Spotify's 'Add to Queue' is a lie

Sometimes you don't want to hassle with playlists or radio stations; you just want to throw a few songs together in the queue and get the tunes flowing. Unfortunately for Spotify users, the queue behaves differently — and awkwardly — in ways that can make simple tasks difficult, if not impossible. Chief among the awkward and different ways Spotify's queue works is "Add to Queue," which should really be called something else.

When you add a song to your queue using Add to Queue, rather than adding it to the main queue, it's added to a special sub-queue called "Next in Queue." Next in Queue behaves drastically different than the regular queue:

  • Next in Queue remains next in queue, even if you move to another location in the queue. So if you skip to the end of an album, use Add to Queue on an album, and then skip back to the beginning of the album you were listening to, it won't play the album in the queue and then the second album. It will play the first track of the first album, then the entirety of the second album, then the rest of the first album.
  • Once a track in Next in Queue is played, it vanishes from the playback order. If a song in Next in Queue ends and you hit previous track, it won't be the song that just played, but the last song from the regular queue that played. Tracks can't be replayed unless you restart them before the end of the song.
  • Tracks in Next in Queue do not shuffle when a queue is on Shuffle play. Tracks are played in the order they were added to Next in Queue, and then shuffle will resume in the regular queue.

These deviations may seem minor, but they can add up to a major impact when attempting basic tasks. Want to listen to three albums in a row on Spotify? Well, you need to start with a pre-existing queue, use Add to Queue to put all three albums in Next in Queue in order, then skip the current track in the pre-existing queue to start the three-album mini-queue. Want to shuffle three albums while you listen to them? Well, you'll have to add the albums to a playlist and shuffle them there.

Trying to build a playlist by adding songs to the queue and seeing how they sound in the mix? You'll have to evaluate them before the song ends or drag each one from Play in Next to the regular queue in order to have them not vanish the second the song's over.

Queue management in Spotify is a little bit like playlist management for Spotify: confusingly limited for what seem like simple operations. You can't save a currently playing queue as a playlist either the way many music players do, but given that building a playlist in the queue is next to impossible anyway with Play in Next's behavior, it's a small loss.

Stop the madness

Have you experienced an of these frustrations in Spotify while trying to play a particular mix of albums or songs? Do you just start a new queue or playlist every time you want to heard something? Tell us how you manage it in the comments below, and tell us: should Add to Queue get a different name?

Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.