“The wait is over,” Spotify announces. Well, not for everyone.
After weeks of anticipatory promotion, Spotify unleashed its annual “Wrapped” feature yesterday. Unfortunately, the package is available only in the mobile app, and the video presentation requires memory and operating system resources that are unavailable on some phones. The result is a wave of social media complaints that the Wrapped experience crashes quickly, and closes the Spotify app.
We’ve put the technical requirements at the bottom of this post. But as an editorial aside, we must raise a critical eyebrow toward Spotify for making those requirements, and not offering a different path to the personal metrics that the most avid users are keen to see. Why isn’t the info available in non-video format, such as a web page that any user can sign into? For a company which aspires to be the global leader in online audio, presenting a beloved annual feature with technical elitism — especially after a good deal of promotional noise leading up to the release — is a bad look for Spotify.
What It Is
Spotify 2021 Wrapped is in three parts: personalized playlists, personal listening statistics, and global statistics. The personal playlists work fine; they are presented just like Spotify’s many other AI-created user lists. They are the only part of this which works for everyone.
The rest of the Wrapped experience is presented as a “Story,” which is a multi-segment animated video presentation, available only in the mobile apps (iOS and Android). Most complaints we have seen report the crash happening early in the presentation, when the app stalls and closes.
The playlists, which should work normally for all Premium subscribers, offer an entertaining reminiscence of each user’s audio passion points. There are two of them included in Wrapped 2021:
“Your Artists Revealed” –This is an exploration of each user’s most beloved artists, offering more tracks and, of special note, podcast episodes which interview some of those artists. Our account features 12 artists spread across 52 tracks, which gives an indication of depth. We wish the playlist were much longer, providing the same treatment to many more faves. Frankly, we don’t understand why it isn’t longer. For anyone deep into Spotify’s epic catalog reach and curation machinery, 2021 “Your Artists Revealed” feels impoverished.
“Your Top Songs 2021” — This is a retrospective list of most-listened tracks, and can be added to the “Your Top Songs” editions of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Users must manually add the playlist to their library.
All in all, a clumsy and disappointing execution for Spotify. We have heard anecdotally that the company is developing a workaround for users who cannot view the Wrapped presentation. In our thinking the solution is easy: Put the numbers on a personalized web page.
The Tech Requirements
Below is Spotify’s roundup of tech requirements for viewing Wrapped 2021. We are surprised that any particular tech is required, beyond a Web browser.
Is there a minimum version of the Spotify app required for Wrapped?
- Android: 8.6.78
- iOS: 8.6.78
- Minimum version of the Spotify app to get Wrapped + TikTok:
- Android: 8.6.80
- iOS: 8.6.78
- Minimum Tik Tok version:
- Android: 22.0.5
- iOS: 22.0.0
What should I do if my stories skip through slides (Android)?
- This can happen based on some of your Android settings that influence animations. The settings are located in different places depending on your specific device, but try searching for “animations” in your Settings app and configure as following:
- Animation duration scale should be set to at least .5x. Try higher values as well.
- Remove Animations should be toggled OFF
- In addition any Battery Saving mode should be set to OFF, as battery saving can influence the behavior in an effort to save battery.
What should I do if my Wrapped Aura story crashes (Android)?
- We’re aware of issues with Wrapped crashing on some older devices. We are looking into it but for now, we recommend updating your device to Android 8 or higher, if possible