OPINION: Spotify showcased its redesigned cellular app in early March and the replace has now rolled out to my iPhone – upon first impression, it looks as if a little bit of a large number.
When Spotify first detailed the replace, I can’t say I used to be stuffed with enthusiasm. The TikTok and Instagram-inspired feed of auto-playing music and proposals appeared instantly tiresome, whereas the even larger concentrate on facets of the app not related to music, like audiobooks and podcasts, was arguably the other of what drew me to Spotify within the first place.
Nonetheless, I used to be keen to offer it a go and take a look at it out, contemplating Spotify has just about been my sole method of consuming music because it launched within the UK all the way in which again in 2009.
After a few days of utilizing the up to date app although, my preliminary fears have virtually all come true. The auto-playing, social-network wannabe House feed is a large number.
Like Instagram or TikTok, the up to date House part of the Spotify app is now a scrolling feed of content material you possibly can endlessly (and aimlessly) flip by way of. As a substitute of static art work, there at the moment are extra interactive components, residing art work and auto-playing music as you scroll down, and every part from really helpful albums to playlists will get thrown into the combo.
Whereas it actually feels extra alive than earlier than, it’s additionally a lot tougher to rapidly discover one thing to hearken to. Whereas earlier than you may need seen 5-10 albums or playlists at a look, you now solely see one factor. Which means it might take 10 swipes to see what you’d have beforehand seen immediately.
There additionally appears to be far much less of a concentrate on playlists within the rejigged homescreen, with albums as an alternative taking precedence. A lot of the albums Spotify has been exhibiting me right here since my app up to date have been ones I’ve lately listened to, reasonably than highlighting suggestions I would favor. I used to like how every day the Spotify app would throw up a load of playlist recommendations as quickly as I opened up the app and I may very well be listening to one thing inside seconds – that’s now not the case.
I can also’t stand that as you scroll by way of this feed, issues randomly autoplay with the sound blaring out. You possibly can mute them by clicking the small audio icon however the app doesn’t appear to do not forget that enter for too lengthy and some hours later, it’s again at full blast.
I could be within the minority right here, however I additionally actually dislike how Spotify is shifting away from specializing in music. Podcasts and audiobooks at the moment are constructed deeper into the app than earlier than, with random sections of podcasts I don’t subscribe to taking part in as I scroll. There’s extra autoplaying in case you enter the devoted Audiobook and Podcasts sections and plainly all over the place I faucet on this up to date app causes one thing else to autoplay unexpectedly.
There’s additionally completely no option to take away point out of podcasts and audiobooks. I hearken to hours of each each week – simply by way of far superior apps and companies – however have none of both in my Spotify library and it nonetheless tries to pressure them on me. What makes the scenario worse is you can’t even purchase audiobooks by way of the app – it simply tells you to go off to the Spotify web site to purchase something that catches your consideration. The person expertise is horrendous.
In comparison with Apple’s strategy the place podcasts, books and music are all separated into very distinct apps you possibly can simply ignore, this single-app technique that Spotify now makes use of is simply too busy.
Identical to my colleague Kob, I’m not a type of individuals consistently bemoaning Spotify for its lack of motion on its long-awaited Hello-Fi tier and I can considerably perceive why it has taken inspiration from different apps for this replace. TikTok’s feed is ridiculously standard and really addictive, nevertheless it merely doesn’t work in an app the place I need to be interacting with it for the shortest period of time doable.
My greatest disappointment is absolutely in myself. I do know that I’m not going to cancel Spotify and transfer throughout to a rival service like Apple Music or Tidal. I’ve used Spotify for too lengthy, it is aware of my tastes too effectively and I believe the playlists it provides are the very best within the enterprise. I additionally nonetheless love its consistently updating dwell playlists, like On Repeat and Time Capsule, and have but to see these replicated effectively elsewhere.
As a substitute, I do know I’ll keep on with Spotify and bemoan this horrible redesign every time I take advantage of it.