Spotify desktop and web apps get improved UI, curation tools
Popular music streaming platform Spotify is giving its desktop app a comprehensive UI update. Both Mac and Windows versions of the desktop app will receive the revamped look. The platform-agnostic web app is also receiving a similar cosmetic upgrade. The update won't be geo-locked and rolled out to all global users, which is warranted due to the significant changes to navigation and UI elements.
The UI update brings design parity with the mobile version of the Spotify app, with a focus on making navigation a seamless affair. The redesign also brings access to new features and controls across various app element such as Search, Playlists, Now Playing queues, Radio, and Library. The redesign removes clutter and gives the new desktop app a more intuitive look and feel.
The most conspicuous change is the removal of the persistent search bar at the top left corner. It is now a part of the thinner navigation bar on the left-hand side, along with quick links to the Home and Your Library sections. The decluttering continues with the navigation bar cleared of submenu items (such as Albums, Artists, and Recently Played) within Your Library section.
The Your Library page has four tabs at the top for Playlists, Podcasts, Artists, and Albums. Interestingly, the Podcast tab is now at the second position, which makes sense since Spotify's Joe Rogan podcast deal alone costs more than $100 million. The Playlists tab has the bulk of Spotify's algorithmic personalization features with Discover Weekly, Daily Mixes, Release Radar, and your Liked Songs.
The improved playlist curation tools aren't a happy accident. Spotify CEO Daniel Elk had previously talked about the company's intention to provide them with tools that help people find music during his appearance in Clubhouse. The improved curation tools are a step in an ongoing direction to make Spotify the de facto standard not just for music consumption but discovery as well.
Spotify makes it easier to go through the Your Library section, by adding filtering options to each of the tabs, which allow you to sort by name, relevance, chronology, or by even defining a custom sorting option. Creating and customizing playlists is also more comprehensive and includes a new embedded search bar for finding songs. Spotify clearly wants to encourage music curators.
"The primary focus for us on the roadmap is just enabling you to be a much better curator even for yourself—just by, for instance, suggesting content that is relevant to the things you have already put in the playlist," Elk said.
Premium subscribers can now download music and podcasts for offline listening through a dedicated button. This is a handy feature for those who are on limited data caps or otherwise need offline access for their favorite music and podcasts. The updated app is rolling out now, and the best way to ensure you have the latest version is by redownloading the desktop app.