Spotify Radio

What is Spotify Radio?

Spotify Radio is a function of Spotify that lets you create your own semi-custom radio stations.  Basically, you start by picking a song, artist, album, genre, or playlist that you like.  Then, Spotify will play that song (or a song from the artist, album, genre, or playlist that you chose), and then play a random sequence of songs that are from similar artists or genres. 

You can then either like or dislike each song that you hear.  Based on how you rate what you hear, Spotify will play more songs that are similar to the ones that you like, and avoid songs that are similar to the ones that you don’t like.

In other words, you can use your Spotify music collection and Spotify Playlists to keep the songs you already like in order, and use Spotify Radio to discover new songs that you might enjoy.  You can even use your music and playlists to power Spotify Radio, making its recommendations even more accurate!

How does Spotify Radio work?

  1. Open the Spotify application on your device of choice and log in.

  2. Click Radio in the left-hand menu.

  3. In the top-right corner of the main window, click New Station.

  4. This will cause a search window to appear.  If you haven’t typed anything in yet, it will simply display popular artists on Spotify.  When you do begin typing in search terms, it will display songs, artists, albums, or playlists whose names match.  Click one to start a radio station.

  5. In the main window, you will see the current song playing for this station, as well as a history of songs that have played previously.  When you have the current song selected, click the thumbs-down icon to dislike the song (which will automatically skip it), or click the thumbs-up icon to like it (which automatically adds it to a playlist called “Liked From Radio”).  This will help Spotify learn what songs to play for you and which ones to avoid.

    You can also simply click the arrow icon here to skip the song.

  6. If you move your mouse cursor over a song’s album artwork, you will have some additional options.

    Click the “+” icon to add the song to your collection of music, or click the “” icon for advanced options, such as starting a playlist by adding this song to it, or sharing this song with your friends on Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

  7. You can also click the Queue icon to see what songs are coming up, or click History at the top of the screen to see a complete history of the songs you’ve listened to on this radio station.

  8. You can have up to 20 radio stations at once.  Click Radio and scroll down to the “Your Stations” section.  Click on the button in the middle of a station to play it, or click the “X” in the top-right corner of a station to get rid of it.

    (NOTE: You can’t delete the station that you’re currently listening to.)

That’s a brief walkthrough on how to use Spotify Radio!


How to Use Spotify Playlists

Have you found a series of songs on Spotify that you think would go well together?  Put them together in a playlist!  You can give your playlist a unique name, use it as the inspiration for a Spotify radio station, or download it to listen to it without an Internet connection!  You can even let other people help you out with it by adding, removing, or reordering songs!

(NOTE: Downloading your playlist to listen to it offline requires you to have Spotify Premium.  See our How Much Does Spotify Cost article to learn how to get a paid subscription to Spotify.)

To make a playlist on Spotify

  1. Open the Spotify application on your device of choice and log in.

  2. Click New Playlist in the bottom-left corner, and then type in a name for your new playlist.  Then press the “Enter” key on your keyboard.

  3. You can also start a playlist with an album or song by clicking the “” icon next to it (or right-clicking your mouse on it), moving your mouse over Add to Playlist, and then left-clicking New Playlist.

  4. To add more songs to your playlist, simply click and hold the mouse button on a song, drag it to the name of the playlist that you want to add it to, and then release the mouse button.

    You can also use the method described in step 3, but instead of clicking New Playlist, click the name of the playlist that you want to add the selected song or album to.

To edit a Spotify playlist

  1. In the left-hand menu, under “Playlists”, click the playlist that you want to edit.

  2. To take a song off your playlist, click the “” icon beside it, and click Remove from This Playlist.

  3. To change your playlist’s name, click the “” icon beside the Play button, and click Rename

    Type in a new name for your playlist, and then press the “Enter” key.

  4. To allow other people to add to, edit, or reorder tracks on your playlist, click the “” icon beside the Play button, and click Collaborative Playlist.  Do the same thing again to disable these permissions.

To download a Spotify playlist (Premium accounts only)

  1. Click the name of the playlist that you wish to download in the left-hand menu, under “Playlists”.

  2. Simply click the switch beside “Available Offline” to turn it on.  Playlists that have been downloaded (and are thus able to be listened to offline) will have a green arrow beside them under the “Playlists” heading in the left-hand menu.

  3. If you go to the File menu and then click Offline Mode, you can use Spotify without being connected to the Internet.  Any playlists that you’ve downloaded will be able to be listened to, along with any music on your device’s local storage.

To delete a Spotify playlist

  1. In the left-hand menu, under “Playlists”, click the playlist that you wish to delete to select it.

  2. Click the “” icon beside the Play button, and then click Delete.

  3. Spotify will ask you if you really want to delete the playlist.  Click Delete if you’re sure.

    (NOTE: If you delete a playlist and then later decide that you want it back, there is a way to recover it.  We’ll show you how in our Spotify Tips and Tricks article.)

Those are some different ways that you can use Spotify playlists!


Spotify Search

Looking for something specific on Spotify?  A song that you can’t get out of your head, perhaps?  Or maybe your favourite artist?  A specific album?  A playlist?  One of your friends?  Spotify has a well-organized and easy-to-use search feature that makes it easy to track down what you want.

To search on Spotify

  1. Open the Spotify application on your device of choice and log in.

  2. Click the box in the upper-left corner labelled “Search” and start typing in what you hope to find.  As you do, Spotify will make suggestions on what you might be looking for, based on how popular the results are and how closely they match your search terms.

    Results are sorted by: Top Results (i.e. most popular), Songs, Artists, Albums, Playlists, and Profiles (i.e. other users on Spotify).  Click a result for more information, or click Show All Results to see everything on Spotify that potentially matches your search terms.

    You can also click the “X” next to the search box to clear your current search terms.

  3. If you choose to see all results, then Artists, Albums, Playlists, and Profiles will be grouped near the top.  Clicking a category name or See All next to that category will show you all results for that category.

    Clicking on a user profile will take you to their information page, where you can see such things as their public playlists and who is following them.

    Click on an artist’s portrait, and Spotify will begin playing their most popular songs.  Similarly, clicking on the picture for an album or playlist will begin playing it.  Click on the name of any of these instead, and Spotify will take you to an information page about them.

  4. Further down, you can see a list of songs that match your search criteria.  If you have allowed Spotify to access songs on your local machine (from iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc.), they’ll show up here, too.  You can tell them apart because they won’t have the “+” icon beside them that lets you add them to “Your Music”.

    Click on the Play icon beside a highlighted song to play it, or click the “+” icon beside it to add it to your collection of songs in “Your Music”. 

    Further to the right, you’ll see the song’s name, artist, and album.  Click on the artist or album name to have Spotify take you to an information page about them.

    You can also click the More icon (““) for additional options, such as sharing the song with friends on social media, or starting a playlist with that song.

    Next to that are just the song’s time length and a measure of how popular the song is on Spotify.

  5. If you want to repeat a search that you’ve recently conducted, click in the search box when it’s empty (remember, you can click the “X” next to it to clear any search terms), and then click one of the recent searches that appears.  You can also click Clear Recent Searches to get rid of the list of things you’ve looked for on Spotify recently.

To search for people on Spotify

As we showed you in the general instructions, Spotify users will show up in your general search results.

If you click Show All Results, you can also click See All beside Profiles to only see Spotify users whose names match your search terms as results.

However, there is a quick way to search for a specific Spotify user.  Type “spotify:user:” into the search box, followed by the user name of the person whom you want to search for (without any spaces in between).  Then press the “Enter” key, and you’ll be instantly taken to that person’s profile.

This is a bit of an advanced trick; we’ll go over others like it in more detail in our Spotify Tips and Tricks article.

 

Those are the basics of searching on Spotify!  We hope you find what you’re looking for!


How to Use Spotify

Now that you have a Spotify account and have downloaded and installed the Spotify program, it’s time to get started using Spotify!  This tutorial will give you a quick tour of Spotify and some of its general functions.

Note that we’ll be using the Spotify program for desktop computers as a demonstration, but the mobile versions should be relatively similar.

Using Spotify

  1. Find the Spotify application on your device of choice and tap or double-click to open it.

  2. Click in the box labelled “Username” and type in the name that you picked to represent yourself with on Spotify.  Then click in the box labelled “Password” and type in the password that you picked to secure your Spotify account.  Finally, click Log In.

    If you signed up for Spotify using your Facebook account, you can click Log In With Facebook instead, and log in by using your Facebook account credentials.

  3. Below is the main screen of the Spotify program.

    The Browse feature is your general portal for finding new music on Spotify.  Its options include:

    Overview: for some of Spotify’s general recommendations.
    Charts: for songs that are popular or shared often in various countries, or around the world.
    Genres and Moods: for playlists of songs from a particular genre, or for certain activities.
    New Releases: for songs that have recently been added to Spotify.
    Discover: for albums by artists that are similar to those that you’ve listened to previously.

  4. The Activity feature shows you what people whom you’re following on Spotify have been listening to.  Click Follow beside someone’s name to follow their activity on Spotify.

  5. The Radio feature lets you pick a song, artist, playlist, or album and have Spotify play a random mix of music that is similar to what you chose.  You can also like or dislike songs to give Spotify a better idea of what it should play for you.

    Our Spotify Radio tutorial will show you how to use this feature in detail.

  6. The menus in the “Your Music” section show you songs, artists, and albums that you’ve saved to your collection.  To save a song or album to your collection, click the “+” icon beside it.

    Songs or albums that are part of your collection will have a checkmark beside them.  To remove a song or album, move your mouse over the checkmark until it becomes an “X”, and then click it.

    One last note: the Local Files menu will show you music files on your local device, if Spotify is allowed to access them.  Therefore, you can use Spotify just like a regular music player for music that you already own!

  7. The “Playlists” menu shows you custom groups of songs that you’ve put together.  Click New Playlist to start a new one, and then give it a name.  From there, just drag and drop songs wherever you find them into the playlist to build it up!

    If you need help using this feature, head over to our Spotify Playlists tutorial.

  8. If you want to look for something specific on Spotify, click in the “Search” box in the top-left corner and start typing in your search terms.  Spotify will make some suggestions; you can click one to take it, or click Show All Results to see results grouped by category.

  9. The bottom-left corner shows you the song that’s currently playing.  You can click the song or artist name for more information, or click the “+” icon to add the song to your collection.

    Below that, you can click the Play/Pause button in the middle to start or stop the song.  You can also click the Next button on the right to skip the song (note that if you only have a free account, you may be limited in how many times you can do this over a certain period of time).  If you’re listening to a playlist, you can also click the Previous button on the left to skip back to the last song.

  10. In the bottom-right corner, you’ll also have some additional options.  Note that some may be unavailable unless you’re listening to a playlist.

    Click Lyrics to show or hide lyrics for the current song.  The button next to that is the Queue button; you can click it to show or hide what song is currently playing, and what songs Spotify will be playing for you next.

    Next to that is the Shuffle button.  If you’re listening to a playlist, you can click this to randomize the order in which the songs play.  Click it again to turn it off and play songs in their regular order.

    Next up is the Repeat button.  If you’re listening to a playlist, you can click it once to have the entire playlist start again when it finishes playing.  Click it again to have the current song start again when it finishes playing.  Click it one more time to turn it off.

    Finally, you can click the volume slider to adjust the volume at which Spotify will play songs.

  11. The top-right corner has some administrative options.

  12. Click the Notifications icon to see notifications that you have received (such as if someone has shared a song with you), or click the Messages icon to see if anyone on Spotify has sent you a private message.  Click your user name to go to your Spotify profile, or click the arrow next to your user name for additional options, such as managing your Spotify account or logging out of the Spotify program.

If you need further help using Spotify, check out some of the other tutorials we mentioned in this article, or drop us a line in the comments below.  Have fun using Spotify!


How to Download and Install Spotify

Now that you have signed up for a Spotify account, it’s time to start using the service.  The first step to doing so is downloading and installing the Spotify application.  It works a bit differently depending on what operating system you’re trying to install it on, so we’ll go through how to download and install Spotify for a few different ones.

How to download and install Spotify for Windows or Mac desktop

  1. Go to www.spotify.com in your web browser and click Log In.

  2. Assuming that you signed up with your email address (click Log In With Facebook if you used your Facebook account instead), click in the box labelled “User Name” and type in the user name that you picked to represent yourself with on Spotify.  Then click in the box labelled “Password” and type in the password that you picked to secure your account with on Spotify.

    If you’re using a public computer (or one that other people may be using), consider clicking the check box beside “Remember Me” to unmark it and prevent Spotify from automatically filling in your user name when you log in again (for privacy reasons).  Then click Log In.

  3. Once you’re logged in, click Download in the top-right corner.

  4. Spotify should automatically open a download prompt for you.  Click Save File, and then (if applicable) use the explorer window that pops up to select where you want to save the Spotify installer.  (It should show up in your “Downloads” folder if you don’t select a place to save it.)

  5. Find the SpotifySetup.exe file on your computer and open it (click Run to confirm that you want to run it if you’re given a security warning).  The Spotify application should automatically download and install itself on your computer, and then open once it’s finished.

How to download and install Spotify for Android

  1. Turn on your device and look for the Google Play or Play Store application.  Tap it to open it.

  2. Tap the search menu at the top of the screen and start typing in “spotify”.  As you do, Google Play will give you suggestions on what you might be looking for.  One will be called Spotify Music, and will have the Spotify logo beside it.  Tap it.

  3. When you get to the information page for Spotify Music, tap Install.

  4. Spotify will show you a list of features on your device that it will need to use.  If you still want to use the application, tap Accept.

  5. Spotify will automatically begin downloading and installing.  When it finishes, tap Open to launch the program.

How to download and install Spotify for iOS (iPhone/iPad)

  1. Turn on your device and look for the App Store application.  Tap it to open it.

  2. Tap the “Search” box in the top-right corner and start typing in “spotify”.  As you do so, the App Store will give you suggestions on what you might be looking for.  Tap either spotify or spotify music.

  3. When you see the application called “Spotify Music”, tap Get beside it, and then tap Install.

  4. You will need to log into your Apple account.  If you don’t have one, click this link and follow the instructions in order to create one. 

  5.  After you log in, Spotify will automatically begin downloading and installing.  When it finishes, tap Open to launch the program.

There you go!  You now know how to download and install Spotify on your desktop computer or mobile device!


How to Sign Up for Spotify

Before you can start using Spotify, you’ll need to create an account with the service.  Fortunately, creating a free Spotify account is quick and easy.  And it’s totally free!

To create a Spotify account

  1. Go to www.spotify.com in your web browser and click Log In in the top-right corner.

    Spotify sign up image

  2. At the bottom of the log-in screen, click Sign Up.

  3. If you have a Facebook account, you can log into it to help you quickly create your Spotify account.  Otherwise, you’ll have to sign up by using your email address.

    Click in each of the boxes below where it says “Sign Up With Your Email Address” and type in or select (from top to bottom, left to right):

    — A user name to represent yourself on Spotify with (it doesn’t have to be your real name)
    — A password that you wish to use to secure your Spotify account
    — Your email address
    — A copy of your email address
    — Your date of birth (month, then day, then year)
    — Your gender

    Once you’ve filled in all of your information, click Sign Up.

  4. If you successfully sign up, you’ll be taken back to Spotify’s home page, where you’ll notice that Log In has been replaced by the user name that you just chose.

That’s all that you have to do to sign up for Spotify!  The next step is to download and install the Spotify application! Our next tutorial will show you how.