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.