Access to Music Streaming post Pandora—Maybe try Spotify

A multitude of NZ music lovers are looking for alternatives to Pandora. Access to this wonderful service was withdrawn for New Zealand and Australia at the end of July. One option is Spotify, which has free, or premium (subscription) access. The information and tips below are taken from an article on stuff.co.nz 24th July 2017. (Sandra Price)

If you’re one of the 50 million paid Spotify subscribers, you might think you know all there is to know about the popular music streaming service. You’re likely aware there are more than 30 million songs to play, on-demand, across multiple devices. You know Premium subscribers can downloaded tracks to listen to offline. And you might’ve heard there are readymade playlists to match your mood, curated by experts and fans alike. So, what else is there to Spotify? We’ve compiled a list of some lesser-known features, tips and tricks, to help you get the most out of the service.

PLAY YOUR OWN MUSIC

Many Spotify Premium users aren’t aware you can weave in your own music, too. On your mobile device, tap on the Options tab in the upper left of the app and select “Your Library.” On a computer, you’ll see a “Local Files” tab listed on the left side of the main screen. By default, the desktop app looks for common directories like Music, Downloads or iTunes Media, but you can select specific folders in the Settings menu, too.

SPOTIFY AS A REMOTE

Did you know you can use your mobile device as a remote to control your Spotify tunes on a nearby computer, music system, or Smart TV? Since Spotify allows you to quickly switch between devices you’re logged into, you can use the Spotify app, on say, an iPhone or Android tablet, to start, stop and change tracks on your Windows PC, Mac, Sonos, and supported Smart TVs.

KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

Spotify desktop users can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly control music playback. On a Windows PC, skip forward and back between tracks using CTRL + Right Arrow and CTRL + Left Arrow, respectively. To adjust volume, it’s CTRL + Shift + Up Arrow (for louder) or CTRL + Shift + Down Arrow (for quieter).
For Mac OS X users, it’s CTRL + CMD + Right Arrow and CTRL + CMD + Left Arrow to skip forward or back between tracks.
For audio levels, it’s CMD + Shift + Up Arrow (or Down Arrow) for higher or lower volume, respectively.

PREVIEW A PLAYLIST

This is pretty cool. If you use Spotify on an iOS device — namely, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch — you don’t need to open a playlist to see what songs are inside. Instead, tap and hold over the name of the playlist and you’ll see album artwork for the first 12 songs. Now slide your finger over each album and you’ll see the name, artist, and hear a sample of the track.

GET LYRICS

Want to learn the words to the latest songs? Feel like karaoke with friend? Spotify’s desktop client has built-in lyrics support. Start playing a track and look for the “Lyrics” tab in the bottom right-hand corner of the window. Tap or click and it will scroll lyrics for most of Spotify’s catalog. You can also tweak the size of the lyrics.

GO GAPLESS

Don’t want any silence between your songs? Keep the music going, without breaks, by enabling Spotify’s “Gapless Playback” feature. To eliminate the gaps between tracks, visit the Settings tab and check off the “Gapless Playback” option, if the small box isn’t already ticked. You can also crossfade tracks, if you prefer.

A IS FOR AUTOPLAY

On a related note, Spotify’s Autoplay feature will automatically play similar songs once you’ve finished a playlist, album or selection of tracks. This can be found in the same Settings area. While you’re here, make sure the “High quality streaming” tab is selected (Premium subscribers only).

RESTORE PLAYLISTS

Spotify houses more than 2 billion playlists. The popular “Discover Weekly” tab, a highly personalized playlist, is based on your listening habits, automatically updated every Mondaywith new music. If you’ve accidentally deleted your favorite playlist, you’re not out of luck.
Log onto Spotify’s website, and under Account Settings you can select Recover Playlists.

YOU DON’T NEED AN APP

While the website isn’t as good as a dedicated app for the service, you can access your Spotify on a web browser. Perhaps you’re on a shared PC in an airport lounge and you have some time to kill? At spotify.com, log in with your username and password, to begin streaming. If it’s a public computer, be sure to log out before you leave.

CONCERTS

Spotify also lets you discover concerts in your area. Under the “Browse” tab, select “Concerts” on the right side of the screen. You can select music, artists and location preferences.

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