Spotify is Testing Local Music Support on Android

Posted on December 7, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Spotify with 16 Comments

As I’ve written in the past, it’s next to impossible to access your own music files with Spotify, the world’s most popular music service. But it looks like Spotify is finally taking a step in the right direction.

“Spotify is finally working on on-device local files support for Android,” a Twitter user tweeted yesterday. (I found out about this via Android Police.) “No need to sync it from your desktop anymore.”

For those unfamiliar with the issue here, Spotify makes it difficult for its user to access their own music libraries in addition to the cloud-hosted library of music that it supplies. This is important to some users, because there’s no cloud-based library that has all music, and in my own experience, I still run into numerous songs I can’t find in streaming services.

The problem is that the number of music services that supports both personal and cloud-based libraries has dwindled over the years. Microsoft Groove did this well, but it’s long gone. And Amazon Music used to support this feature, too, but it was discontinued. The only mainstream services that let you easily mix and match both personal and cloud-based music libraries today are Apple Music and YouTube Music.

Spotify does offer a workaround, assuming you’re a paying (Premium or better) customer: You can copy the personal music you own to a folder on a PC or Mac and then enable a feature called “Show Local Files.” Then, your own music will appear alongside any Spotify-based music you’ve added to your library. To get them on mobile, you need to create a playlist with persona (and/or cloud-based) music. And then sync the playlist to the device.

So what’s changing?

According to the tweet above, it looks like the “Show Local Files” is coming to mobile now. This means you can create a folder of your personal music, copy it from your PC to your phone or other mobile device, and then access the music that way. It’s a bit more seamless than the current method, in other words, but it’s still a workaround.

This is, what you still won’t be able to do, of course, is upload your own music to Spotify (as I do with YouTube Music) or access an online folder with your own music (perhaps in OneDrive or Dropbox) and sync that with your Spotify account. If you want to use your own music, you will still need to do some work.

Still, a step in the right direction.

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (16)

16 responses to “Spotify is Testing Local Music Support on Android”

  1. RonV42

    There is a reason I use Cloud Player on Android. It can play any music I have on OneDrive and supports many cloud services:

    CloudPlayer™ by doubleTwist cloud & offline player - Apps on Google Play

  2. ringofvoid

    I would also note that the Spotify "Show Local Files" option works in Linux as well. Or rather, it is an option there and can be made to work if it doesn't off the bat. I've been syncing my personal music files to Spotify on my iPhone that way for years

  3. walterwood44

    I had always been a Google Play music user. No need to pay. I do have free Spotify and Pandora free accounts but I have way too much music to put on a HD or my Android Pixel with 128 GB memory. When Play Music went away I started looking for an alternative. I found Cloud Player and linked it to my OneDrive account. I love it and since my trial period just expired, I am going to sign up for the pro version. No need for a paid Spotify or Pandora account.

  4. Pbike908

    That will be a cool feature add. I have been a Spotify Premium customer for years....

  5. bschnatt

    Well, that's good to see, but if it works as well as it does on the PC, I'll pass. It's *terrible* in the PC app. Searching for (and sorting by) specific artists or albums is truly horrendous (probably on purpose). If that's going to be the experience on Android, they needn't bother...

  6. mattbg

    I don't know about Android, but if this makes it to iOS, it'll be interesting to see how well it integrates with the "Files" app because if it does integrate with that then there is a decent chance it may work with a OneDrive folder.

    Hopefully it not only lets you access local files but also indexes their metadata in some way.

    I'd rather they let us turn off the video on Joe Rogan before they spend too much time on this, however :)

  7. davehelps

    Dear Microsoft and Spotify;


    Yours faithfully,

    All the people who trusted you when Xbox Music shut down.


    • mikeharris123

      Hi Dave I have around 700 GB of Music in my OneDrive and works well. Almost two thirds of my storage though.


    • Paul Thurrott

      I specifically asked Microsoft about this when they killed Groove and pushed people to Spotify: It's going to work with OneDrive, right? I was told they were looking into it.
    • darkgrayknight

      In reply to DaveHelps:

      This would be great! I moved to Spotify after Xbox/Zune Music was shutdown.

    • wright_is

      In reply to DaveHelps:

      I use HiDrive. The Android client can play audio and videos from my cloud drive, but only a folder at a time, no play lists. Better than nothing, considering I've probably listend to less than an hour of music this year.

    • fishnet37222

      In reply to DaveHelps:

      I have way too much music to store in OneDrive. According to File Explorer I have 622 GB of music, and that's at 192kbps MP3.

      • davehelps

        In reply to fishnet37222:

        I have about 1 TB of OneDrive space thanks to Office 365.

        But only about 80 GB of music, even less once I rule out everything already in Spotify's collection.

        I bet there's less than 1 GB of personal music that I'd want blended in... but it's the 1 GB I care about most.

      • wright_is

        In reply to fishnet37222:

        That's a lot of music! Mine is only around 80GB, but worked nicely with OneDrive. I had more photos stored on OneDrive than music (around 250GB). I've just moved it all across to HiDrive, as it is GDPR compliant.

  8. kb923689

    All I want is to Spotify act like a music player on PC and play FLAC, WAV, mp3, m4a etc. music. Same on iOS. If the app could recognize my ALAC and AAC files that are not available on streaming would be awesome. I still have to keep the Music app and sync my local music with iTunes alongside my Spotify Premium.