Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Which one Has Better Features?

Compare Spotify's desktop and web player to find out which version is better for you. Discover the pros and cons and make a decision.
Spotify Desktop vs Web Player

Spotify is the world's most popular music streaming service, and it comes in two versions: Spotify Desktop and Spotify Web Player. Both offer users a wide selection of songs from all genres, but there are differences between them when it comes to features such as sound quality, user interface design, playlist organization, and more.

So which version of Spotify offers better features overall? In this article, we will compare the two platforms side by side so that you can make an informed decision about which one suits your needs best. We’ll also provide our recommendations for different types of users.

Table of Contents

What is Spotify?

Spotify is a music streaming service that allows users to access millions of songs, podcasts, and videos. It has both a desktop app and a web player, which can be accessed from any browser. However, the two options have their differences in terms of features and functionality.

The desktop app is available on most major operating systems, including Windows and Mac, while the web player is accessible from any internet browser. Both offer users the same large selection of music, but they have their differences when it comes to features such as sound quality, user interface design, playlist organization, and more.

Spotify is also available as a mobile app, which you can download from the App Store or Google Play. However, this article will focus on the differences between the desktop and web player versions of Spotify.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: A Comparison

When deciding what version of Spotify to use, it’s important to compare the features that each provides. This greatly influences your listening experience, as well as how comfortable and efficient you are when using the app.

Many users have personal preferences when it comes to their music. You might enjoy the freedom of accessing your curated playlists, liked songs, and peek at what your friends are listening to from any web browser, no matter what system you're on. However, by using the web player, you might be sacrificing precious sound quality and playlist organization capabilities.

Let's take a look at each version of Spotify and what features it provides.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Convenience

Installing the Spotify app from Microsoft Store

It's no secret that many people these days want everything at their fingertips at any given moment. It's so convenient to be able to control things from your phone or computer without even leaving your bed or desk. This is particularly true when it comes to music streaming, with Spotify being one of the most popular services out there.

If you're using Spotify on your desktop, you can easily access its entire library just by launching the app. It's super easy and convenient! However, there is a catch - you need to have a computer at your disposal. This means that you can't just use any device to access your music.

On the other hand, using the Spotify web player only requires you to have an account. You can play music from anywhere, anytime. Plus, you can even log in to your account on a friend's device if you want to share your music with them. This makes it much more portable and convenient than the desktop client.

Winner: When it comes to portability, the Spotify web player is the way to go. You don't need to carry around a heavy computer, and you can access your music from any device with an internet connection.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Sound Quality

As music lovers, we all want to enjoy our favorite songs in the best possible quality. While some people have a keen ear for music and can easily tell the difference in sound quality, others may not be as discerning.

If you're a Spotify user, you may have noticed that the quality of music can vary depending on how you access the platform. The web player, which is accessible to both free and premium users, offers a lower bitrate of 128kbps. On the other hand, the desktop client provides a higher quality listening experience, with free accounts having access to up to 160kbps and paying users enjoying the maximum quality of 320kbps.


Spotify Free

Spotify Premium

Spotify Web player

AAC 128kbit/s

AAC 256kbit/s

Spotify Desktop app

Up to 160kbit/s

Up to 320kbit/s


Winner: It's no wonder that many people prefer using the desktop client over the web player. Even if you have a free account, you can still enjoy fairly good quality music. So, if you're a Spotify user who values sound quality, you may want to consider using the desktop client for the best possible listening experience.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Offline Mode

Using the Spotify Desktop app in Offline Mode

The Spotify desktop client offers a remarkable feature that allows users to effortlessly download their favorite tunes, making it convenient for offline listening. This functionality is exclusively offered to those who invest in a Spotify Premium subscription, displaying the added value of opting for the premium service.

Unfortunately, this feature is unavailable to web player users, regardless of whether they have a free or paid account. This distinction in accessibility encourages individuals seeking a versatile listening experience to explore the benefits of the Spotify desktop client and consider upgrading to a premium membership.

Winner: The desktop client is the clear winner, as it offers the only way of downloading music for offline listening.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Installation

Installing the Spotify desktop client on your computer may cause some issues if you don't have enough storage space. This is because the software requires enough space to run smoothly and may create temporary files that could take up additional storage. This could result in your computer's overall performance being affected.

You can still enjoy Spotify without having to install the software on your computer. The Spotify web player is an excellent alternative. All you need is a browser and an internet connection, and you're good to go! You can even bookmark the Spotify web player for easy access in the future.

Winner: If you're running low on storage space, or you simply don't want to install the Spotify app on your computer, using the Spotify web player is a great option for accessing your music library.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Equalizer

Spotify equalizer feature in the Desktop app

The equalizer is a fairly new feature in Spotify that took the internet by storm. Popularized on platforms like TikTok and YouTube, users are taking advantage of this feature by creating custom equalizer settings to create unique sound effects.

The downside is that the equalizer is only available on Spotify's desktop client and the mobile app. Unfortunately, users of the web player will not be able to enjoy this feature and will have to settle for the default settings. It's worth noting that this feature has been highly requested by web player users and there might be plans in place to roll it out eventually.

Winner: Spotify Desktop offers access to the popular equalizer feature.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Lyrics

The Spotify lyrics feature in Spotify Web Player

As of 2023, the lyrics feature is available on both the desktop client and web player. This means that you can view the lyrics of songs while streaming them, helping you to understand the meaning behind each song and even learn the words if you wish.

Winner: Both platforms offer access to this feature, making it a draw.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Performance

When it comes to performance, the desktop client offers a smoother user experience compared to the web player. This is thanks to the fact that all of your data is stored on your computer, whereas with the web player, you're streaming from Spotify's servers. This can cause some slowdown due to increased latency and slower loading times.

The desktop client also offers hardware acceleration, a feature that helps to improve app performance by utilizing your computer’s graphics card to run tasks.

Winner: Spotify Desktop offers superior performance and responsiveness compared to the web player.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Playlists

Spotify playlists as seen in the Desktop app

One of the biggest selling points of Spotify is the incredible variety of playlists. Whether you're looking for something to work out to, a mellow soundtrack for studying, or just some good vibes, there's something for everyone.

Both the desktop client and web player offer access to all of Spotify’s playlists but with one key difference: the desktop app allows users to organize their music library into custom folders. This makes it much easier to locate specific songs and artists without having to search through endless playlists.

Creating and sorting your playlists is also a much easier task using the desktop version of Spotify. You can select and move or delete multiple songs at once, for example. This makes it a breeze to revamp your playlists and always keep them up-to-date.

Winner: Both clients grant the ability to create and manage playlists, but the Spotify desktop client provides greater playlist abilities than its web-based counterpart.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Accessibility

Accessibility features are an important consideration when choosing a music streaming platform. Spotify desktop offers hotkeys to quickly control the playback of music. With these hotkeys at your fingertips, you can play and pause your music, skip tracks, or adjust the volume with just a few keystrokes.

Unfortunately, hotkeys are not available on the web player, which means users will have to manually click buttons to achieve the same results. This could be a deal-breaker for some users who are looking for an effortless way to control their music.

Winner: Spotify Desktop offers hotkeys for superior accessibility compared to the web player.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Updates

Spotify releases regular updates to both the desktop client and web player. This ensures that users always have access to the latest features and bug fixes. The only notable difference between the two platforms is that the desktop app allows you to opt out of automatic updates if you wish, while the web player does not offer this option.

Winner: Both platforms offer access to updates, but the desktop app also offers an optional opt-out feature.

Spotify Desktop vs Web Player: Which One is Better?

While both versions of Spotify offer a great selection of features, it's the desktop client that stands out as the clear winner. It offers exclusive features such as offline listening and access to an equalizer, along with superior performance and hardware acceleration.

Although the web player is convenient in its own right, if you're looking for added functionality and a smooth experience, then the desktop client is the way to go.

Ultimately, this choice depends on each user's individual preferences. If you value sound quality and offline playback, then the Desktop app is perfect for you. However, if you value portability and platform independence, then the Web Player is the better option.

Both the Desktop app and the Web Player are excellent choices for listening to music on Spotify. It really comes down to what you're looking for in a music streaming platform.

Summary: Spotify Desktop App

The Spotify Desktop app is a native application that can be installed on your computer. One of the advantages of the Desktop app is that it provides a better listening experience. The Desktop app is optimized for better sound quality and has additional features, such as the ability to use keyboard shortcuts, which make it easier to navigate.

Another advantage of the Desktop app is that it allows for offline playback. This means that you can download your favorite songs and listen to them even when you don't have an internet connection. The Desktop app also has a feature that allows you to import local files, so you can listen to your own music library.

However, the Desktop app does have some disadvantages. One of the biggest is that it requires you to download and install software on your computer. This means that if you want to listen to Spotify on a different computer, you'll have to install the app there as well.

Summary: Spotify Web Player

The Spotify Web Player is a browser-based version of the Spotify app. One of the biggest advantages of the Web Player is that it's easy to access. All you need is a browser and an internet connection, and you can start listening to your favorite music.

Another advantage of the Web Player is that it's platform-independent. This means that you can use it on any device, including your mobile phone, tablet, or computer. This makes it a great option for people who use multiple devices.

However, the Web Player does have some disadvantages. One of the biggest is that it's not as feature-rich as the Desktop app. For example, the Web Player doesn't support offline playback, and it doesn't have as many customization options.

Watch: Spotify — Complete Beginners Guide


Both the Spotify Desktop app and the Spotify Web Player are excellent choices for streaming music on Spotify. However, there are some differences between them that you should consider before making a decision. Whichever version you choose, Spotify has what you need to enjoy amazing music.

We hope that this article has helped you understand the differences between Spotify Desktop and Web Player. Now that you have a better understanding of each platform, it's time to choose which one is right for you!

You can download the Spotify Desktop app here, or access the Spotify Web Player here.

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