While being a guest at someone else’s party certainly has its perks (here’s looking at you, sink full of dishes), there’s something fun about playing host every once in a while.
Whether you’re hosting a calm hangout session with some of your closest friends or organizing a crazy all-nighter with whoever the hell shows up, you can set the perfect mood for the evening with a little help from Spotify.
Spotify is, of course, just one of a handful of streaming music services available, but is the go-to for many. Here are seven ways you can make Spotify the life of any party, so you can spend less time worrying about making guests feel comfortable and spend more time having fun.
Use Shazam to Add New Songs
You should probably organize your music for a get-together well in advance of the event. But if you haven’t begun, don’t worry — there’s an easy way to add the hottest songs everyone will be listening to during the coming months.
You’re most likely already familiar with the Shazam app, which identifies any music playing around you with just the tap of your smartphone’s screen. You can now connect your Spotify account to Shazam, allowing you to easily listen to and save songs in Spotify that you’ve identified using Shazam.
In other words, if you’re playing catch-up on adding the newest songs to your Spotify collection, use Shazam to identify new songs you hear on the radio or while you’re out shopping. Each song will be saved to Shazam like normal, and later you can easily add them to Spotify with a few finger taps.
While the app is free to download, the free version does contain ads. If you don’t want those ads breaking up your party, you can pay $6.99 for an ad-free version instead.
Automatically Add YouTube Likes to Spotify
Shazam is one good way to find and add new songs to your Spotify collection, and YouTube is another. These days, just about every new and hot song makes its way to YouTube early, so it’s a good place to find the best tracks for your next soiree. It’s not that taxing to manually search Spotify for a song you hear and like on YouTube. That said, there’s a much easier way.
Set up an If This Then That recipe using the IFTTT service for both YouTube and Spotify. With this recipe, when you like a video on YouTube, Spotify will automatically search for the song and add it to a playlist titled “YouTube Likes.”
You probably already know, but just a heads up: not every song you come across on YouTube will be available on Spotify.
Broadcast Music Across the Party Area
If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a speaker system set up outdoors or built into your house (I’m not), you can improvise with an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker. Both cost significantly less than getting a speaker system installed, but can still provide relatively loud music for your party guests to listen to.
If you aren’t sure how well they’ll sound through the party area, run a simple test using different kinds of music. Record Head has a list of songs to use just for this purpose, and you can find similar playlists on Spotify, too.
Basically, you just need to make sure that most kinds of music will be easy for your party guests to hear.
Learn Spotify’s Keyboard Shortcuts
As the host of the party, you’re likely to be bouncing from one task to another throughout, whether serving drinks, making appetizers, networking, etc.
This means it’s rather handy to learn all of the keyboard shortcuts Spotify has to offer. This can help you perform various functions on the fly without taking up too much time. For example, Ctrl + Right on PCs and Ctrl + Cmd + Right on Macs plays the next track, while subbing in the Left key will skip back to the previous track.
And here’s a good one to remember for when your party gets going: hold Ctrl + Shift + Up (Cmd + Shift + Up on Macs) to turn Spotify up to maximum volume.
Just set your laptop up in the party area and you’ll be good to go.
Take Requests From Guests
You no doubt put in plenty of time curating the perfect playlist for your party, so how dare a guest ask you to play something else? It will happen — it’s a party, after all — and some guests might want to hear a song you may not have included on your list.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to play new songs without dumping your playlist altogether. Simply go to the requested song on Spotify, bring up the three-dot options window and select Add to Queue. This will insert the song, play it next and then jump back into your playlist.
Share Your Songs and Playlists
Since you went to great lengths to put together your party list, it will only be a matter of time before guests start asking you to share. Luckily, there are easy ways to do that on Spotify.
The easiest way to share music with friends (or anyone, really) is to make your playlists public. That way, users can easily browse the list at their leisure. You can share all sorts of other things as well using links, including playlists, artists, individual songs, entire albums, or even user profiles.
Not only will this keep the party jumping at your place, but you can also keep the party going well into the future by sharing the tracks you and your friends enjoyed together.
Get Super Organized With Playlist Folders
Just about anyone who uses Spotify has created playlists of their favorite songs. It might be hot songs of the moment, the songs that remind them of 2009, or the songs they want to listen to while they’re at the gym. But serious Spotify users know simple playlists are for amateurs. Playlist folders are where it’s at.
Playlist folders are exactly what they sound like. They’re folders you can use to group playlists together, making your entire music collection much more organized. You can create folders on Spotify’s desktop app by going to File > New Playlist Folder. Those folders will show up later on your mobile devices as well.
Why do you need folders? It’s simply a deeper way to organize your songs and playlists. Imagine you have a playlist of songs from each year this decade — 2010, 2011, 2012, and so on. You can group all of those playlists into a decades-wide folder called “2010s.” It makes browsing and listening to your music much easier.
How Do You Entertain Party Guests With Spotify?
One of the great things about Spotify is its sheer simplicity. You can create a great soundtrack to your party by simply loading up the app, hitting Play and letting Spotify do its thing. However, those who enjoy hosting can really personalize the listening experience, too.
What ways have you used Spotify to entertain party guests? What music will your play for your friends the next time you host a party? Please tell us in the comments below.