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Spotify is perhaps the biggest icon of the rise of music streaming. A few years ago, the idea of listening to music without owning it was strange for most people. Now, however, Spotify has effectively ended the iTunes generation of music ownership. Which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your personal point of view.
Over the past few years, Spotify has re-invented its service by adding all sorts of non-musical content. Unfortunately, this has come at a cost. Spotify has got rid of many of the cool features that once made people flock to the music streaming service. Opting instead for a more streamlined experience.
So, let’s take a look at some of the major features that are no longer a part of Spotify. And then, because we’re MakeUseOf and here to serve you, detail your best options for getting these features back. The hope is, of course, to restore Spotify to its former glory.
Restore Your Favorite Spotify Apps
A few years ago, Spotify featured third-party apps that you could use to enhance its functionality. Among them were apps to play music for specific moods, apps that introduced you to classical music, and apps that displayed on-screen lyrics. These were a great way for clever developers to supplement Spotify’s functionality, but Spotify killed apps off in early 2015.
Been using @Spotify premium and, though I know their selection is large, discoverability is an issue, especially since they removed apps
— Ben T (@NoRights) August 14, 2016
Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to fill in the gaps that these apps left. Instead of built-in tools, there are lots of web apps for Spotify that provide extra functionality. Sort Your Music lets you organize playlists by more varied criteria than default, while Forgotify helps you discover music that nobody has listened to before.
Spotify made discovering cool apps a chore by removing the built-in marketplace. If you browse the web though, you’re bound to find something capable of replacing any of your favorite discontinued apps. If you don’t want to do that, have a look at Spotify’s new built-in discovery playlists.
Sing Along With Song Lyrics Again
After Spotify removed its integrated apps, people were predictably upset. One of the most useful apps was MusixMatch, which provided dynamic song lyrics inside Spotify on the desktop. Once apps became a thing of the past, MusixMatch actually became a part of Spotify for a while.
— Chase (@billchase2) August 11, 2016
Then, earlier this year, users found that clicking the “Lyrics” button in Spotify resulted in them seeing a message that “big improvements” were coming. A few weeks later, and the song lyrics feature disappeared without a trace. Months later, Spotify still hasn’t provided a new lyrics service.
Our options for replacement here are a bit more limited. One developer has created Lyricfier, a lyrics replacement tool that checks to see what the current song is and scrapes the web for lyrics. It’s not as polished as MusixMatch, but it’s worth a shot. Another similar tool is SpotifyLyrics, which isn’t much to look at, but gets the job done at the very least.
A slightly less convenient workaround is MusixMatch’s Chrome extension, which displays lyrics in real-time for many music video on YouTube. If you only want to check real-time lyrics occasionally, this one might work for you.
Still not satisfied? A third method to getting lyrics is to bookmark a reputable lyrics site, like SongMeanings, Genius, or AZLyrics and bring it up when needed. Until Spotify replaces MusixMatch (that is if it ever does), these are the best options.
Get Spotify Premium for the Price of Unlimited
Spotify used to offer three tiers of service: Free, Unlimited, and Premium. Unlimited, costing $5 per month, was axed a few years ago. While it was around, it served as a sort of middle ground between Free and Premium. You still needed Premium ($10 per month) for full access on mobile devices, as the Unlimited plan stripped out ads on the desktop only.
It’s not really a surprise that Spotify removed this plan, as the number of people listening to music on the go has exploded in recent years. However, it does mean the cost of Spotify has essentially doubled for many people. While we think that Premium is definitely worth the cost, there are two main ways to get the price down to $5.
Students can sign up for Spotify’s student plan, which scores you Premium for just $5 per month. If you’re not eligible for the student discount, your best bet is to join the Spotify Family plan. Spotify allows up to six people to subscribe to a shared plan for just $15 per month total. Thus, if you can get even two other people to jump on board with you, you can bring your monthly cost down to $5.
Is Spotify Worse Now Than It Was Before?
While Spotify removing some features is frustrating, we really shouldn’t complain too much. Especially in the competitive music-streaming business, when lagging behind could mean a company doesn’t stick around for long. As the needs of its users change, Spotify is forced to change its plans too.
Unfortunately, the music streaming company has a history of removing key features with little or no warning. Hopefully, the new mobile features and powerful discovery playlists will be enough to keep people using Spotify for the foreseeable future.
Are you having trouble getting Spotify to work? If so, check out these solutions to common Spotify problems. Are you sick of Spotify getting rid of its best features? Then find out whether Google Play Music or Apple Music are better than Spotify.
Do you think Spotify has got better or worse in recent years? Which old features do you miss? And which new features do you use on a regular basis? Where do you see Spotify going in the future? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!