I recently started using spotify and immediately ran into a very frustrating issue – a bunch of my favourite songs were not available on the platform. While I had my own versions of these songs I needed a way to play them via spotify on any of my devices – my phone, laptop, work laptop and desktop computer. While this is something that isn’t officially supported by the platform, I was able to figure out a system to do so through some digital trickery. If this is a feature you’ve been hoping for to, feel free to read on for instructions!
Sharing Between Desktops/Laptops
Even the free version of spotify has support for local files. To set this up you go to Edit -> Preferences and scroll down to local files to select any folders you want spotify to pull songs from, if spotify can’t find a version of the song in your playlist on its servers it will play the file in this folder instead. However, this doesn’t upload those songs to your account – the files are only available on the single device.
So, how do you get around this? It’s pretty simple – you make sure the files are available on all your devices! What you need to do is use something like Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive to create shared folders on each device. Put all your music somewhere in a folder here and then set each device to use that folder for its local files. When you make a change to the contents of this folder on one device it will sync them on every device, making sure a local version of each song is present on every device.
Sharing To Mobile Device
If you checked the link above you would have noticed that this feature does not work on mobile devices. On mobile you can’t listen to music that you have stored on your mobile device, but you can listen files on other devices if you are on the same Wi-Fi network. In order to listen to your songs anywhere, you need to use the premium “listen offline” feature to download a copy of the local song to your mobile device.
So what is the best way to do this? What I’ve done is create a playlist on my desktop machine called “downloader” that has all my local files on it. Then, using the premium only feature, I can check the “download” option on this playlist on my mobile device. This will download the local songs when on the same Wi-Fi network, allowing me to continue listening to them when I disconnect or go offline. When I want to add more local songs, I just add them to this playlist and they will pop on my mobile device the next time you I connect to my home Wi-Fi.
While having to use a premium subscription to listen to music I already own is pretty lame, I’m listening to enough music that I don’t already own to make the premium sub worthwhile I think. Overall though, if you have a big music collection you are probably better off using something like Google Play to share your collection between devices.