App Reviews

Spotify Review 2024: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Spotify - On the go
© Spotify

In this article...

Thinking of using Spotify in 2024 as your main streaming platform for music, podcasts, and audiobooks? Here's everything you need to know from a long-time premium user who loves listening to music and using the platform on a daily basis.

I’ve been using Spotify Premium for many years now, both on my desktop PC and smartphone, and is one of those apps that I always keep activated in my startup list of apps, and that’s because it’s usually the first one I open every morning and the last that I close every night. From music to podcasts to audiobooks to (now) videos, it’s an all-in-one music streaming platform and the most popular of all, but is it worth it in 2024?

All the good with using Spotify in 2024

Spotify Standard Homepage
Spotify’s homepage.

Let’s start from the basics; If you’re afraid the streaming platform may lack some of your favorite songs and artists, rest assured that its vast library won’t let you down. Spotify came as a surprise to my life, and when they started adding podcasts and audiobooks, I was thrilled I only needed one app to listen to any type of recorded content.

Apart from listening to songs, podcasts, and audiobooks, you can also watch videos now, which is a nice addition to the app. But what’s more great is that you can disable the videos altogether, saving internet data and battery life, and making us, minimalists, a whole lot happier with a cleaner experience with no videos.

Apart from having almost anything you may search for, there’s also a plethora of exclusives and old songs that have been remastered and are available on the platform (original songs are also available). Moreover, Spotify has over 100 million songs, 5 million podcasts, and 350 thousand audiobooks that you can enjoy at any moment on any device.

Spotify - Audiobooks
© Spotify

You can organize everything in different lists, which you can set to public and let other users follow them, or even keep things private. Speaking of other users, you can easily create collaborative playlists with your friends and family, and everyone can add their favorite songs. I find collaboration with other users on the platform important, as it gives me more reasons to open the app and check if my friends added anything new.

What I always loved about Spotify’s desktop application is that it gives you the option to see what your followers are currently listening to, or what was the last song they listened to. This is a weirdly great way to find new songs, laugh with your friends’ preferences in music, and even click on the playlist to find more music.

Spotify - Friend Activity
The “Friend Activity” on Spotify.

If you don’t see your friends list on the desktop app, just click on the icon with the three people in the top right corner (the “Friend Activity“), just beside your profile’s picture. You can then click on the “+” icon to connect with Facebook and follow your friends.

The curated playlists on Spotify are among the best in the music streaming industry, if not the best. Some of the playlists are getting updated by Spotify’s curated team, and some are automatically getting new songs based on your interests as you keep using the platform.

Spotify Discover Weekly
The “Discover Weekly” playlist on Spotify.

For example, some playlists are specifically made for each user and their interests, including the Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and all the daily mixes. Then there’s the “Stay up to date” section, from which you can find top hits based on your country and what’s hot, and all the public playlists that other users have created.

As far as customization goes, you can choose between Compact, List, and Grid views for your playlists, collapse your whole library to save screen space, and even hide the right sidebar altogether. You can also sort every playlist by recent, recently added, alphabetical, and by creator. Searching for songs or specific artists is also pretty straightforward, and if you’re searching for a specific remix, you may find that on the artist’s page or straight from the result’s page.

If you’re looking to discover new songs based on your mood, category, and so on, you can find those options inside the search menu. Just click on “Search” and you should see all the available options.

Spotify Search Page
Spotify’s Search Page.

All the bad with using Spotify in 2024

For a brief moment, Spotify introduced the “Smart Shuffle” feature, which with one click automatically filled your playlist with new songs, based on the current ones that you had saved. It was magical, and it recommended some of the best songs otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to find them from the millions of playlists that people are creating.

Yet Spotify removed the feature, bringing me back to the dark old ages, having to search or surf through the hundreds of playlists that exist on the platform. It’s not that fast, it’s not automatic, and don’t get me started with the recommendations that the streaming platform is suggesting to its users below every playlist they have. Those are the worst, they almost never get updated, and even when clicking on the “refresh” option, you keep getting the same songs again and again.

Spotify - Queue - Recently Played and Next from

It reminds me of Netflix, where you go to find a movie or a TV show to watch, only to spend hours searching for the right one. Waste of time, and probably money.

Thankfully, I later found out that the feature hadn’t been removed, but it was changed in a way even though I, a more advanced user than most people, couldn’t find it.

Spotify - Smart Shuffle
Spotify’s Smart Shuffle

That’s another issue I may discuss in another post, but Spotify is one of those companies that they’re just refusing to provide a changelog for every update they release.

Changelogs are important, not only because people have the right to know what they’re going to get before updating the app, but because if the developers are making big changes or moving things around, it would be easier for users to check the changelog and see what’s new and what’s changed.

Although they have more than 2,000 votes from their users asking for a changelog, Spotify has added the idea in their “Not Right Now” section. Unfortunately, this suggestion has been kept in the same list for over 6 years, but users can still vote on the Spotify Community.

If you’re going to create a new account on Spotify, make sure you choose a username and stick with it, because the streaming platform is still not letting users change their usernames. I remember that I had created my account for the first time using my blog’s name, and then I was unable to change it back to my personal. I can’t just create another account and move over, as I have thousands of saved songs perfectly organized to this account.

All the ugly with using Spotify in 2024

Spotify Homepage

The first thing that I find pretty annoying is the app itself not remembering some of my choices. Take the “Friend Activity” and “Now Playing” for example, with the former being the default that is being opened every time, while I am always changing it back to the “Friend Activity”.

The “Friends Activity” was a much better feature than the “Now playing” view, which just provides what we already have. Fortunately, you can still have access to your friends’ activity by clicking on the icon, but Spotify won’t remember your choice and it’s going to replace it every time. And when it comes to “Friends Activity”, don’t expect to see that in the mobile version of Spotify’s app, as this feature still rests in the desktop versions.

The desktop version is fine, it works well and performs as it should, but I can’t say the same for the mobile version. As a hard-trail mountain biker, I love taking my music with me every time I go for a run. With Spotify Premium I don’t have to use any of my data, and I keep most of my playlists downloaded for offline use. But I never liked the homepage, which should supposedly be the most-used page on the app, but it lacks character, to say the least.

Yes, you can find your playlists, play all the daily mixes and curated playlists provided by the platform, and even see what your followers are listening to, but it’s difficult to find anything related to you without knowing the name to search for it. And don’t get me started with discovering new podcasts, with Spotify still lacking a podcast discovery page, a pretty neat addition to a streaming platform with over 5 million episodes. There are “New episodes“, “Popular with listeners“, “Episodes for you“, and “Shows you might like” sections on the homepage of the app, but none of those has actually helped me find something that I really liked.

I think that Spotify’s homepage needs a total redesign, making things easier to find, more enjoyable in the eyes, and more ways to collaborate with other users, find podcasts and audiobooks, and have better playlist discovery. I also think they should introduce a light theme design, for us minimalists who prefer anything but dark during the day. And while that may not be the case for many, I have found myself many times not being able to see the screen because of the sun, trying for a few minutes to find and select the right playlist while biking. That doesn’t happen with any app that has bright backgrounds and darker text.

In addition, a bright or light (call it what you want) theme that automatically changes based on the device’s color preferences and manually switching it to dark/light mode would also be a great feature. Think about how neat Spotify is going to look with a light theme, and how much more sense it will make when using it with devices that also support the same option – and most of them already do, from Windows, macOS, and Linux, to Android and iOS devices.

Last but not least, don’t expect to get any notifications from Spotify. And no, I am not talking about new or popular songs, I am talking about basic things such as having a group playlist with friends and not getting notified whenever someone adds a song. There were many times that my friends asked me if I had heard what they added, but I never got any notification that they had, meaning that I had to manually check every playlist, every time – and I still am.

Is Spotify Premium worth the price in 2024?

Spotify’s Premium plan is currently priced at $10.99 per month, which is pretty expensive considering that YouTube Music, which also comes with over 100 million available songs in its vast library, only costs €6.99⁠ per ⁠month.

There is also the “Duo” premium plan, which costs $14.99 per month and gives you access to two premium accounts, the “Family” plan, which costs $16.99 for up to 6 premium or kids accounts, and the “Student” plan is currently priced at $5.99 per month.

Spotify Pricing
Spotify’s current premium plans.

While I do think that Spotify has become pretty expensive, and too many websites, services, and platforms are going into a future where content is pretty much locked behind a paywall, it’s been difficult to keep paying for all my favorite apps the last few years. Spotify is one of those premium apps that I keep using daily, and thus, I’ll keep using it for listening to my favorite music and podcast episodes, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep looking for alternatives.

You could use the free version of Spotify to listen to your favorite songs for free, but who are we kidding? Spotify’s free version doesn’t even let its users change songs, and they stuck with the shuffle play feature, which I never used, to be honest. The classic “Shuffle Play” is pretty much useless, except if you don’t want to play your playlist’s songs in a specific order, while “Smart Shuffle” is there to add more goodies to your playlists.

Overall, Spotify is a great podcast and music streaming platform, but it lacks features, and specific sections/playlists, and its homepage and discovery pages could see a big improvement. A light theme would have been a great addition to its features, and having the smart shuffle add the songs inside the playlists and not on the Queue page would also be a nice change.

The beauty behind Spotify’s hidden features

Spotify Settings
Spotify’s Settings page.

Apart from the Smart Shuffle, did you know that Spotify has a sleep timer? Yes, you can sleep while Spotify is playing in the background and automatically stops after an hour. Unfortunately, that feature is only available for Android and iOS and not on the desktop version, and that’s a shame because I mostly use the desktop version when listening to music at home.

While those features are not actually “hidden”, as users should always check every app’s settings, if you go to Spotify’s Settings page you can find a few important options. For example, you can enable the “Crossfade” for smooth transitions between songs, and you can even disable the “Normalize volume“, which will bring back the original song’s volume, or keep the same for all songs. You can specify the app to only stream the songs with the highest quality, and not auto-adjusting the quality but its own.

Love listening to podcasts and sharing your favorite episodes? Next time, instead of sharing the whole episode, you can share it with timestamps, which gives you the option to share specific parts of a podcast episode. Jam sessions are ideal for group listening with friends and family, and that way everyone can quickly become the DJ of the group.

There’s also an AI DJ, but it’s only available for specific locations, and I wasn’t able to use this new feature as of yet, but I will update the review once I do. Last but not least, if you’re using Windows 11 and kept Widgets enabled, there’s a widget that you can add with Spotify’s recommendations for new playlists. While that’s a small bonus for Windows users, the Widgets itself is not really a useful feature in Windows 11, and I do hope Microsoft will make some adjustments to it.

The differences between Spotify’s desktop and mobile apps

For some reason, Spotify’s way of keeping the two apps separated with different features is not doing any good, not for me at least. Take for example the “Friend Activity”, which is only available through the desktop version, with mobile users being unable to see what their friends are currently listening to.

Then there’s the sleep timer feature, which is available in the mobile versions but not on the desktop versions. Why? When I’m at home, I want my PC to keep playing a movie, my music playlists, or even podcasts or audiobooks, while I’m using my smartphone in bed. I keep my sound equipment connected to my desktop PC, and I don’t have Bluetooth speakers to quickly change between devices. Having the sleep timer on my desktop PC would be a nice addition, instead of using other software to do a simple shut-down.

If you still keep lots of songs stored on your device’s disk for local and offline playback, then don’t expect Spotify to recognize or play them in the mobile version. Ironically, the desktop version already provided that option for many years now.

Spotify Review 2024: Final thoughts, pros and cons

With over 180 million subscribers, Spotify is the dominant platform in the music streaming industry. It has over 100 million songs, 5 million podcasts, and a library of 650 thousand audiobooks. It gives you the option to share your playlists, and create group playlists with your friends and family, and has great smart shuffle suggestions and curated recommendations that users love. What’s not to love?

Spotify Review 2024: Is it worth using?

With over 180 million subscribers, Spotify is the dominant platform in the music streaming industry. It has over 100 million songs and 5 million podcasts, and a library of 650 thousand audiobooks. It gives you the option to share your playlists, create group playlists with friends and family, and has great smart shuffle suggestions and curated recommendations that users love.

Operating System: All

Application Category: MultimediaApplication

Editor's Rating:
4.5

Pros

  • Over 100 million songs, 5 million podcasts, and 650 thousand audiobooks.
  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
  • Smart Shuffle makes new song discovery easy and practical.
  • Amazing automatic playlists specifically curated for every user.
  • There's an Friends Activity to see what your friends are listening to, and a private session to keep things quiet.
  • You can create group public playlists with your friends, or even start a Jam.

Cons

  • Lacking light theme support.
  • The homepage could seen improvements.
  • It's difficult to discover podcasts and audiobooks, and there are no dedicated pages for those two types of content.
  • Smart Shuffle was better when songs were added inside the playlist.
  • They do not provide a changelog.

If you’re looking at your next music streaming platform, Spotify is undoubtedly a strong choice, but other streaming platforms may also be a great option. For example, examine what every platform is offering and at what price, what their users saying in their reviews, if it’s compatible with all your devices and operating systems, etc.

YouTube Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, and Apple Music are just a few examples of what’s available out there, so take your time before choosing which streaming platform you’re going to be staying on. If you want to migrate all your playlists and songs to another platform, you can use third-party tools such as Soundiiz.com and Tunemymusic.com.


What music streaming platform are you currently using for listening to your favorite songs and podcast episodes? Have you ever used Spotify in the past? And if so, what are your thoughts, experience, and pros and cons of Spotify? Drop your comment at the end of this page!

Panos Sakalakis

Meet Panos Sakalakis, a web wizard, blogging buff, podcasting pro, and SEO sorcerer with over 15 years of enchanting experience. When he's not weaving digital spells with his keyboard, you'll likely spot him conquering mountain trails with his trusty Hard-Trail MTB bike, in hot pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline rush and the perfect blog post inspiration.

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