How to Listen to Spotify Using Just a Web Browser

Stream music from Spotify without installing the desktop client

Screenshot of Spotify Web Player main screen

 

Ryan Dube

If you want to reduce the number of apps you've installed on your PC, using the Spotify Web Player on your browser is a convenient solution.

The Spotify Web Player is supported by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera.

You'll notice very few differences between the web player and the app. And if you enjoy streaming free music online, the web player works even if you have a free Spotify account.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to access the Spotify Web Player, how it works, and some special features you have access to when you use it.

Accessing the Spotify Web Player

  1. To access the Spotify Web Player, launch your favorite Internet browser and go to https://open.spotify.com/browse

  2. Assuming you already have a Spotify account, click the Log In link.

  3. Enter your username/password and click the Login button, or click Log In With Facebook.

If you don't have an account, you can quickly sign up with an email address or your Facebook account (if you have one).

Streaming Music with Spotify Web Player

Once you've logged into Spotify's Web Player you'll see that it's a simple layout. The left pane lists your available options with the first four being ones that you'll use the most. These are: Search, Home, Your Library, and Recently Played.

Home

The Home page gives you a broad look at all of the main options. Here you'll find:

  • Quick links at the top to Featured, Podcasts, Charts, Genres, New Releases, and Discover.
  • Suggested music based on your listening history.
  • Your recently played music.
  • "More Like" sections with specific artists related to your music tastes.
  • Themed suggestions based on day of the week or special holidays.
  • Top music lists.
  • Recommended podcasts.

The Home page is customized based on your listening behavior, so you may see more or fewer options than listed above.

Search

Screenshot of the search feature in the Spotify Web Player.
Ryan Dube

If you know what you're looking for then click this option. Once you do this a text box will be displayed at the top of the screen where you can type a search phrase.

This can be an artist's name, the title of a song/album, a playlist, or even a music genre. Once you start typing you'll instantly see results displayed.

You can click on any of these to start listening. The entire results page is sub-categorized into useful sections (Artists, Albums, Playlists, Podcasts, Episodes, and more).

Your Library

A screenshot of the Your Library area in the Spotify Web Browser.
 

The Your Library section of the Spotify Web Player provides you with an overview of all of the music you've listened to or saved.

These are organized into Playlists, Songs, Albums, Artists, and Podcasts, with quick links at the top.

If you want to customize your own playlist, just click the Create Playlist button at the upper right corner of the screen. Spotify will recommend music based on your playlist title.

You can add music in the Create Playlist screen, or just add music as your browsing Spotify and listening to music.

Discover

Spotify is also a music recommendation service, and this option gives you a great way to discover new music.

The results you see are suggestions that Spotify thinks you might like. These are based on various factors including the type of music you've been listening to.

Tracks are also listed if they are currently popular and fit into the genres of music you listen to.

Streaming Music

Screenshot of listening to music in the Spotify Web Player.
 

There are a lot of features tucked deep into the web app. These are almost identical to the desktop app. To find these, just look for the three dot icons beside playlists or individual tracks.

When you do this for individual tracks, you'll find the following options:

  • Start Radio: Launches a special Spotify Web Player feature where it will play songs related to the artist, playlist, or song you launched it from.
  • Save to Your Library: Stores the song in your library for easy access later.
  • Add to Queue: Lets you line up individual tracks in the order you want to listen to them.
  • Add to Playlist: Quickly save tracks to any of your playlists.
  • Copy Song Link: Lets you easily share the track to friends on social media or via email.

Spotify Web Player Hotkeys

One thing you may miss when you switch to the Spotify Web Player is that many keyboard hotkeys that worked in the desktop app won't work in the web player.

However, by installing the Spotify Web Player Hotkeys extension, you can still control song play with your keyboard with the following controls.

Chrome Spotify Web Player Hotkey extension hotkeys:

  • Pause or Play: Alt + Shift + P
  • Play Next Track: Alt + Shift + .
  • Play Previous Track: Alt + Shift + ,
  • Save Track: Alt+Shift+F

Firefox Spotify Hotkeys addon hotkeys:

  • Pause or Play: Alt+Shift+P
  • Play Next Track: Alt + Shift + .
  • Play Previous Track: Alt + Shift + ,
  • Shuffle: Alt+Shift+F
  • Repeat: Alt+Shift+R
  • Play Album: Alt+Shift+B

To access this feature, install the Chrome Spotify Web Player Hotkey extension, or the Spotify Hotkeys Firefox addon.

Casting Your Music

Screenshot of casting music from Spotify Web App
Ryan Dube

One of the biggest benefits of using the desktop Spotify client was always the ability to cast music to your Chromecast or any other devices you've enabled.

The good news is that you don't lose this feature in the Spotify Web Player.

To cast your music:

  • Click on the devices icon at the lower right corner of the window.
  • Click on the device family you want to cast to (like Google Cast).
  • Select the output device in your home you want to cast to.

The only caveat here is that you'll need to use the Spotify app on your desktop or mobile device to add new Cast-capable devices to your Spotify account.

Other Benefits of Spotify Web Player

If you aren't convinced yet that streaming music with the Spotify Web Player doesn't detract from your music listening experience, consider all of the extra benefits that this offers.

  • Spotify on Chromebook: If you own a Chromebook, the Spotify Web Player gives you access to all of the same Spotify features you'd expect from a full-featured client.
  • Browser Add-ons: If you search your browser extensions for "Spotify", you'll find extra extensions that let you expand the web player's base functionality.
  • Portable: The Spotify Web Player is device independent. It lets you access your Spotify account from a web browser at a friend's house, at the library, or from any of your mobile devices.
  • Online Widgets: Websites are now embedding Spotify playlists directly into their pages. Using the web player lets you access those without the need to open an additional application.
  • Save PC resources: The desktop Spotify client will launch on startup and use up precious system resources. Avoid the clutter and CPU usage by uninstalling the desktop client and using the web player instead.

Listening to music should be a hassle-free experience. With the features that the Spotify Web Player now offers, there's really no reason to use the desktop client anymore.