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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Getting Spotify to work on my Android phone - Part 2

For a while now my Spotify app for Android has exited abruptly shortly after launching. True, this was only if I was online, but as I needed to be online in order to save music for playing offline, I was effectively stumped.

In a previous post on this subject I described how I briefly fixed the problem, only to have it come back again shortly afterwards. I have now fixed it again, and it hasn't gone wrong again six hours later, so I thought I should describe how I did it.

It seemed to me that the problem was happening when my phone (a Nexus S running Android 4.0.3) tried to synchronise playlists with Spotify Headquarters. I have a lot of playlists, since I create one for every album I like, and these are themselves kept in playlist folders by band and genre. But in a moment of revelation yesterday, I realised that I hardly ever refer to the playlists when looking for something to listen to. If I'm not playing some album I've just found out about, I tend to play something that just springs to my mind. Occasionally I will tell Spotify to randomly play tracks in my playlists.

It occurred to me that I could save a lot of effort by just starring at least one of the tracks in any album I wanted to remember, and could then forget about making a playlist for it. Spotify can play starred tracks in a random order, and the built-in search facility is usually good enough to find music.

So I went through my playlists, checking for one star or more in each album, before deleting the playlists altogether.

The moment of truth: would Spotify for Android now work? No.

So I switched off WiFi and went in again. I opened the settings and cleared the saved data. Then I uninstalled and reinstalled the App. Now it worked.

It's a shame that the app had this bug in it, but I seem to have cleared the problem, and as a side benefit, I won't spend any more time in Spotify creating playlists I never really needed. As with GMail, where I used to make folders and sub-folders galore to store my mail in, I now just stick it all in a heap and fetch it back with Search.

Update - it lasted for two days. Now, once again, the app exits shortly after launching. Looks like I might need to reinstall it every time I want to use it!

Another update (22/06/12) - I've been using the new version of Spotify for Android for a few weeks now, and all the problems seem to have gone away.


  1. I did reinstall the app, and again it worked for a couple of days. This time I deliberately tried to make it stop working by adding and removing playlists on my PC version; however, the changes were correctly reflected on my phone app. Then later it just stopped working.

    Perhaps a starred track stops being available, and that's what confuses it.

    I have read that Spotify are about to do a major upgrade on the Android app, so I will wait for that.

  2. Just upgraded my Spotify app to a preview version of the new App. You have to go to from your phone and download the app by hand though, and the instructions they give didn't match my phone. However, the app is now in and has yet to fall over.

  3. Five days later and Spotify still works on my mobile. Looks like they've solved it.