Spotify overhauls design of its desktop app

Spotify has officially announced a redesign for its desktop app that aims to offer easier access to details on the song or podcast you’re currently listening to, and give you new ways to organize your playlists and other content. According to a blog post published yesterday the changes — which Spotify calls “one of its biggest revamps yet” — are rolling out to “all Desktop users worldwide” from this week.

The biggest change you’re likely to notice after the update is the Your Library sidebar on the left of the screen. Rather than showing a simple text list of playlists, the interface now includes colorful icons. It also shows recently played artists and albums to quickly jump back into, alongside playlists. You can minimize the sidebar to just see these icons, or expand it to see the name of each entry and even extra details like the last time they were played. Or, if you want to just see text without the icons, head into Spotify’s settings and tick the “Use compact library layout” option.

Spotify’s old interface as it appeared to me last month (left / above), versus the company’s screenshot of its new interface (right / below).

You can filter the Your Library sidebar to just show lists of artists, albums, or playlists using the icons at the top, and there’s a search box for specifically searching your own library, rather than having to search the whole of Spotify using the main search tool. Users have been reporting seeing a similar interface popping up for a few weeks now, and Spotify appears to have announced an earlier rollout of the feature back in April. 

Meanwhile, on the right of the screen Spotify is adding a Now Playing view which shows the currently playing song or podcast alongside additional information. This might include tour dates or merch for music artists, or transcripts or episode descriptions of podcasts. The right side of the interface is where Spotify used to show what your friends are listening to, but this is now hidden behind the friends icon on the top right of the screen.

The official launch of the new interface comes as Spotify is reportedly readying a much more substantial update to its service. This week, Bloomberg reported that the audio streaming service is preparing the launch of a new, more premium tier that could finally add support for its much-anticipated lossless HiFi streaming feature.