Spotify loves messing with its app, and in the latest server-side test, it replaced the like button in the mini player with the song's album art. It looks lovely, but the problem is that it sacrifices function for form.
This may seem like a minor change with minimal consequences, but it gets in the way of some vital functionality. Spotify is the best at knowing what you want to listen to next, and it does so by analyzing the music you love. That's why the like button is essential: If the user doesn't heart songs, Spotify has a harder time predicting what they want.
Sure, you can still like a song by bringing up the full media player and hearting it from there, and that is by no means the end of the world. But adding an extra step to something as crucial to what makes Spotify so good is questionable, and it makes the Spotify workflow that little bit worse.
Left: New album art UI, Right: Old heart button UI
It's not definite that Spotify will roll out this change widely, although it's been this way in the iOS counterpart for a few months. Hopefully, with some community feedback, the company can find a middle ground between the two interfaces.
Also props to VincentJoshuaET for some great taste in music.
New UI fixes it
Spotify is now testing a different variant of the mini player that should keep everyone happy. The album art stays on the left, but the like button reappears next to the pause/play button on the right. Of course we don't know which interface the music streaming service will settle on, but we like this best of both worlds version here. Thanks, Kamran Mackey and liro!