Spotify updates its desktop and web apps to match its mobile experience

As Spotify expands into more global markets, the music streaming service is also refining its user experience. Starting today, it’s rolling out a much-needed redesign for its desktop and web player to match the feel of its oft-updated mobile app. While the aesthetical changes — including a cleaner home page, decluttered sidebar, and filters to help sort your library —are welcome, the real highlights for heavy users include new playlist tools and a download button that lets you save music and podcasts to play offline (the latter reserved for paying members).

If you’re someone who likes to compile your fave tracks and podcasts, the updates could end up pushing you to the desktop player over the mobile app. When creating a playlist, you’ll now be able to use an integrated search bar to look up music and podcasts. You can also write descriptions, upload images and drag and drop tracks into existing playlists. The new controls essentially make it easier to build a playlist on the desktop or web player and offer more ways to express yourself, which should appeal to users who like to share playlists with friends and the public.


Meanwhile, the design changes include a home page that aligns with the mobile app, with a mix of Spotify’s recommended playlists and your heavy rotation; a simplified sidebar — complete with a “search” tool — an improved “Library,” with new filters to help you sort your music and podcasts; and refreshed profile pages that add your top artists and tracks. Additional tweaks include the ability edit your queue and view “recently played” content from the desktop app. 

For a company that revolutionized the way we access music, Spotify admits that its desktop and web product was inferior to its mobile app. “We felt [the] experience hadn’t kept up, and that it was time for a change,” the company stated in its announcement today. 

Maybe, with more people listening at home instead of on commutes, the company was forced to pay attention to its desktop and web players. Whatever the reason for the changes, it sounds like Spotify has a newfound recognition of the importance of its non-mobile apps: “We believe in the future of both platforms,” Spotify said, adding “we want to make sure it can continue to serve the needs of our users now and in the future.”

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