What is Spotify and how does it work? Complete Guide for Spotify users

Android app of Spotify

Spotify is a digital music streaming service that gives you access to millions of songs, podcasts, and videos from artists around the world, just like Apple Music.

Spotify is immediately attractive because you can access the content for free simply by signing up with an email address or connecting with Facebook. If you’re not interested in the monthly subscription fees for Spotify Premium, or just want to dive in and give it a try, it’s easy to get started and there’s no commitment.


You can find the main differences between Spotify Free and Premium in our separate feature, but as a quick summary, the free version is ad-supported, just like radio stations. Spotify free version can be accessed on PC, laptop, and mobile phone, but the full service needs a Spotify Premium subscription.

How does Spotify work?

Getting started listening to music on Spotify is easy:

  1. Visit the Spotify website and sign up. We recommend signing up for Facebook if you have an account, as it makes it easier for you to find and follow friends, see what they’re listening to, and share songs with them.
  2. Choose a subscription level. We recommend going for Spotify Premium as it gives you access to more features, is more flexible, and will connect with more devices.
  3. Download and install the free Spotify app. There are versions for desktop, iPhone/iPad phones, and Android.
  4. Sign in to your account on those devices and start listening.

The basic setup is pretty straightforward, but there’s so much more to Spotify once you dig into it deeper, and it gets smarter the more you listen.

Photo of Spotify profile page

Can you download music from Spotify?

Yes and no. With Spotify Premium you can set music to be available “offline”, but it’s not the same as downloading music in the traditional sense. For example, you cannot try to game the system by downloading an album and then canceling your subscription at a later date. And you can’t download the tracks to burn to CD or copy to other devices.


The idea of ​​Spotify offline mode is to allow you to have access to your favorite music when you are trying to save mobile data or traveling somewhere where internet access may not be easy.


With Spotify Premium you can have up to 10,000 songs available for offline listening on up to five different devices. Downloading songs, albums or playlists on Spotify is also simple, which is great. Just toggle the switch next to Download on the album you want to download for offline listening. Alternatively, click the three dots at the top right and click “Download”.

How much data (Bandwidth) does Spotify use?

The amount of data Spotify consumes will depend on the streaming quality you choose; more on this in a minute. Here’s a rough guide to how much data Spotify will transmit:

  • An hour of music playback will use about 50 MB of data when the quality is set to “normal.”
  • At normal quality, you can play around 24 hours of music for around 1GB of data usage.
  • In high quality, 1 GB (Gigabyte) will be used in less than 15 hours.
  • At extreme quality, you will use 1 GB of data in 7 hours.
  • You will use much more data with video playback.

You can check and change the quality of streaming and downloading songs using mobile data in your device settings.


High quality streaming and audio quality

There are four different levels of streaming quality for Spotify. The transmission is done in Ogg Vorbis format and uses the following bit rates for each of the quality levels:

  • Down to 24 kbps (Kilobytes per second)
  • Normal transmissions at 96 kbps
  • High to 160 kbps
  • Very high transmissions at 320 kbps

The quality level you use will depend on your data usage preferences and choices, but it’s worth noting that Very High is only available to Spotify Premium subscribers. Also, with the web player, Spotify free users only get access to 128 kbit/s quality versus 256 kbit/s for premium users.


How to find people and friends on Spotify

Signing up for Spotify with Facebook or connecting your Facebook account at a later date will allow you to easily find and follow your friends and see what they’re listening to. The activity feed is displayed on the right-hand side of the desktop software and is a great way to meet friends who listen to the same music as you or tease them on your latest ABBA session.


You can also use the search function within the app to find friends. Go to your profile in settings and tap the “Find Friends” button, which will allow you to find and follow more friends or artists

If you’re not on Facebook or don’t want to connect your Facebook account to Spotify, you can still find and follow friends, but in some cases, it can be a bit more difficult.

According to Spotify, the best way to find and follow a friend is to use the search box on the desktop client and use this format:


Spotify: user: USERNAME

Copy this and replace USERNAME with your friend’s name. If this doesn’t work, ask your friend to copy their profile link directly from their profile page and send it to you. Alternatively, ask if they can share one of their public playlists with you. If they created the playlist, their username is contained within the URL as a number:

Sample Spotify playlist

You can use that number to find them or click on their name in the playlist to follow them.

Spotify playlists, radio and new music discovery

Creating a playlist is as easy as right-clicking on a song and clicking “Add to Playlist” or clicking the three dots next to a song in the app. Take your favorite songs and paste them into a playlist for your listening pleasure. Once you get started, you’ll soon find that you’re following playlists created by friends or curated by artists.


Spotify is smart too, the more you listen the more it learns the kind of music you like and that has an impact on the music it will present to you in the future. When you dig into the “Home” section of the app, you’ll find a series of recommendations based on your recent listening choices.

This includes artists similar to those you’ve already been listening to, as well as your ” Discover Weekly “, ” Release Radar “, “Top Songs of [year]”, and “Family Mix” playlists, among others.


“Discover Weekly” is a playlist that Spotify automatically updates every Monday and includes several different songs based on what you’ve been listening to recently. Also Read: How can you see Your and other’s Spotify playlist followers

“Release Radar” is a selection of new tracks from the artists you follow. It’s worth noting here that if you follow your favorite musicians, you’ll also get notifications and updates when they post new content.


“Family Mix” combines music heard by anyone in a Premium for Family subscription and you can choose between Chill or Upbeat.


Top Songs of the year” are all the songs you liked the most in the previous year.

To discover new music, you can either touch the “Home” tab, where you will find many options, or you can go to the “Search” tab to search for new content by category and genre. These are great ways to discover new music that is similar to your current taste, but that you might not have heard otherwise.

What is Spotify Enhance?

In September 2021, Spotify released a nifty update to its mobile app to help you update your playlists. Enhance is a button you can press at the top of your playlists. Tapping the button unfolds the playlist with additional songs along similar lines. Personalize music recommendations based on your current listening habits.


The upgrade button adds additional songs to your playlist, sandwiched between the ones you’ve already added. You’ll get a bonus song after every two of your tracks with a maximum of 30 extras added to your playlist.


If you like what you see, you can click the plus button to add each track permanently. If you’re not a fan of additions, you can click enhance again and it will remove what was added as an undo button. Enhance is rolling out to multiple regions, if you don’t see it now you should see it in the future.

Spotify Bluetooth Connectivity

One of the obvious benefits of Spotify is that if you use it on your phone, you can connect to a host of different Bluetooth devices and stream your content that way. Whether it’s a home audio receiver, a head unit in your car, Bluetooth headphones, or a Bluetooth-connected speaker, there are plenty of possibilities. With Spotify Premium you can also take advantage of Spotify Connect.

What is Spotify Connect?

Spotify Connect allows you to play your music through a variety of different Wi-Fi connected devices including everything from Wi-Fi speakers to your TV, Amazon Echo, Google Home, Chromecast, PC, and much more.


This is great because it means you can listen to your music in more places and on more devices. It also gives you the option to control the music that is played on your Spotify account. For example, if you’re streaming to speakers in your living room using your phone, you can use it as a remote to adjust the volume, change tracks, or create a party playlist while you listen.

Spotify connectivity with Amazon Echo and Google Home

If you’re the proud owner of a smart home speaker like Google Home or Amazon Echo, listening to your favorite songs on Spotify is also a snap. All you need to do is set Spotify as your primary music service within the Spotify app, then use your voice to command the speakers to play whatever you want.

If you have multiple devices, you can also take advantage of multi-room audio functionality to stream Spotify songs throughout your home. Connecting and creating groups for these devices, then streaming music or a playlist to those groups with your voice is a simple matter and one of the highlights of owning an AI-powered smart speaker.

What is Spotify Pets?

Spotify did some research and found that a large percentage of pet owners play tunes specifically for their pets.


To help create the perfect listening experience for pet owners, the company has created a tool to help you create a pet playlist. Getting started with it is also easy:

  1. Visit the Spotify playlist minisite
  2. Login to your account
  3. Click to choose your pet be it a dog, cat, iguana, hamster, or bird
  4. Choose a mood and add information about your pet
  5. Add your name
  6. Click to create the playlist and start listening

These pet-focused playlists are based on your music preference and just tailored to your pet’s mood and disposition.

spotify for kids

Video: Spotify Kids

Spotify Kids is an app designed specifically for young children who are part of a household that already has a Spotify Premium plan.


This app is intended for children ages three and up and is designed to be “safe” and private as well. Unsurprisingly, the music here is more interactive with sing-along songs, movie soundtracks, and even stories.


The listening content in this app also includes tunes handpicked by a dedicated team of editors to ensure great listening for your little ones.

The app is also designed to be kid-friendly to make it attractive and easy to use.

It’s still rolling out but is available in multiple regions including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, and more. Just like the main Spotify app, Spotify Kids is also available for Android and iOS devices.


Spotify stations

Spotify Stations” is another separate app that is available to download alongside the main Spotify app.


Stations’ goal is to give listeners easy access to curated playlists and a more radio-like experience. It’s also designed to create a listening experience that also creates stations based on your listening habits.

Like Spotify Kids, Stations is available for iOS and Android devices.


How much Spotify costs?

Spotify comes in two main forms: Free and Premium. Spotify Premium costs £9.99 / $9.99 a month, which includes access to features like ad-free streaming, unlimited skips, extreme quality streaming, and Spotify Connect.

If multiple people in your household use Spotify, you might want to consider Premium for Family, which gives up to six people access to their own single Spotify account on one bill. All users must live at the same address, so it’s not a package to include your friends, but it’s a good way to split the cost.


At £14.99/$14.99, Premium for Family isn’t much more than the price of the standard Premium plan, making it a worthwhile investment. There’s also Spotify Duo which costs £12.99/$12.99 a month for two Premium accounts.

For students, there is a discount plan that costs just £4.99 / $4.99 per month.


What do you get with Spotify Free?

You can use Spotify for free, but its features are limited. On the free plan, music can be played in shuffle mode and can be skipped up to six times per hour, every hour. Spotify Radio is not available, but you can access Daily Mix playlists.

With Spotify’s free plan, you can access all your playlists, discover new music, and share songs with friends. You can also play any playlist, album, or artist, but only in shuffle mode.


Spotify is free to use on mobile, desktop, or tablet, so it’s easily accessible, wherever you are. You can access the free version using the smartphone app, desktop software, or website.


Spotify’s Premium tier gives you access to everything but doesn’t force ads, whether you’re listening on desktop, mobile, or tablet.

Premium users can play any song they want (on demand), as well as browse and listen to playlists, discover new music, create and edit playlists, as well as share music and playlists.

Premium users can also skip any track, listen offline, listen to high-quality music, and use the Spotify app on their mobile device as remote control of the computer.


What are Spotify codes?

Spotify Codes is a feature of Spotify that allows users to easily share music with friends and family, as well as their accounts for others to follow. You can use it to generate a unique code for a song, album, playlist, or your profile, and then have someone else scan the code to share it with their device and allow them to enjoy or follow it as well.

Spotify codes work on both iPhone and Android devices, to use them just click the ‘…’ (Three dots) button next to what you want to share and you will see a popup with the album, song, or playlist. illustrations and code are below. Click on that code to zoom in so the other person can scan it.

On the other device, tap the search tab at the bottom, then tap the search bar at the top. There’s a camera icon on the top right, and if you launch it, you’ll be able to just scan the code. Spotify Codes is open to everyone.

Outside of Spotify codes, you can also easily share Spotify songs directly through several social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Tumblr, or just a direct link to copy a usable link to anywhere you want on the Web. Just right-click on the desktop or hit the three dots on mobile on the song, album, artist, or playlist you want to share and select the appropriate service.


What is Spotify Time Capsule?

Screenshot image of Spotify Time Capsule
Image via Spotify

Spotify regularly releases updates to its service to help improve your listening experience. This includes personalized playlists and voyages of discovery to help you expand your musical horizons and find new artists you’re likely to enjoy.

Sometimes, though, they just add wacky lists that show how well they know you based on your current listening trends. Time Capsule is an example of this magic.

This is a custom playlist that curates around 60 tracks that you would have listened to growing up. It is a collection of old songs that will fill you with nostalgic joy.


We found Time Capsule to be pretty accurate, scarily in fact, but it requires Spotify to have a good working knowledge of your taste in music, so listen up!

What are Daily Mix playlists?

Screenshot image of "Your Daily Mix" at Spotify

Spotify learns what you like as you use it. The more you listen, the smarter it gets. This music streaming service is brilliant for this kind of intelligence. Automatic playlists are then created based on your preferences.

This includes automated playlists like Summer Rewind, which includes all the songs you’ve listened to the most in recent months.

Daily Mix playlists are slightly different, they’re like a radio station that mixes your favorite songs with similar music that Spotify thinks you’ll enjoy. Multiple Daily Mix playlists are available for the different styles or genres of music you listen to as well. These individual mixes keep playing for as long as you want to listen and can be improved by liking the songs you enjoy or removing the ones you don’t.


Like Discover Weekly, Daily Mix playlists are a great way to discover new music you’ll love.

private listening mode

Listening to Spotify can be a social experience. If you’ve connected Spotify to your Facebook account, for example, your friends and family will be able to see what you’re listening to and you’ll be able to share your favorite songs with them.

However, there may be times when you don’t want people to know that you’re listening to a certain album or song on constant repeat. We all have the guilty pleasure that we don’t need the world to know.

Spotify accounts for this with a ” private listening mode ” that you can turn on from the app’s settings, under Social, and a quick click of a button on the desktop browser.


Spotify podcast
Spotify image

Spotify is more than a music streaming service. If you have a Spotify account, you can also use it to listen to thousands of different podcasts that include everything from comedy to sports, lifestyle, news, and more.

These podcasts are available in both the app and desktop browser, and it’s easy to find and follow your favorite podcasts and access the latest episodes wherever you are.

How to delete your Spotify account

If you decide you no longer want your Spotify account, you can delete it. However, it’s worth noting that you can switch from Premium to a free account, so if cost is the issue, we’d recommend considering that first.

If you are still interested in deleting your Spotify account, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Spotify support page on how to close your account.
  2. Sign in to your Spotify account.
  3. Click this link to delete your account.

If this doesn’t work, you can also try this method:

  1. Login and go directly to the Spotify contact support page.
  2. Choose ‘account’ as a category.
  3. Select ‘I want to close my Spotify account permanently.
  4. Then click to close your account or cancel your subscription
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Taimur Malik is a content creator / Blogger, creating content for multiple blogs, websites and News portals since 2014. The stories published by Malik are based on thorough research and reliable sources.