Music to the ears

lifestyle October 27, 2018 01:00

By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation Weekend

3,424 Viewed

Spotify upgrades its free service for a better individual listening experience



SPOTIFY ONLINE music streaming service takes away the need to subscribe to its premium service by allowing you to enjoy music through its All-New Free on Spotify option.

The new, ad-supported All-New Free on Spotify, which was launched in April, is designed to allow users to have a fun music experience with the redesigned Android and iOS app.

The Free on Spotify has five must-use features that make your listening experience more tailored to what you like.

The first feature that you must use to enjoy other features afterwards is the Taste Onboarding.

After you have downloaded and signed into the free app for the first time, you will be prompted to select five or more artists you like.

Your selection will allow Spotify’s server to analyse your favourite artists, songs and genres. From your choices, Spotify will create some welcome playlists for you and tailor your home screen for easier music discovery. Moreover, the app will gradually learn from your listening experience to better recommend and introduce artists you are likely to love.

Free on Spotify will then use the data from your Taste Onboarding to present you with 15 personalised and curated playlists that will be particular to you based on your music tastes and your streaming habits.

The On-Demand Playlists include Discover Weekly and up to six Daily Mixes. These lists will update frequently based on how you interact with them and with the rest of the music you listen to.

When you listen to other playlists in the free service, you must listen to the playlists in shuffle play mode and the number of tracks you can skip is limited.

That said, within the On-Demand Playlists, you can play songs in any order and skip as much as you like. The more you stream, the quicker the On-Demand Playlists will become available and you can find them on your home screen.

I found during the trial that Free on Spotify compiled an enjoyable “Your Welcome Mix” list for me after I selected my favourite artists. Most of the songs were rock numbers from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, which are hard to find on radio now.

Selecting artists was intuitive. After I selected an artist, Spotify provided artists with similar genres and styles for me to choose.

I then found my On-Demand Playlists such as Daily Mix 1 and Discover Weekly that were in line with my personal tastes.

The third useful feature of the Free on Spotify is Assisted Playlisting. You just start with a title, and then choose a few tracks. In the meantime, Spotify starts recommending songs for you to add with the tap of a button. Spotify will show songs based on artists in the playlist, your taste profile, and even the title of your playlist – particularly songs with that theme or word in the lyrics.

For example, I created a “Rock ballads” playlist and I started with “Soldier of Fortune” by Deep Purple and “Before the Dawn” by Judas Priest. Spotify then recommended several more slow numbers for me to easily add to the list. The recommended songs included Deep Purple’s “When a Blind Man Cries”, Rainbow’s “The Temple of The King” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”. 

The fourth feature that free users will love is “Personalize by Liking and Hiding”.

Free on Spotify will provide you with like and hide buttons that you can use to get recommendations tailored just for you. The like button is presented as the heart icon and the hiding as the ban icon (circle with a slash).

While you are listening to songs from a list, you can note songs you like by tapping the heart icon. You can also do this with artists, albums and playlists. This will teach the app to learn what you love and want to hear more of. 

All your liked songs will appear in a new playlist called “Your Favourites” and new tracks from artists you have listened to will appear in your Release Radar.

On the contrary, when you tap the “hide” icon, the app will ensure that you don’t have to hear that song or others similar to it.

While paid users can download songs to enjoy music offline to save data connection, Free on Spotify provides a Data Saver feature that allows free users to optimise the listening experience to use less mobile data. Data Saver streams at a lower bit rate so you can listen to more music with less guilt. Data Saver isn’t a default setting, so make sure to switch it on in your settings tab.

Anyway, if you want you can subscribe for Spotify Premium for Bt129 a month to download songs and listen without being interrupted by ads. The Spotify Premium also allows you to play songs on your smartphone and to skip songs in any playlist without limit.

The premium service has improved sound quality and comes with Spotify Connect to stream music to Wi-Fi speakers that have built-in Chromecast.

These days, Spotify has more than 180 million users, including 83 million-plus Spotify Premium subscribers across 65 markets. Spotify says it has over 35 million tracks for streaming.

Spotify has just celebrated the first anniversary of its service in Thailand and marked the occasion by announcing that “Avorn” by Polycat topped the list of Top Hits Thailand and “Pen Rai Mai” by OG-ANIClazyloxy topped the list of Thai Pop Hits.

 

>> Required: iOS or Android device

>> Service: Free (with certain restrictions)

>> Available tracks: Over 40 million

>> Premium service: Bt129 per month

>> Number of users: 180 million