Be wary of "starring" in Spotify

August 30, 2011

I've been gushing recently on Twitter about Spotify, and may never stop pushing the service if and when their entire catalog is available at the higher bitrate (i.e., 320 Kbps), a stated goal of theirs.

A few weeks ago I decided that going forward I would use the service exclusively, and, consequently, stop buying albums1. To this end I searched for and starred in Spotify every album/artist currently in my iTunes library (and then deleted the correspnding audio files from my machine; I have them in offline storage), thinking that later I would move those starred albums to one or more Spotify playlists2.

This took forever. Imagine then my horror when yesterday I noticed that my "starred" items included only the very last album I starred. That's right, all of my time and effort--spanning multiple days--vanished in a second, and I have absolutely no idea why (nothing changed on my end, and in fact, I never even closed/opened the app during this time). To add insult to injury, I couldn't even go back and do all of the work again, because I had deleted the albums from iTunes along the way.

At this point I kind of freaked out. A carnitas burrito from Chipotle brought me back to my happy place, mostly.

Fortunately, I scrobble a good chunk of my listening to Last.fm, and so I'm now in the process of working through that data and using it to rebuild my Spotify library. This time though I'm adding these previously-bought albums to a Spotify playlist (and mirroring this playlist to yet another Spotify playlist), instead of starring them. Also, I'm going to look into the possibility of exporting/backing up these playlists because I'm worried that they too can just disappear without warning; my guess is that, from a backend perspective, the starred list is nothing more than a pre-named playlist.

Dear Spotify, a lil' help?


  1. When people like me decide they're no longer going to buy albums, you better believe that model is dead dead dead. There's no going back. iTunes needs to offer a subscription service, and fast. 

  2. The idea here was that I didn't want to "forget" about music I already owned and loved, and so this was a way of "transferring" those records to Spotify. Maybe it's possible, but I couldn't figure out a way to have Spotify match my local music to its library, which would have saved me a ton of time. I have a ridiculous amount of music (about eight times as much in storage as was in my iTunes library), and so I hope Spotify comes out with a way to automate this transition. 

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