Spotify adds gapless playback and crossfade

Spotify has issued an update to its desktop applications for the Mac and PC this morning that adds a number of new features including gapless playback and crossfade. The update will finally allow subscribers to listen to their favorite albums and playlists without that short silence in between tracks.

Today we’re very excited to announce the launch of new gapless playback and crossfade features for all Spotify users as part of our latest upgrade, which begins rolling out this week.

Gapless playback lets the songs flow seamlessly, one to the next, without any silent spaces in-between – perfect for dance and classical music, live recordings and concept albums.

While this may seem like a fairly trivial improvement to some, for many, it’s huge. Some albums, such as Coldplay’s latest Mylo Xyloto album, feature tracks that blend into one another. Pauses in between — albeit very short ones — can be somewhat frustrating.

In fact, when I first subscribed to Spotify and downloaded the Mac application, I searched Google for some time to find a solution for eliminating that pause between tracks. Now I finally have one, and it’s enabled by default in the latest Spotify update.

Another important feature, which Spotify is aiming at DJs, is the ability to crossfade songs, fading one out as you bring the next in. The full list of improvements in the latest Spotify release includes:

  • Gapless playback (‘on’ by default)
  • Crossfade support (turn ‘on’ via Preferences)
  • Faster artist browsing
  • Better sorting of albums & top hits
  • New save and restore feature for ‘Now Playing’
  • Improved Subscribe, Buddy List and Favourites options
  • Drag & drop fixed on Windows
  • ‘Hide purchase buttons’ option (Premium users only)
  • ‘Offline Mode’ via Spotify menu
The new features are available to both Spotify Premium and free users, with the exception of hiding the purchase buttons, which is for Premium members only. Gustav Söderström, VP Products at Spotify, believes they make the application better than ever:

“Gapless playback and crossfade have been some of the most eagerly awaited Spotify features on your wish list.

“Whether you’re listening to Wagner’s Gotterdammerung or The Wonders of the Deep by The Chemical Brothers, this latest update will make Spotify better than ever before. It’s time to get the party started.”

Spotify has begun rolling out the latest update today, so as soon as it’s ready for your account, your application will let you know by asking you to restart it.

What do you think of Spotify’s latest features?