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Spotify is about to shake things up by making the desktop and web app experiences more similar. So, it’s about time many of us asked ourselves, Why not just use the web app instead?
Since early 2013, Spotify has had a web player available for use at Play.Spotify.com. However, many people still seem to be invested in their desktop apps. This seems a little surprising given how useful the web app is.
Now that the desktop versions of the Spotify apps have been pared down to the essentials, the differences between the web version and the desktop versions have become minimal. In fact, there is rumored to be a new web interface in testing that is exactly the same as the desktop, so functionality may soon be identical whatever you use.
In the end, most of the things you would ever want to do with Spotify can be done on the Web. Check out our full guide on using Spotify if you have never the popular music streaming service before.
Have you watched that video and yet still aren’t quite convinced yet? Then read on, as we have lovingly compiled a list of the best reasons to start using the Spotify Web Player today.
1. You’ll Own Fewer Apps
If you’re keen to have fewer apps on your computer, get rid of the desktop client for Spotify and just use the web app. Honestly, once you’ve made (or imported) your playlists, there’s not a lot most people need from the desktop client that they can’t get from the web. In fact, if you use the “Your Music” section effectively to save songs and albums you want to listen to, you may not even need to create any playlists at all.
And with the Web redesign coming up, these known differences between apps might get thrown out of the window. Don’t hold back! There’s no download, so why not just get started.
2. You’ll Gain Portability
Listen to your favourite music at work or at a friend’s house without needing your computer. Just log in. You’ll be playing your favourite tunes through the local speakers in no time — it really is as simple as that.
3. You Can Use Hotkeys
If you love using Spotify hotkeys to navigate your music collection, then browser-based Spotify has you covered. Install the Chrome Spotify Web Player Hotkey extension or the Spotify Hotkeys Firefox addon. The default navigation for both of these extensions is simple to use, or you can change it to whatever you prefer.
Play/Pause: Alt + Shift + P
Next Track: Alt + Shift + .
Previous Track: Alt + Shift + ,
Play/Pause: Ctrl + Alt + P
Next Track: Ctrl + Alt + .
Previous Track: Ctrl + Alt + ,
4. You Can Play Music Via Widgets & Tools
Spotify fans often create widgets of their favourite playlists for their website visitors to listen to. There are also dozens of useful playlist-making sites that connect with Spotify.
If you’re clicking on one of these widgets or playlists online, using the Spotify Web Player makes it a seamless experience. There’s no need to wait for the desktop app to open — it all just works.
5. You Can Use Playlist Links
When you’re using the Spotify Web Player, you’ll notice that the URL in the address bar is the one you can use to directly access the playlist or artist. So, you can really easily copy/paste that into an email to a friend, a Facebook update, a tweet, or whatever in order to share what you’re listening to with friends and have them be able to experience it for themselves immediately.
More importantly, you can bookmark your favorite playlists for easy access later on — an essential move if your playlists are a mess. Then all it takes is typing the name of the playlist into your address bar and it will pop up ready to play. This trick is a real time-saver if you have lots of playlists saved, but only a few favorites you listen to all the time, and it’s especially good if you’ve given up on owning a music collection altogether.
6. You Can Sing Along With Lyrics
Half the fun of listening to music is singing along, so having lyrics automatically pop up is just perfect. If you’re using the Spotify Web Player you can install the Chrome Lyrics Here by Rob W extension or the Firefox Lyrics Here by Rob W addon.
Just remember to head into the extension’s settings to enable the extension to work on Spotify and any other music web apps you use. Also set up your preferred font size and theme, plus choose whether it will automatically show the lyrics or be activated manually. You can also decide which lyrics sites to use, so you’re getting the quality you want.
There are plenty of other extensions for lyrics available, but I haven’t felt the need to use any of them after finding this one. Because it’s essentially perfect.
7. Because Chromebooks
On a Chromebook, you are able to install a Chrome app for Spotify, however this really just opens up the web app for you. However, you’ll have the option to add Spotify to your app shelf and to always open it up as a pinned tab or a new window if that suits you.
Chromebooks were specifically made to use web apps like Spotify, so it is an ideal way to play music on your laptop. This goes for other Chrome devices like the Chromebit and Chromebox too, of course.
Why Would You Use a Desktop App?
Spotify video is coming soon, along with a huge revamp of the desktop and web apps to bring them in line with each other. There are also a plethora of apps and tools to make Spotify more interesting. Which all adds up to make it a great time to be using Spotify!
Now, besides the initial playlist setup, which is currently far easier on the Spotify desktop apps, why would you ever use them over the web app? Do you agree with my reasons for using the Spotify Web Player or not? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.