It might sound like an antiquated idea, but in lieu of listening to a random assortment of tracks in a listening session, I prefer to toss on full albums, listening to them straight through. On the desktop, I use foobar2000 to listen to the FLAC rips I have, and then add the same albums in Spotify so that I can have access to them (and many others, of course) while on-the-go. I don’t watch movies on the plane, but prefer to listen to music, so having my collection with me is a massive convenience.
What’s not a convenience, however, is having to manually download each and every album I saved to Spotify on my phone, especially with its buttons that require pinpoint precision. I never like to be without music I want to listen to, so I take full advantage of Spotify’s maximum limit of 3,333 downloaded tracks.
If an album is 15 tracks, that means I have to hit the “Download” button on my phone over 200 times to get everything I need downloaded. Reading around the web, it seems like there was at least once a feature that let you download all of your saved tracks by going offline, but that’s not an ideal solution, and just because something is saved doesn’t mean that someone wants it downloaded (I have at least double the number of albums saved than I have downloaded).
That all said, the solution I decided upon a couple of weeks ago was to put all of the albums I like into the exact same playlist, so that on mobile, I could simply go to that playlist, and tap “Download”. As a result, instead of enduring a ton of tedium, all I had to do was tap a couple of times on the mobile device and then drain 50% of my phone’s battery in one go due to the incredible Wi-Fi use.
Above is the Windows version of Spotify; below is the mobile version on my Android device:
What makes these playlists extremely useful is that if you have to make room for a new album, you can simply remove another from the playlist and it will automatically be synced that way on your mobile device. It means that if you stick to this single playlist (at least, for full albums), you never have to think about it. Just put an album in, and it will be synced. Delete an album from the list, and it’ll disappear from your phone.
If anyone has any better solutions for this kind of problem, I’d love to hear them. I will issue the warning that this can be a very time-consuming process, but for me personally, I found the time-invested (about an hour) to be worth it. I actually took advantage of this solution to download my entire list of albums to two different mobile devices, and the next time I upgrade my smartphone, I can tell you I won’t regret this decision.