Way back in 2011, Spotify introduced third-party apps to its desktop client. These enabled developers to expand and increase the music service’s functionality, introducing features such as lyrics, tour dates, and artist recommendations.
Then, in February 2015, third-party apps were canceled. Users were predictably furious; Spotify has a bad reputation for removing well-loved features on a whim, and this was seen as yet another example.
Thankfully, there are still some apps that will provide you with similar functionality as the old third-party offerings – though they are accessed via the web rather than through the official Spotify desktop client.
Here are seven of the best Spotify web apps that you need to try today:
Spotlistr lets you convert music from YouTube, Reddit, SoundCloud, and Last.fm into a Spotify playlist. You can also use a text box to search across all the supported services at once.
The two most useful services are arguably Reddit and Last.fm.
If you’re a regular visitor to the various music-based subreddits, you’ll know that posts often attract hundreds of comments in which users will link to songs or suggest artists. Because Spotlistr lets you search subreddits, multireddits, and comments, you can easily pull all these links together into your own playlist.
The Last.fm tool doubles as a music discovery feature. It’ll let you search for similar tracks, similar artists, or by date range.
2. Fresh Faces
Fresh Faces is a clever tracker that lists all the artists who released their first album on Spotify within a user-specified time frame.
The main page displays the various album covers. Clicking on an album will give you a 30-second preview, and if you click on the star icon in the top left-hand corner of an album you’ll be given useful information about it (including its popularity, the number of followers the artist has, and its release date). Clicking on the arrow in the top right-hand corner of the album art will take you to the track on Spotify itself.
One area in which Spotify is sorely lacking is the availability of music videos. Music videos are almost as important as the songs themselves these days; integrating them into the app would open up a host of new possibilities.
In the meantime, you’ll have to make do with this third-party app. The best one is currently Vidfish – it’ll create video playlists based on your preferences; they’re perfect for parties and other gatherings.
To use it, just link your Spotify account, drag-and-drop songs into your browser window, and the app will take care of the rest. As an extra bonus, you can also generate random video playlists from YouTube based on genres and artists.
Spotify categorizes its music into 1,491 genres. So, unless you’re planning to spend all day, every day listening to music, you’ll never get through them all.
Every Noise at Once plots all these genres onto a huge scatter graph, thus making search and discovery much easier. The x-axis moves from dense and atmospheric to spiky and bouncy, the y-axis goes from organic and orchestral to electrical and mechanical.
Click on a genre to be given a quick preview. If you then select >>, you’ll be taken to every artist within that genre. Clicking >> on an artist will take you to their Spotify page.
If you’re a Spotify power user, you’ll be well aware that the service has masses of untapped potential. Some seemingly basic and easy-to-implement features are missing, one of which is playlist sorting.
Yes, you can obviously order your lists by artist or by track title, but more advanced options are missing.
Sort Your Music rectifies this problem. Connect your Spotify account to the service and you’ll be able to sort playlists by eight new categories: beats per minute (BPM), energy, danceability, loudness, valence, length, acoustic, and popularity.
Have you ever been to a concert that was so good you wanted to listen to it all over again? Or perhaps the artist sang an unknown song that you’d love to track down?
Setify is the solution.
It doesn’t claim to be 100 percent perfect, but it’ll let you search concerts and gigs by artist, city, or date, then display the set list and convert it into a Spotify playlist. It’ll also inform you if it couldn’t find some songs – either because they were unknown covers or aren’t in the Spotify library.
The number of concerts it follows is surprisingly robust, especially for mainstream bands – though you might start to struggle when it comes to niche artists.
Spotify’s Shuffle feature is probably the most frequently criticized part of the entire service. It simply doesn’t work for many people, and it hasn’t for a long, long time. No matter how many songs or artists you put in a playlist, the same tracks will keep cropping up again and again.
It’s absolutely staggering that Spotify has not fixed this, but once again a third-party tool has come to the rescue.
Spotify Shuffler does exactly what you’d expect, reading your playlists and then entirely randomizing them. You won’t hear the same song twice until every entry has been played at least once.
Just log in, hit the Shuffle button, and you’re away.
A Word of Caution
You will find some of these apps need access to your Spotify account via the web API.
Oddly, Spotify does not offer a way to manage these permissions from within its own portal, in fact, it doesn’t even list them (it’s yet another area where it’s been heavily criticized). It means that to revoke permissions, you’ll need to visit each app individually.
If your privacy is important to you, make sure you keep a list of all the apps you grant access to, just in case you ever need to cancel them.
What are Your Favorite Spotify Apps?
I’ve listed seven of the best Spotify web apps, but there are hundreds more out there, with new ones being added all the time.
Perhaps you’ve stumbled across a little gem that performs a vital function, or you’ve found a better alternative to the services I covered?
As always, we would love to hear your suggestions and input. So please leave your feedback and thoughts in the comments box below!
Image Credit: working on laptop by Kazitafahnizeer via Shutterstock