Spotify is one of the best ways to listen to music for free online. If you haven’t already installed it, please read our guide How to get Spotify.
- a computer with access to the internet, ideally through a broadband connection
- Spotify installed on your computer.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to listen to music via Spotify on your computer
Step 1: Open Spotify by double-clicking the green circular icon on your desktop. Alternatively, you can click Start, hover your mouse over ‘All Programs’ and then click Spotify in the list. You’ll not normally need to log in – it’s automatic.
Step 2: Type the name of a song, artist or composer into the search box. As you type, a drop-down with potential matches for your search will appear. If you can see what you are looking for, then just click on it in the drop-down menu. If not, press the Enter key.
Step 3: You’ll now get a list of the tracks that Spotify has found based on what you’ve typed. To play just one track, double-click the track you’d like to listen to.
However, to be able to play continuous music, continue with these steps:
Step 4: Click the name of an artist or an album on the list. You’ll be taken to a page of information about that artist, the albums held in the Spotify library, similar artists and individual tracks available.
Step 5: Now if you double-click on a track, it will continue playing the tracks in the order shown.
Controlling the music while it’s playing
A bar like the one below will appear at the bottom of your Spotify page.
- To stop the music, click the double bar in the circle. (The double bar will then turn into an arrow.)
- To restart the music, click the arrow.
- To move to the next track, click the double arrow.
- To adjust the volume, click and drag the dot within the volume bar.
- The dot in the long bar shows where in the track you’ve got to. You can move to another part of the track by clicking on the dot and dragging it.
Making a playlist
Step 1: Move your mouse to either an album name or a track, and right-click on it.
Step 2: Hover your mouse over ‘Save to’ and then left-click New Playlist. You can now play your favourite music without having to search for it.
Step 3: You can also ‘star’ a track to make a list of favourites that you can go back to. At Step 2 above, left-click Star instead of ‘Save to’.
Now if you click Starred in the list on the left, you’ll see that your track is listed.
Note that this only applies to tracks, not to albums.
Chris Quartermaine is a Digital Unite tutor for Chester, South Wirral and north-east Wales.
Looking for something specific on Spotify? A song that you can’t get out of your head, perhaps? Or maybe your favourite artist? A specific album? A playlist? One of your friends? Spotify has a well-organized and easy-to-use search feature that makes it easy to track down what you want.
To search on Spotify
Open the Spotify application on your device of choice and log in.
Click the box in the upper-left corner labelled “Search” and start typing in what you hope to find. As you do, Spotify will make suggestions on what you might be looking for, based on how popular the results are and how closely they match your search terms.
Results are sorted by: Top Results (i.e. most popular), Songs, Artists, Albums, Playlists, and Profiles (i.e. other users on Spotify). Click a result for more information, or click Show All Results to see everything on Spotify that potentially matches your search terms.
You can also click the “X” next to the search box to clear your current search terms.
If you choose to see all results, then Artists, Albums, Playlists, and Profiles will be grouped near the top. Clicking a category name or See All next to that category will show you all results for that category.
Clicking on a user profile will take you to their information page, where you can see such things as their public playlists and who is following them.
Click on an artist’s portrait, and Spotify will begin playing their most popular songs. Similarly, clicking on the picture for an album or playlist will begin playing it. Click on the name of any of these instead, and Spotify will take you to an information page about them.
Further down, you can see a list of songs that match your search criteria. If you have allowed Spotify to access songs on your local machine (from iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc.), they’ll show up here, too. You can tell them apart because they won’t have the “+” icon beside them that lets you add them to “Your Music”.
Click on the Play icon beside a highlighted song to play it, or click the “+” icon beside it to add it to your collection of songs in “Your Music”.
Further to the right, you’ll see the song’s name, artist, and album. Click on the artist or album name to have Spotify take you to an information page about them.
You can also click the More icon (“…“) for additional options, such as sharing the song with friends on social media, or starting a playlist with that song.
Next to that are just the song’s time length and a measure of how popular the song is on Spotify.
If you want to repeat a search that you’ve recently conducted, click in the search box when it’s empty (remember, you can click the “X” next to it to clear any search terms), and then click one of the recent searches that appears. You can also click Clear Recent Searches to get rid of the list of things you’ve looked for on Spotify recently.
To search for people on Spotify
As we showed you in the general instructions, Spotify users will show up in your general search results.
If you click Show All Results, you can also click See All beside Profiles to only see Spotify users whose names match your search terms as results.
However, there is a quick way to search for a specific Spotify user. Type “spotify:user:” into the search box, followed by the user name of the person whom you want to search for (without any spaces in between). Then press the “Enter” key, and you’ll be instantly taken to that person’s profile.
This is a bit of an advanced trick; we’ll go over others like it in more detail in our Spotify Tips and Tricks article.
Those are the basics of searching on Spotify! We hope you find what you’re looking for!