If you decided to stay with Spotify over the highly-publicized and deeply polarizing debate this past week – with artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulling its music catalog to protest podcaster Joe Rogan’s controversial comments – then you might as well get the most out of the streaming music service.
You’re probably aware there’s a free version and a premium option, both of which give you access to more than 70 million songs.
Connect Spotify to your smart speaker (or digital assistant on a phone or tablet) and you can also use your voice to call up any song, album, artist, or playlist.
You already know all this, you say?
The following is a deeper look at what Spotify has to offer, including several tips and tricks to getting more out of the service.
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Get the lyrics so you're singing the right words
You might know some artists offer gif-like looping videos when you’re playing music, such as Falling in Reverse’s newest track, "Zombified." This feature is called Canvas. Other tracks have animated versions of album covers, like Drake’s "Knife Talk" (with 21 Savage ft. Project Plan), from 2021’s "Certified Lover Boy."
As of November, Spotify has also added lyrics to all songs, too, available to all free and premium users. It’s in real-time, therefore the words will scroll along with the artist’s voice.
To view them on the Spotify mobile app, tap on the “Now Playing View” on a song and swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
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On the Spotify desktop app, click the microphone icon while a song is playing.
On the Spotify TV app, navigate to the right corner to the “lyrics button” while listening and select if you want to enable Lyrics.
Students get half off
You don’t need to pay $9.99 per month for Spotify if you’re a student. Instead, it’s 50%, at $4.99 a month.
To verify, you either log into your college’s portal or upload proof of enrollment.
Spotify Premium for Students not only streams music and podcasts, but students also have access to their favorite television shows and movies, via Hulu (with ads) and Showtime, through this single subscription plan, which is discounted for up to four years.
There’s also Premium for Family, which costs $15.99 per month, for up to six family members in the same household. You only get one bill to manage, plus there’s a “Family Mix” playlist option and access to “Spotify Kids,” a separate app made just for kids.
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Play your own music
Speaking of Spotify Premium, many users aren’t aware you can weave in your own music, too, such as having a bunch of MP3s downloaded to your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
On your mobile device, tap on the Options icon (a little gear) in the upper left of the app and scroll all the way down to where is says “Show local audio files” (on Android) or “Local audio files” (on iOS). Enable this.
On a computer, click the Down arrow icon in the top-right of the screen and select Settings. Scroll to Local Files and switch Show Local Files on (if it’s not already selected). By default, the desktop app looks for common directories like Music, Downloads or iTunes Media, but you can select specific folders in the Settings menu, too.
Save music for offline listening
Going on an airplane and don’t want to pay for Internet? Planning a road trip and are trying to avoid unnecessary data charges with your wireless phone provider?
For either scenario, Spotify Premium users can download tracks to their device to listen to offline. Do this before you leave home, while you're still on your Wi-Fi connection.
How, you ask? Whether you’re on iOS or Android, simply tap the Down arrow icon to save a song, album or playlist.
Use Spotify as a remote
Did you know you can use your mobile device as a remote to control your Spotify tunes on a nearby computer, music system or smart TV?
Since Spotify allows you to quickly switch between devices you’re logged into, you can use the Spotify app, on say, an iPhone or Android tablet, to start, stop and change tracks on your Windows PC, Mac, Sonos and supported smart TVs.
Recover a deleted playlist
Somehow, accidentally, you deleted a playlist you really liked. No worries, it’s a cinch to get it back.
Simply log into your account page, click “Recover playlists” in the menu (on the left), followed by “Restore,” by the playlist you want to recover.
Now open Spotify and find the restored playlist at the bottom of your playlist collection.
Remove gaps between songs
If you don’t want any silence between your songs, keep the music going by enabling Spotify’s “Gapless Playback” feature. To eliminate the gaps between tracks, visit the Settings tab and check off the “Gapless Playback” option, if the small box isn’t already ticked.
On a related note, there is an “Automix” option here, too, which allows for a smoother transition between songs in a playlist.
Spotify desktop users can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly control music playback.
On a Windows PC, skip forward and back between tracks using CTRL + Right Arrow and CTRL + Left Arrow, respectively. To adjust volume, it’s CTRL + Shift + Up Arrow (for louder) or CTRL + Shift + Down Arrow (for quieter).
For Mac OS X users, it’s CTRL + CMD + Right Arrow and CTRL + CMD + Left Arrow to skip forward or back between tracks.
For audio levels, it’s CMD + Shift + Up Arrow (or Down Arrow) for higher or lower volume, respectively.
Follow Marc on Twitter for his “Tech Tip of the Day” posts: @marc_saltzman. Email him or subscribe to his Tech It Out podcast at https://marcsaltzman.com/podcasts. The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 8 cool things Spotify can do for you: Show song lyrics, be a TV remote