For better or worse, the days of ripping music from Napster and LimeWire are long gone, and even the idea of spending 99 cents to download a frivolous single on iTunes seems silly. Now, we're free to hear just about every single and record ever released, on demand, via streaming services like Spotify.
Whether you have a Premium subscription or just suffer through the ads, Spotify is packed with little-known features you're probably not taking advantage of. Here are 12 ways to turn yourself into a power user.
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If you dare let your guests DJ your next party, create a playlist, head to the options menu, and give your friends spare sets of keys by tapping "make collaborative." Then, anyone you pass the playlist link to can edit it.
Create folders for your playlists
If your ever-growing stock of playlists gets out of control like your tabs, head to the file menu on the desktop app, select "New Playlist Folder," and get organized.
Let Spotify DJ based on your mood
Spotify can not only play tunes based on an artist, song, and genre, but also by how you feel. Tap the Browse tab and scroll until you find "Genres & Moods."
Use the "Private Session" tool to hide embarrassing song choices
Spotify isn't just a music library at your fingertips, it's a social media service, and your friends can see what you're into. But maybe you're listening to some Hanson and nobody needs to know, OK?
Permanently keep things private from fellow users
If you never, ever want anyone to know what you're listening to, go into settings (or the Preferences menu on desktop) and disable "Publish my activity to Spotify." Then take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and reevaluate hiding from what's in your heart.
Never Google lyrics again
Thanks to a glorious partnership with Genius, you can easily find out what the hell your favorite artists are singing/rapping/screaming about. Although not every track has them enabled, the ones that do allow you to swipe down on the album art when you're listening on the app to see not only the lyrics you're hearing, but notes that explain the meaning or inspiration of a particular song or line.
Discover new music using third-party services
Although Spotify's Discover Weekly is scary good at making personalized recommendations every week, there are several third-party sites and widgets that tether with your account to help you find new artists, learn about local bands, discover new tracks, and check out what's hot internationally at the moment.
Connect Shazam and create a playlist of all the tracks you've looked up
Launch your Shazam app, head to settings, and click "Connect to Spotify," which will link the two services together to create an automatic playlist of stuff you've looked up called "My Shazam Tracks."
Scope out your personalized Daily Mix playlists
In an effort to introduce (and reintroduce) you to music you'll love, Spotify’s recently launched something it's calling Daily Mixes. They're five personalized and regularly updated playlists, each curated to match a certain aspect of your taste, which you can further refine by either "hearting" or "banning" individual tracks. To check out yours, head to the "Your Library" section of the mobile app, and tap "Your Daily Mix" at the top.
Connect Spotify to your Tinder profile
Tinder has gifted us with yet another way to judge our potential Tinder matches, now that you can add an "Anthem" to your profile. The song you choose via Spotify -- which you can change out at any time -- is meant give suitors a hint of your musical tastes, be it the song whose lyrics best sum you up or the ironic earworm of the moment. To add yours, launch your Tinder app and go to "Edit Info" on your profile.
Explore the Related Artists section
One of the simplest ways to discover new music is to explore artists Spotify considers similar to your favorites. Head to the Related Artists section from a band or singer you're into (just below the Top Tracks on their artist page in the app, or next to the Overview tab on desktop), and you'll get links to pages of other artists you might dig.
See if Spotify's customer service will make you a custom playlist with a secret message