It's hard to appreciate Spotify's greatness until you're moving in 93-degree summer heat up five flights of stairs with no air conditioning, and you stumble upon an entire playlist with a strangely perfect assortment of Marvin Gaye, Outkast, and Stevie Wonder (looking at you "Have a Great Day!"). But killer playlists are only a small fraction of what the app has to offer. Here are a few lesser-known tips that might actually change your streaming life.
1. Maximize your run. Spotify Running allows you to match songs to your personal preferences and the pace of your run. Hit the pavement (or treadmill), and Spotify will detect your tempo. Go to the "Genres & Moods" section in "Browse" to pull up the feature.
2. Recover playlists. Forget spending an extra hour re-creating that new summer hits roundup you just created. It's easy to get playlists you inadvertently deleted back. Follow these four quick steps.
3. Learn a new language. Search "learn language" in Spotify to find a number of audio courses for Russian, Spanish, French, Swedish, Korean, and more.
4. Meditate. Let Spotify help your meditation practice. Simply search "meditate" or "guided meditation" for a variety of calming musical scores and coach-led walkthroughs (like a 45-minute guided meditation for deep sleep or a 10-minute relaxing body scan). You can also browse generally for categories like sleep and yoga (meditation, too) by looking under "Genres & Moods. "
5. Use touch preview. On the mobile app, you can pull up a sneak peek of any song, playlist, artist, or album before you hit play. Just press and hold. Like what you hear? Swipe left and it saves to your favorite music.
6. Hook your Spotify account up to Chromecast. Listen to Spotify on your TV by plugging the device into your TV, and you can cast music directly from your Spotify app. If streaming music through your speaker system (or even laptop or PlayStation) is more your thing, you can use Spotify Connect to use the app as your remote.
7. Get concert recommendations. Sure, the Bandsintown app is cool, but this is even more convenient. Go to the browse tab and select "Concerts" on the far right to see shows based on your listening patterns.
8. Sync with Shazam. Using the Shazam app, connect Spotify to add your Shazams directly to a playlist in your collection. Or if you don't want to have yet another app on your phone, you can simply ask Siri what the song you're hearing is, and then search for it on Spotify.
9. Crank up the sound quality. Premium users ($9.99/month, with the first three months currently offered to you at 99 cents) can take advantage of streaming and downloading music at 320 kbps for better quality streaming (here's the brief guide on how to set it up) across desktop and mobile devices. Also, on the mobile app, be sure to go to "Settings," and use the equalizer to choose from a number of presets to pair with your favorite type of music.
10. Better organize your playlists. Folders make neatly saving your music a cinch. You can create them on your desktop by going to "File" > "New Playlist Folder."
11. Memorize these keyboard shortcuts. Cut down on time spent shuffling around the service and more time streaming your favorite tunes. Some of our favorites: create a new playlist with Ctrl-N (Windows) or Cmd-N (Mac); turn up the volume to its max with Ctrl-Shift-Up (Windows) or Cmd-Shift-Up (Mac); Play/pause with the space bar; access your preferences with Ctrl-P (Windows) or Cmd-P (Mac); go to the next track with Ctrl-Right (Windows) or Ctrl-Cmd-Right (Mac). For a full list of shortcuts, click here.
12. Woo a date. Spotify now connects to the popular dating apps Bumble and Happn to allow you to send music to others. On Happn, you can share your favorite songs on your profile and message people songs (you'll be able to hear the full song if you're a premium member, otherwise it's just a clip). While on Bumble, users can integrate their Spotify accounts to display their top artists to their profile, making for an easy conversation starter or embarrassing reveal of your soft spot for Third Eye Blind.
13. Student? Get a discount. Students can get 50 percent off Premium ($5 per month). Here's the link to sign up.