Spotify has more than 70 million songs in its streaming catalog, but there are many millions of songs that aren’t on the platform.
If you have songs on your computer that aren’t streaming on Spotify, you can upload them to Spotify and listen to them there. And if you sync your computer with the Spotify mobile app, you can take those songs on-the-go too.
And of course, if you’re a musician or recording artist, you can upload your songs to Spotify’s catalog too so everyone can listen to them. It just takes a bit more work.
Here’s how to upload music from your computer to Spotify, and then sync it with the mobile app.
How to upload local music to Spotify on a computer
You’ll have to do this using the Spotify desktop app, which is available for free on both Mac and PC.
1. Open Spotify on your computer and click your account name in the top-right corner, then click Settings.
2. Scroll down to the Local Files heading and toggle on Show Local Files.
3. A new menu titled Show songs from will appear. If your local songs are in one of the default folders that Spotify offers, toggle it on — otherwise, click Add a source and pick the folder on your computer that the songs are in. Doing this will upload every audio file in that folder to Spotify.
4. Restart the Spotify app. Once re-opened, click Your Library in the top-left.
5. On the page that opens, you’ll find a playlist called Local Files. Click this to open a list of all the songs that you’ve uploaded to Spotify.
You can play these songs right away or move them into other playlists like normal Spotify songs. You just can’t add them to your Liked Songs list.
So now you have the songs on your computer uploaded to your computer’s Spotify app. Let’s get those songs onto your phone too.
How to upload local music to Spotify on a phone
The steps to listen to your uploaded music in the Spotify mobile app are pretty similar for both iPhone and Android users.
Before you do anything, make sure that you’re a Spotify Premium member. Only Premium members can stream local music in the mobile app.
You’ll also want to add all of your local music to a playlist, other than the default Local Files playlist. You can’t open that default playlist in the mobile app, so doing this will make your songs visible.
And lastly, if you’re using an iPhone, you need to enable local files on your phone first. Open Spotify and tap Home in the bottom-left corner, and then the gear icon in the top-right to open the app’s settings. Then tap Local Files and toggle on the Local audio files option.
Once you’ve got everything set up:
1. Connect your iPhone or Android to the same Wi-Fi network as the computer where you uploaded the songs. If your computer is using ethernet, temporarily connect it to Wi-Fi.
2. Open the Spotify app and head to the playlist where you put your local songs.
3. Under the playlist’s name, tap the download icon. It looks like a downward-pointing arrow.
Once you tap download, Spotify will save every song in the playlist onto your phone — including the ones you uploaded. Feel free to move them into other playlists just like normal songs.
The songs will stay on your phone until you tap the download icon again to delete them.
How to upload music onto Spotify so others can stream it
The steps we’ve outlined help you upload music, but only you can listen to it. If you want to add music to Spotify’s catalog so everyone can stream it (and you can make money from it), there’s a different process.
To get your music on Spotify, you need to work with a distribution company. Every company has a slightly different process, but it usually involves paying a fee and then giving them the masters of your music.
Once you’ve got your songs on Spotify, most distributors will take a portion of the money you make for themselves.
There are dozens of different distribution companies that help artists get on Spotify. Most independent artists recommend sites like Distrokid and Tunecore, and Spotify keeps their own list of “preferred” companies.
If you’re interested in uploading original music to Spotify, start looking for a distributor.
By William Antonelli. Editor & Staff Writer for Tech Reference @ Insider