How to Use Spotify as a Local Music Player

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With over 70 million songs in its library, Spotify is bound to have at least one song that will appeal to almost every taste imaginable. But most people listen to more than one song.

We’re also pretty sure there are a lot more than 70 million songs in the wild. That mixtape your Soundcloud rapper cousin begged you to play, for example. Or the countless bootleg remixes and alternate recordings of a live performance. Or maybe your favorite artist is boycotting Spotify and removing all their music from the platform. What do you do then?

Well, if you’re that Soundcloud rapper cousin and think you deserve promotion to the big leagues – or everyone thinks you’ve done it – or just want to listen to music downloaded from… others “sources”…, you’re in luck. The Spotify app allows users to include local files in their library. Here’s how to set it all up.

What you will need:

  1. A Spotify account. The free tier is fine if you’re computer-only, but you’ll need to upgrade to a Premium subscription if you want to listen to local files on your mobile device.
  2. A device. It is possible to achieve this on computer or mobile. We will cover both.
  3. Music files of anything you want to add to Spotify. Assuming it’s not already there. Audiobooks work too.

If you are on a computer:

From the home page, look at the top right. Next to your profile name, you should see a drop-down arrow. Click on it and head to Settings.

In the settings menu, scroll down until you see the Local files option (in red). Enable it to view local files.

While you’re here, might as well do yourself and everyone else you submit to your music a favor and uncheck Normalize Volume (in blue).

By default, it will add your Downloads and Music Library folders as sources. If you store your music elsewhere, you can add other sources using the Add Source button. Ah, the marvels of technology.

SpotifyNow if click Your library in the left sidebar you should see a Local files case. This is where you will find all the local files you have added.

If you’re on the Spotify app:

On mobile, the process is much the same. Open the app and tap the cog in the top right. Scroll all the way down. You should see the Local files option. Once activated, if you return to Your library you should see all audio files stored locally on your device.

Fair warning – this searches for audio files wherever it can. So you can also get three years old voice notes stored by WhatsApp. It might be a good idea to create a playlist on your device and add local songs to it so that you can easily access it without having to sift through hundreds of voice notes. You probably don’t want any of these ending up in your queue.

Although the Spotify app on desktop and mobile supports playback of locally stored lossless FLAC files, you might run into issues if you want to play any of them on multiple devices. They tend to… misbehave. You can avoid this by having copies of these files on both devices.

If you only process mp3 files (on computer)and you have a Premium account and want to listen to them on your mobile device, you can add them to a playlist and download it to your device. It’s not a completely foolproof plan and other platforms might work better in this regard. But that’s the Spotify way.

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