A Look At The Spotify Android App

Spotify has been available in the United States since mid last week, and more people are getting signed up to the service every day. I suspect most people are trying out the free service, which does not provide access to the music service via mobile devices. Here is a walk thru of the Spotify app on Android to provide a view of how the app works.

When you start the app, you see the screen above, which lists all of your playlists. At the top are four default playlists, Inbox, Library, Starred, and Local Music, followed by other playlists that you create. Inbox is where you receive songs sent to you by other Spotify users, Library is a list of all the songs in your playlists, Starred is a list of the songs that you have starred, and Local Music is a list of the songs stored on the mobile device. You can configure any playlists other than the library to be playable offline.

At the very bottom of the screen are three tabs, Playlists, which I describe above, Search, and What’s New. Between Search and What’s New you see a triangle, which you press to expand and see the song that is currently playing, along with playback controls, as shown below.

If you selected the song currently played directly from a search, you can tap the “i” button to add the song to a playlist. You can add the song to a playlist that already exists, or create a new playlist.

Search is the primary way in which you find music to play, and you can search by track (song), album, or artist. A second way to find music is on the What’s New tab, which lists new albums, top tracks, and Spotify’s Twitter feed.

To share a track or add it to a playlist, tap and hold on the track name to open options menu you see below. When you select Share Track, the Android sharing window opens that lists all of the Android apps on the device that support sharing, which you can use to share a link to the track on Spotify on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter. To share a song with another user on Spotify, tap Share To Spotify People, which opens a list of your Spotify friends with whom you can share the track.

After you install the Spotify app on your Android device, I recommend opening the Settings and select the sync and streaming options that you want to use. If your data service is capped you may want to only sync over WiFi and select low bandwidth streaming. You can also force offline mode, which prevents streaming and only allows playback of songs that you downloaded to the device.