Spotify is great, but it can be a lot better if you connect it to the right third-party apps. From a daily version of the Discover Weekly playlist to an internet radio from the past year after year, these free Spotify apps provide a better music listening experience.
Unlike many other music streaming services, Spotify offers open APIs that allow third-party developers to build apps that improve it. This is great news for users who solve problems and frustrations without relying on Spotify. And sometimes you can get surprise features that you never thought you needed.
1. Echoes (Web): view your Spotify stats and listening habits
Spotify gives users a snapshot of their music listening stats each year-end, but you don’t have to wait that long. Echoes is one of the easiest ways to analyze your Spotify listening habits for free.
Connect with Spotify and the app will analyze your numbers to present a simple dashboard. You will see your best artists, top tracks and recently played songs in a neat interface. You can quickly follow them or like them to get more songs.
The New Discovery section presents music recommendations based on your listening habits. Conveniently, Echoes lets you listen to songs in the web app so that you don’t need to open them in Spotify. Instead, you can create a New Discovery recommendations playlist to add to your Spotify account, then have Echoes upload new songs for new discoveries.
2. Wayback.FM (Web): Year-to-year Internet Radio on Spotify
There are plenty of other internet radio stations to listen to in your browser, but Wayback.FM is a different way to experience radio. As long as you have a Spotify account, you can go back in time to listen to songs that were hits the previous year.
The idea is to connect your Spotify account and then start a radio station based on the year the song was released. In a timeline at the bottom, you can click, hold, and then cycle through different years, starting in 1959 and ending in 2020.
While Wayback.FM doesn’t tell you how they choose the songs other than the release date, the selection is pretty good. If you like to enable music in a browser tab and let it run while you do other things, this works just fine as a good internet radio station. You won’t find obscure or unpopular songs playing, and the interface allows you to easily jump to the previous or next song.
3. Timelineify (Web): Create a chronological playlist of an artist’s discography
Like any art form, musicians grow and change as they write more songs. If you want to discover a new layer of your favorite band or artist, listen to their songs as they were created and released. Timelineify makes it easy to create a playlist of an artist’s discography in chronological order.
Type any artist’s name in the search box and let the app do its job. Depending on their catalog, this will take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. But after that you will get the artist timeline sorted by release date. You can choose to show only albums, singles, or both, and reverse the timeline from newest to oldest.
Timelineify requires you to connect your Spotify account to work. With one click, you can then save any artist’s timeline as a single playlist.
4.Spotube (Chrome): Add YouTube songs to Spotify playlists with one click
When someone wants to share a song with you, they most often send you a YouTube link. In fact, discovering music through YouTube is more common than any other way to find new songs. But then you need to open Spotify in another tab or on your phone, search for that song and add it to your playlists. Spotube turns it all into one click.
Install the Chrome extension, sign in to Spotify the first time you use it, and you’re good to go. When you come across a new song while browsing YouTube on your computer, click on the Spotube icon and your playlists will be displayed. Click the playlist to add the song directly and sync it with Spotify on all your devices.
Spotube matches the name of the song as it is written in the YouTube title with the Spotify database. Although this works 90% of the time, sometimes you will have to manually change the name of what Spotube is looking for. It is a small solution and even more practical than any other option.
To download: Spotube for Chrome (Free)
5. Discoverify Music (Web): Daily version of the “Discover Weekly” playlist
Spotify does its best to discover new music and find playlists through Discover Weekly and personalized recommendations. But that’s not always enough, nor the best. You have a few other options to get these interesting personalized suggestions.
Discoverify Music asks you a few questions. Then, on a scale of 1 to 100, choose parameters to determine the level of acoustics, dance, energy, instrumentality, popularity, and vibe of a song. Discoverify Music will then create a playlist in your Spotify with these settings and update the songs every 24 hours.
You no longer need to revisit the website for further updates. However, if you want to change the settings, you can visit the website again and adjust to your liking.
Try third-party apps or wait for Spotify functionality?
Quite often, something offered by a third-party app quickly becomes a Spotify feature. And then you rightly wonder why you are giving your data to someone else. For example, there are several new web apps that will create a playlist for you and your friends based on your shared tastes. However, it doesn’t make sense to use them anymore now that you can officially make a Spotify Blend playlist with a friend.
Having said that, you might still want to try them out due to different algorithms. You see, Spotify has already created a profile of your likes and tends to recommend the same types of songs over and over. But if you give the same listening data to a third-party application with their algorithm, their “listening profile” for you turns out to be quite different. And it gives you some new recommendations, as I found when trying the Discoverify Music app.
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