can be done, and I wasn’t lying.  All you have to do is open up the PS4’s Spotify compatible PlayStation Music mode and you can soundtrack games with any album or playlist that you like.  You can control it from the console itself or a connected device like your phone or tablet.

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Check Out The Lyrics

Spotify recently removed the real-time lyrics display from its desktop app.  Thumbs down.  But in its place is the new Behind the Lyrics feature.  It’s maybe not as useful (or fun) as the old feature, but it still is entertaining.  The other downside is that its only available on a handful of tracks in your mobile app. You can access Behind The Lyrics by dragging down on the artwork of supported tracks, whereupon you’ll be treated to a mix of lyrics and real-time annotations. It’s interesting to peek into what’s possible – it just needs to be rolled out to cover much more of Spotify’s library.

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Device Options

Are you listening to Spotify through your tiny computer speakers?  Well, with Chromecast Audio, you can turn any speaker into a wireless Spotify streaming machine – controllable through your phone, tablet or computer. Got a Sonos speaker at home? Then you’ll be able to control it direct from any device running the Spotify mobile app – even if you’re not currently on your home Wi-Fi network.

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Voice Capability

Do you have a smart speaker with voice control? If you do, there’s a good chance that it will work with your Spotify Premium account.  This will let you send commands to your smart speaker, and hear all the music that you love.  The Amazon Echo family, Sonos One, KitSound Voice One, Sony LF-S50G, Harman Kardon Invoke and Eufy Genie are all compatible with Spotify Premium, while the Google Home goes one step further, working with Spotify Free too. The Apple HomePod, sadly, does not support full Spotify voice control but, when streaming from your phone or computer as an AirPlay speaker, it will respond to basic commands like pause, play and skip.

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Spotify Running

This was one of my former favorite features, but since it’s been retired, I will have to settle for a workout inspired playlist. Tap on “Workout” on the app’s Browse screen (under Genre and Moods) and you will be presented with a playlist that is made specifically to work with your heart rate.  The downside is that you have to know what your heart rate is, in order to find a matching playlist, but I do like this as well.  It really pumps me up and gets me in the mood to workout.  Which is definitely something that I need!

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