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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.