This story was originally published and last updated .
I've been a loyal Spotify user since what feels like the year the service launched, and a premium subscriber since 2014. Spotify premium has tons of great extra features, and I absolutely think it's worth the money if you're considering a paid music streaming subscription. But as I've been spending a lot more time at home of late, I've started watching a lot more YouTube, and the various pre-roll and mid-roll ads were starting to grate on me. Of course, you can remove those ads—by signing up for YouTube Premium. But that would also give me access to YouTube Music, meaning I'd technically be paying for two music services.
Spotify has decided to step into the world of audiobooks, and it's starting things off with nine books you may have heard of narrated by some names you may recognize. If you've been running out of music and podcasts to listen to, it might not be a bad idea to get a better grasp of some literary classics.
While Google shunned kids from using its music streaming service when it sunset Play Music, Spotify only recently launched a dedicated app for children, Spotify Kids. The application only consists of hand-picked, child-friendly audio content and comes with a more playful UI. Now Spotify has announced that it's adding support for shared playlists, allowing parents to share their favorite music with their kids.
It's not uncommon for apps and services to try out experimental features with a small batch of users who have knowingly signed up to an alpha or beta test program. However, things get annoying when users are included in an experimental update that they never signed up for and can't opt out of. This is precisely what's happening to some Spotify users who are being made to bear a new Desktop UI that - in polite words - is pretty bad.
Creating playlists is one of the best ways to express yourself through music, and today Spotify is making them easier to personalize. Starting today, all Spotify users will be able to pick custom covers to display on playlists, right from the company's mobile app.
For ages, Spotify has allowed you to sync your own local audio files to your phone via its desktop client, though that never reliably worked for many people. It looks like the janky solution might be in for an overhaul, as app sleuth Jane Manchun Wong shared on Twitter. The streaming service appears to be working on an option to show local files.
One enterprising Danish independent Spotify artist has recently released an album titled "Ok Google Play Music," filled with similarly titled tracks targeting Google Assistant music queries like "Hey Google Play Workout Music" and "Hey Google Play Study Music." In all cases, from Christmas to cooking music, the songs are lo-fi ambient handpan and steel tongue drum — at times, paired with soothing water sounds. You can't make this up.
It's December, and that means it's time for Spotify's annual end-of-the-year Wrapped. 2020 has been pretty terrible and capping everything off, this year's Wrapped adventure is one of those godawful "stories" everyservice (including Spotify) is loading themselves up with. At least you get a playlist loaded with your top songs from the year after you sit through the tedious process, and there are two new ones to go with it.