Spotify for the desktop goes under a Metro-inspired makeover

Spotify for Windows has undergone a major makeover, most obvious is the change from a lighter aluminum color scheme towards a dark color scheme. The UI has also become notably flattering with the removal of various skeuomorphic elements, and is clearly borrowing elements from the Modern/Metro design language. The menus and audio controls are also fairly reminiscent of the design concepts used for Zune software.

This new interface has been unified across all devices, including Windows Phone. Historically, Spotify would conform to the design language of the ecosystem it is being used in. The iPhone app looked distinctively Apple-inspired, the Android app was fairly different to the iPhone app, the web player was different to everything, and the Desktop app was hideously skeuomorphic. However this has changed in one way or another for all devices, and it now looks more or less consistent across the various devices.

New sections include the "Your Music" section, which essentially allows you to build your own library by hitting the "Save" button on songs and albums you like. Previously this was restricted to "Starred" songs, however the new interface allows a much stronger way of interacting with your favorite songs and albums, including the ability to sort by artist, song, and album.

Various elements have been made larger, and things are generally more spaced out. It has become-- dare I say it-- partially touch optimized. Not as much as the Xbox Music app for Windows 8, of course, but you can see some interesting changes in the latest Spotify revision. Overall, this is a significant improvement over the previous desktop app, and the death of the 2000's skeuomorphic design language is always welcomed.

Take a look at how it looks across all the devices in the video below:


Check Spotify out here.

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Meh. Why do updates always screw up text by using a horribly-rendered font? Awaiting Android's offering, though some of the features are already in the current release, like Your Artists, Your Albums etc :)

I love the new design, I agree that perhaps some areas are a little bit too dark, maybe Spotify could give us the option to change the colors a little bit and make fonts bigger or smaller, in my 24' display for example it's fine, but I can understand those in smaller screens.

I really like the new "My Music" area against the old plain "Starred" system, it will take a little bit to get used to but I think it's overall much better and easier to manage your favorite music.

The only thing that bothers me is that I can't instantly see what song I previously starred when I'm looking at other playlists... unless I'm missing something.

I hate this about Spotify.

If the song is the same song but from a different album it won't mark it as starred; if it is from the same album it will be marked as starred. It makes for plenty of duplicated songs in my starred playlist that I then have to remove :(

TCLN Ryster said,
Just curious... what exactly is "metro-inspired" about it? The circle around the pause button?

Everything. The flatness, the stripping of skeumorphism, the lack of graphics. Metro is a content-first design language that focuses around clear typography. Look at how the icons have been made flatter and plain white instead of being colored and using various degrees of grey to emulate depth. All of the chrome has been removed and replaced with more open flat design. This is for all intents and purposes Metro.

Steve121178 said,
So iOS 7 then.

There is an overarching consensus that iOS 7 had been heavily influenced by the Metro design language. But no, not like iOS 7.

Everyone craps on MS, Metro and Win8 but everyone is totally ripping off their design. MS was ahead of the times when the pushed Metro.

Everyone craps on Microsoft because their initial take on it was awful man. Remember that Microsoft has continued to make adjustments refining their applications. Windows 8 today is just not the same Windows 8 we saw back in October.

Also, Microsoft does not own flat colors, just like Apple doesn't own gradients.

I'm confused. I don't understand how Spotify is "borrowing elements from the Modern/Metro design language".

It's more iOS 7 inspired than anything and it isn't that different to the previous version.

iOS 7 blatantly copied WP's flat UI as its proved to be popular, simpler and better all round and that is the modern UI, have to remember apple dont do alot these days without other companies taking the risk and then they follow suite. But I like the new Spotify although was confused at first thought someone hacked my computer and changed stuff, think it updated silently haha

They didn't copy WP's flat UI, but rather implemented their own UI through the influence of aiming for a more flat approach. I say this to differentiate the idea that iOS7 is a clone at all, when the reality is that they both have a very distinctive UI. It's a night and day difference; all you might see between them is influence.

influenced by a company that knows what its doing and not sitting around waiting for the next great thing to be copied sorry that "influences" apples decision on stuff.

The new M7 motion processor, we'll sit around see how nike fuel band etc goes then if it goes ok we'll add it to our phones if people want it.

Same story, they may have reinvented the wheel at first but theyve got no vision in where it needs to go, it just follows the path in the ground dug out by other wheels and pretty far behind at that.

I dont hate them as such, well i hate there business practices. the internal leak about why there losing market share and what ppl want and its what apple doesnt have, i think thats why there after samsung, apple doesnt innovate whatsoever whereas samsung push the boundaries alongside other companies with screen sizes etc then they move forward when its safe to do so. let other companies make a different size the standard themn apple will move up claiming its the best thing since sliced bread when before they constantly trash the sizes etc.

They are incredibly stale, ppl prolly invested to much into the ecosystem or someat to want to move or there used to the iphone so they just upgrade based on less hassle. Sure there still selling 10's of millions but i got bored back on the 3GS.

It'll still do very well but unfortunately they will always play catch up. Also the most pathetic thing is why bother keep making a faster CPU+GPU combo when the screen res is 1156x640 (or someat) its not like anything taxing is going to be used at that resolution. Think its just so they can win in the benchmarks

It's all business really. If you have the ammunition, better make use of it. I personally find it interesting how both companies essentially have guns drawn on each other, while they're shaking hands with the other arm. It's an eerie tension.

I'm personally not a fan of Samsung due to some of their business practices either, but they do at least try to push the envelope as you said. Regardless of the dismissive response many here have regarding the S5, I actually think it looks awesome, specifically with the screen and camera (having gotten to play with it first hand last weekend).

I think Apple's always played conservatively, but when you consider customer satisfaction, it really shows what they cater towards. Rather than throwing a bunch of new ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks, they see what's trending and implement it in a way that can make the feature more popular or user friendly. It's not about being first, it's about finishing the start of an idea.

I mean, touch for instance became huge with the smartphone age, and although Microsoft wasn't first, they certainly took the idea and ran with it creating a desktop experience that's actually functional with touch.

Anyway, I'm getting off subject. Still, I appreciate your honest response. Cheers!

No client for Windows RT yet, no love for Spotify anymore. Shame, as it's by-far the best service I've found, it actually understands what I wish to do with music

. I hope the 'MS-created Universal-App' rumours are true, but from experience the early Spotify platform releases were always woeful.

Support Marantz amps? "Oh Yes", WD-TV - "Of course!" - Microsoft's Tablet PC platform - ".........."?!

you can use Spotify on WindowsRT with IE on the desktop at play.spotify.com, but yeah, I'm more inclined to say that the failure here is Windows RT, not spotify.

By what logic?

OK, so an ISV isn't compelled to produce apps for anyone, not even Microsoft's latest rather narrowly-targeted non-x86 platform, but for that vendor to fail to comment on any of several huge, 3yo forum threads on the matter, whilst continuing to support such triple-A investments as Marantz & WD-TV, is bound to leave those paying for their service asking "Why?!". If they're too hip for Surface, fine, Deezer isn't and it's half the money (and unlike Xbox Music, their's is just one, functional, WP8 client!).

Edited by Mugwump00, Apr 10 2014, 11:07am :

looks nice but the UI seems a good deal harder to parse...let's hope that in time the pendulum of UI design swings back to concentrating on usability....

Just got the update delivered last night at home and this morning at work. I guess it just makes me realise that Metro 'style' isn't for me as I think the redesign is pretty bad. My primary issue is that I tend to have a fairly light coloured desktop / wallpaper, and the overriding style used on most websites is a lighter color scheme. Then you click into Spotify and it's just BLACK. Very black.

Must admit on fresh eyes this morning on the Windows version the colours seem a little softer, but last night on OSX at home, I thought the contrast was extremely fierce.

I honestly was pretty happy with how it was :(

-adrian- said,
I think your Problem is that your focus is to much on everything else than the content of the software you use.

The way it looks, and the way you interface with a product is surely the most vital aspect of software design - it's what sets apart good software from bad software!

And see, I'm the opposite. I use my computer for media purposes, to which I need a darker screen if I'm going to leave my right monitor on. That means a darker wallpaper, darker apps like Steam, Skype voice calls, Fubar, etc.

Spotify used to be blinding when I'd click an artist's name just to play more music by them.

Maybe if we could have themes (you know, that thing they did in the early 2000's), we'd be alright. :p

dead.cell said,
And see, I'm the opposite. I use my computer for media purposes, to which I need a darker screen if I'm going to leave my right monitor on. That means a darker wallpaper, darker apps like Steam, Skype voice calls, Fubar, etc.

Spotify used to be blinding when I'd click an artist's name just to play more music by them.

Maybe if we could have themes (you know, that thing they did in the early 2000's), we'd be alright. :p

Exactly! Just having the choice would make me much happier!

I don't like it, it's waaaay too dark. Xbox Music looks better but come on, Microsoft has always made the best looking media apps.

FalseAgent said,
I don't like it, it's waaaay too dark. Xbox Music looks better but come on, Microsoft has always made the best looking media apps.

Nothing beats Zune, though, best-looking media player ever released. :)

duoi said,

Its at 0.9.8.296.x on my end.

hmmm.. i downloaded it from the website, i guess i will have to look for the newer version

garou_heki said,

hmmm.. i downloaded it from the website, i guess i will have to look for the newer version


It's a gradual rollout. If you find a newer unofficial download, it'll just downgrade you to 0.9.7 again until you're eligible for the update.

There is some installer floating around that also disables the upgrade mechanism to make it stick, but the obvious downside of that is that you'll stop getting legit updates in the future so I strongly advise against that. :p

^- Yeah, that's the unofficial version that makes you stuck on an early version of 0.9.8 that I was talking about. Install if you wish, but remember that you won't get any bug fixes or improvements after that.

Northgrove said,

It's a gradual rollout. If you find a newer unofficial download, it'll just downgrade you to 0.9.7 again until you're eligible for the update.

There is some installer floating around that also disables the upgrade mechanism to make it stick, but the obvious downside of that is that you'll stop getting legit updates in the future so I strongly advise against that. :p

thanks, i already found one like this and installed it, i did it out of curiosity, i dont care anymore about new UIs

Looks fantastic. I like the fact that it's darker more than anything. I can keep it on my secondary screen without issue. :)

Between Spotify and Steam, all I need now is Skype to ditch the blinding white interface...

dead.cell said,
Looks fantastic. I like the fact that it's darker more than anything. I can keep it on my secondary screen without issue. :)

Between Spotify and Steam, all I need now is Skype to ditch the blinding white interface...

part of skype's theme are sky blue and white

What does that have to do with anything? Skype's calls uses a darker background, which works great. It's just the regular chat windows that suck.

I like it.

Now, if only they've added the ability to sort out offline songs instead of putting them into an offline playlist and having to browse hundred of songs, i'd be a happy camper.