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It's 2018, and Spotify still doesn't let you edit playlists on Android or the web

Whether you think your playlist-curation skills can beat Spotify's mathematical magic, or you just want your songs in the perfect order for your party or workout, being able to make your playlists just the way you want them is important to any music service. Spotify's spotlight on playlists makes them doubly important, so why are playlists still hobbled on Android and web?

If you want to create a new playlist on Android, it's fairly straightforward. You can either make a new playlist from the Playlists section of Your Library or you can create one when you try to add the first song. You can name your playlist and you can add or remove songs, but if you want to move songs up or down the list, you'll have to remove every song between when the song was added to the playlist and where you want it to go. On the web, you have the added limitation of not being able to even rename a playlist.

If you want to edit the position of songs within your playlists, you have to switch to Spotify on iOS or the desktop Spotify app for Windows and macOS. In 2018, if you want to re-order the top tracks of a playlist on a major music service, you can completely re-create it from scratch, or you can go back to a desktop app. In 2018.

Let that sink in a moment.

Considering the default play mode suggested on every album, station, and playlist is Shuffle Play, this may not mean too much to the casual user, but it is indicative of Spotify's attitude towards its Android app — and its Android users. The Spotify iOS app has always had it, Android users have been begging for it for four years and Spotify has said it's still not coming anytime soon. Forget about getting the latest and greatest features, Spotify won't even give Android users basic, legacy utilities.

If you're committed to Spotify with a robust library and years of listening history to base your listening suggestions on, then this probably seems like much ado about nothing. Shuffle Play is good enough for most users, after all. But if you're picky about your playlists, consider that re-ordering playlists on Google Play Music, Apple Music and just about every other music service on the market today is as easy as dragging and dropping.

And even after four years, Spotify still can't figure it out? Really?

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.

49 Comments
  • The truth is that Spotify is tone deaf to it’s Android audience. There are too many options to deal with a company that doesn’t listen to it’s customers. Do what I did a couple of years ago and vote with your wallets.
  • As mildly inconveniencing as it is, there is really no need to abandon a very good, affordable music streaming platform because certain QoL features are not being implemented. Granted, many people feel this is a fairly vital aspect of any personal playlist curation feature set, but work arounds are at worst time consuming and definitely not prohibitive. I'd argue that people 'voting with their wallets' i.e. using something else aside from Spotify are only shooting themselves in the foot - albeit in a very tiny, mostly insignificant way.
  • Yeah, because abandoning a very good, affordable music streaming platform for another very good, affordable music streaming platform with more features who's developers actually listen to their Android users is definitely "shooting yourself in the foot".
  • I am currently using Spotify Premium and i like it as it's discovery engine for finding new artists is excellent, although the playlist feature can be a PITA. Is Google Play Music's discovery feature good too, I haven't used GPM in 2 years but asking if it is up to par with Spotify, GPM was not great at finding new artists that fit your tastes like Spotify 2 yrs. ago, but asking if there has been improvements. thanks.
  • I tested Google, Amazon and Deezer. None of them has the related artist feature with which to find similar music. Nothing beats Spotify so far!
  • Yes, vote with your wallet. My vote is for Spotify -- warts and all. All of the music streaming platforms have pros and cons. I read the reviews constantly and Spotify Premium work for me...
  • I am getting close to canceling my family plan for Amazon music. For that reason. I pay alot of money for the service and I am not getting maximum service.
  • mehofmann, you do realize you can edit playlists with Amazon Music, right? No problem at all. This is exactly why I cancelled Spotify.
  • Sure you can edit playlists- it's everything else about Amazon Music that sucks.
  • As someone new to streaming platforms, I'd like to know - maybe two or three things - what it is about Amazon Music you don't like vs any other platform(s) you favor. I recently signed up for Amazon Music Unlimited.
  • What in particular feels lacking to you on Amazon Music?
  • Amazon music is more beautiful than Spotify but it is seriously lacking music I find in Spotify. Tried it too once. As a Prime member I get it for $7.99 but too many albums and songs were not available. Decided to stay with Spotify. Amazon's discovery feature sucks too!
  • It's 2018 and we're still not driving flying cars. I'm fairly upset about that.
  • I just bought a CR-V, and I really hope it's the last non-self-driving car I buy. Flying I can live without so long as a computer drives and keeps me out of an accident. ((Besides, do you know how many small planes crash every year? Let's not add flying cars and make things even worse.))
  • I'm looking at a CR-V too! I'm a big guy but looking for something smaller for my family since we still have a larger SUV.
  • I canceled my music subscriptions and went back to CDs. I pick them up locally for cheap (1 to 5 bucks per disc on average). Excellent condition, and I rip them as FLAC files. Not only do I got a perfect CD quality collection to do with as I please but I also got physical backups on the discs.
  • I wonder if CDs will be more difficult for you to find. I recently read Best Buy will stop selling CDs in July.
  • Local Target is under remodel right now and the electronics department is shrinking. They are reducing space for movies, books, and I think eliminating the small space they currently have for CDs.
  • Not at all. I got plenty of choices locally for used CDs. That's how i buy all of them. A few stores have such a huge collection that it takes me 20mins just to browse what they offer (and another 20 to figure out what I'm buying). And then i got online websites that sell used discs as well. Plus amazon and ebay. Any album i want i can find fairly quick and very cheap thanks to 'everyone' ditching physical media and renting music.
  • GPM, enough said
  • I have never heard of anyone who uses Spotify (on either iOS or Android) actually needing to do this. This article should've been a post in the forums.
  • If you never heard of anyone the you must be deaf. So no need for Spotify after all :) This is a basic feature that any app aming to play music must have, rearrange the order of the songs on a playlist is BASIC.
    Go here to see 75 pages of people you've never heard of... https://community.spotify.com/t5/Live-Ideas/Rearrange-tracks-inside-a-pl...
  • Any app that refuses to bring their best features to Android but obviously continues to improve their iOS app gets flamed by me on a regular basis. Including on iOS (I have kept an iPad for that reason). Also, I vote with my wallet. I refuse to give any money to Spotify or others that do business that way.
  • Funny thing I have a iPhone and also an Android phone and use Spotify on both. I never noticed this before actually because the shuffle play works fine for me. I had no idea that there was a difference there. I do agree that editing a playlist can be a pain on mobile though.
  • There are too many options out there in android.
    Using a crippled service, compared to the others, and not getting the same respect that other OS's get , shows that they're not serious. I'd move on, without a second thought. Oh, android central, why am I getting a CSS error, stating me to visit galleria.io/customer/. Seems like a click on hurt.
  • It's 2018 and i still don't give a fu.ck about it.
  • It's irritating sometimes, but I am on a desktop often enough that it's not that big of a deal to adjust playlists that way. Certainly not a dealbreaker for me, but for those who live their lives mostly on mobile, I could see it being a problem.
  • I pay for both Amazon Music and Spotify for different reasons. Amazon Music, I believe, has a smaller user base than Spotify, but it has had the ability to rearrange my playlist for as long as I can remember. Spotify could do it, but it appears they prioritize iOS users over Android. How sad, because if they actually tried to develop both equally, I believe they'd discover a very loyal user base.
  • Longtime Spotify Premium user...big library, smooth app experience, and I love the built in LastFM scrobbling (which GPM lacks). That said, I recently gave the GPM free trial a shot and it was quite good. As far as music library, everything I wanted was there. Also pretty great is the "Music Locker" - upload 50,000 of my own files for streaming anywhere. The included Youtube Red membership is the hidden star of the show though. My 3 months has expired, and the number of ads I see now on Youtube is painfully obvious. Ultimately still with Spotify (for the aforementioned LastFM scrobbling...) but I can absolutely see myself giving GPM another shot soon.
  • GPM is not so good on Android Auto. That is my only complaint.
  • Finding a music app that is good on Android Auto is a challenge.
  • For playlists, I always use Shuffle so it doesn't affect me (though I can understand why it's annoying). As for Google Play Music, I'll only move over if they ever brought YouTube Red to Canada.
  • Spotify still doesn't have a resizable widget. They really don't care about Android
  • I went KWGT for music widgets two years ago and never looked back.
  • Why someone needs a feature like this I do not get. I have play lists with over 200 songs in them. Who would want to rearrange them? Press shuffle and off you go. Some folks make things just complicated!
  • I have a playlist with over 200 songs in it. I'd like to better re-arrange them so they're not just bunched up together by album but rather I could arrange them by song type. I'd also like the re-arrange because the thumbnail is generated by the first four albums in the playlist.
  • Why? Because you put songs into a playlist based on certain criteria and THEN you fine-tune the play order based on the mood or whatever you want. This makes sense with gym instructors, people actually playing music on a party, people that want songs played in some specific order regardless of the kind of songs are in the playlist. So, youll find 75 pages of people wanting to do that here: https://community.spotify.com/t5/Live-Ideas/Rearrange-tracks-inside-a-pl... Perhaps you'll find that if so many people is asking about it there must be some reason to, even when you do not see it. hint: you play shuflle on your playlist, so we see what kind of music listener you are :) Its not the point "who would want to rearrange them", the point is that any other platform can do this, except ANDROID and when asked Spotify about it no one seems to be able to achieve this simple tasks, they tell its already implemented and also give examples using the iOS or desktop pictures. If you press shuffle the selection goes random, and thats OK. Thats what the Shuffle button is supposed to do, the problem is that there is no "custom" way to change the order, get it? The fact that you say "some folks make things just complicated!" makes me think about Spotify... why they just dont implemented if its already available in every single other platform? are you talking about SP folks? :) Lorbas, just between us. That kind "some folks make things just complicated!" tells a lot more about you than the people who actually find this a basic feature neglected by a terrible company decision, lousy Android developers or both :)
  • Well said. I rearrange playlists all the time for events where I don't have a DJ, or want to make sure a specific tempo or mood is maintained song to song (like tabletop gaming). One doesn't just shuffle random songs onto a mix tape ;)
  • I just ran into this problem last week and wondered why this wasn't a bigger deal. Thanks for letting me know I wasn't alone.
  • I just realized this after shuffle play kept playing songs with the same artist pretty much together because of how I had them in the playlist. When I went to space out the songs I saw that I couldn't. I never knew.
  • Most comments here are missing the point... this is not about you needing or not that "feature", this is about that users asking for it are being redirected on an endless nonsene of childish answers ranging from "it could be done following this steps" (and they mention the setps needed on iOS or desktop where this is widely available) through "the dev team is aware of that" and finlly simply ignoring 75 pages of angry users in their own forums Everything comes to the same, even some user MADE an app that fixed this outside Spotify and this app was banned from Google Play for "impersonating" Spotify, although the app doesnt even PLAY songs, just reordering the songs inside a playlist. The point is, they have millions of ways to keep contact with users and none of them are used to provide the right answer, tweeter, email, fb even live webinars... nothing gets through to let them know that we fully know they just are not paying attention to loyal premium users on the most idely used platform. Whats more? The Android app ALREADY HAS this code implemented in the queue list, its just a matter of making the regular edit playlist activity have a proper way to handle this (meaning: copy and paste code on the queue list and send it to the activity that handles the playlists) It is not hard to do, off course you need first WANT to do it. Thanks Android Central, hope to see soon a similar article saying that finally this has been fixed :)
  • Totally agree! Why not just implement the feature on Android? 75 pages in their forum of comments over 4 years of paying customers who do want this feature. Spotify isn't being lazy, they are being defiant and for some reason unknown, maybe a deal with Apple or something. Can't imagine this is the case, but whatever it is, they just don't want to do it, like you said. There is a third party app in the Google Play Store, Mngr for Spotify. It works fantastic and is free. Updates to play lists are instant. Drawback is if you have a lot of play lists like I do, there is not really a good search feature, which means lots of scrolling to find the play list you want to re-org. With the windows spotify app, I have my play lists organized in file folders by genre. The free app does not support the file structure but the individual play lists are ordered by the order of the file folders. So, still lots of scrolling, but gets the job done. Would it be better to have direct access in the Spotify Android app... oh, YES!
  • I've used spotify since it became available in the US nearly exclusively with an android phone and i have never noticed this. I listen to my playlists on shuffle almost 100% of the time, and if i want to fuss with the order of songs i just go select a song and add it to the queue, or i rearrange them in the list of upcoming songs
  • I just add songs to a playlist and hit shuffle.
  • I love GPM. I tried Spotify for 3 months free and didn't see the big deal. You can not beat GPM if you are a regular YouTube user. Some IT guy told me it's easier to develop software for IOS than it is for Android..maybe that's the issue. I am not an expert so unsure of it.
  • I can't speak for the relative ease of development of Android vs iOS, but implementing simple drag&drop functionality in Android is completely trivial. Every single media app you care to install from the Play store that supports playlist functionality has drag&drop reordering, it's utterly standard. Hell, pretty much any app that has _any_ kind of list view where it makes sense to allow reordering does this. Incidentally, a frustrated Spotify user who had never done any Android development before knocked up a basic app whose sole purpose was to allow drag&drop reordering of Spotify playlists, using the Spotify API to save the changes. So difficulty is not in any way an excuse. As for GPM, if you like it and it works well for you, cool. Unfortunately it's very basic, and not much use for curating a large collection of stuff you like (no nested playlists / playlist folders being the prime example of this).
  • Spotify Connect and integration into Waze Navigation are two features that keep me with the service. Combined with the way I can organize my music into folders by genre or any other way, I tend to find my music faster. This is all done via the desktop. Yes, it would be super great to be able to do this on my Android phone. It is just obvious that Spotify does not want to do it! I am glad Android Central ran this story, because in business, a company should listen to their customers, within reason of course, and for such low hanging fruit as implementing a basic feature on the Android app that is already present in the que, and other platforms, why would they not do it? Why get the negative press? Not like people are asking for something outrageous, it is a simple and basic feature request. Some folks like DJ's, fitness instructors, dance instructors could really benefit from custom play lists. Others who are music connoisseurs, are more particular about their music than just hitting shuffle. How about for a dinner party where you want a certain mood and tempo with verity of artists but similar tempo. Shuffle won't do. And for others, it is a matter of principal. Paying customers are clearly being ignored. So thanks Android Central for highlighting this deficiency in the Android app. Here is one more, that I am sure not everyone will agree with but has equal number of complaints and longevity in the Spotify forum. Filter Explicit songs. Spotify goes to the trouble of tagging explicit music, yet won't let the user filter it out of a curated play list. It would be a user setting that tells the app to skip any songs that are marked explicit. Again, for some no big deal. But I would also say it is no big deal for Spotify to implement. And choices are a good thing. I also think Spotify would stand to sell more family plans. GPM has a user setting to filter explicit music.
  • Almost no one wants to abandon Spotify, we just want that the Android version gets the same basic functionality as every other platform has...
  • The ridiculous thing is plenty of the functionality is already there. You can already rearrange your queued tracks with ease. As an app developer myself, I know this functionality isn't difficult to implement. The real slap in the face is some of the ridiculous features they've wasted time on in the last 4 years, not to mention removing Lyrics, Moodagent, and the Inbox system. What new features that you actually use, have they implemented over the last 4 years? I can think of a whole lot they took away, but not a single new feature comes to mind and makes me think "hmm.. useful!". https://freeyourmusic.com/ will convert your playlists into Google Music playlists (as well as a whole heap of other streaming services) who do actually allow rearranging playlists. I remember when Spotify wasn't run by idiots. @Ara Wagoner - Any chance you could reach out to Spotify and let them know about this article? Perhaps ask for a comment?