Introducing Playlisty version 1.21

There’s a lot of new features in version 1.21 – too many to detail in the “What’s New” section of the App Store – so we thought it would be worth expanding on some of them here for those that are interested. But before we get into new features, we want to say a few words about Spotify.

As many of you will be aware, Spotify have recently amended their Developer Terms of Service to state that “enabling a user to transfer their personal data, or the metadata of the user’s playlists to another service” is now explicitly permitted. This is a change that we welcome and – unlike their previous ToS – we feel these ToS are both reasonable and enforceable.

As a result of this change we felt obliged to make one small change to Playlisty: if you’re a Spotify user you probably never noticed it, but there’s a section in the Playlist Browser where we used to display some of Spotify’s curated playlists for your region. These are not associated with you, as a user, and you don’t need an account to see them. In reality we only put them there so that non-Spotify users would have something to look at the first time they fired-up Playlisty. It’s therefore hard to claim these are “user’s playlists” and we’ve consequently removed them from Playlist 1.21 as we believe they may not comply with Spotify’s revised ToS.

All of your personal playlists – anything that’s associated with your Spotify account – are still there and available for import in a couple of taps exactly as before. New users without Spotify accounts will have to make do with looking at some YouTube or BBC playlists instead.

On to new features:

  • Shortcuts: We are big fans of Siri Shortcuts. They provide a standard & powerful framework for automating repetitive tasks and enable you to schedule complex workflows at specific times of day. Ideal for building an “Import & Play” script or scheduling regular playlist synchronisation tasks. However if you’ve tried to use Playlisty shortcuts with larger playlists you’ll also be aware of their limitations: Apple place strict memory & time constraints on Shortcuts and if an App exceeds these it will get shut down. Version 1.21 dramatically lifts most of these constraints using some of the new features in iOS14 and we’ve been reliably syncing playlists with 200+ tracks in the background on an old iPhone 6s. If you want to try these out there’s a new “Add to Siri” button which will get you started. You’ll find more info on our Advanced Playlisty page.
  • New websites: Playlisty now supports Beatport & Traxsource playlists. Just browse to the right page in Safari and use the share button, or copy/paste the link to the Scratchpad.
  • New UX tweaks: Ok, we admit it: we’re not great at UX. In fact our background is in electronic trading systems where speed and accomplishing a task with as few taps as possible counts for everything and looking nice counts for nothing. Anyway, as a result of your feedback we’ve made what we hope are improvements to the main Import screen. Specifically we’ve promoted the Playlist Browser and demoted the Scratchpad (and made it completely collapsible). Since most of you use the Browser most of the time we felt this was reasonable.
  • Multi-Window support: A side effect of some of the Shortcuts work we had to do, but we find it useful for dragging/dropping URLs from Safari. It looks cool too.
  • Exportify support: is a handy tool which allows you to back-up all of your Spotify playlists into a single zip file. Playlisty now allows you to open this zip file and import any playlists it contains, as if they came straight from Spotify.
  • Better “Help” screens: They are actually quite useful now.