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Collaborate on Playlists with Spotify's Collaboration Feature

Spotify’s collaboration feature provides the ability to let your friends add their own tracks to your playlist. Collaborative playlists were launched on Spotify back in 2008 and were an instant hit. These days, they’ve evolved even further to display who added which track and when.

You and your collaborators can add or delete tracks at any time by dragging them into the playlist or pressing the Delete key to remove them from the playlist; all the changes are visible on everyone’s copy of the playlist.

If you own the collaborative playlist, you can turn the collaboration feature off if things are getting a little out of hand!

Collaborative playlists are a lot like Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that virtually anyone can edit. You put the playlist link out there and rely on the wisdom of your friends to ensure that the playlist remains of decent quality and on topic.

Maybe, on occasion, some pranksters will think it’s a good idea to insert some Kenny G in the middle of your Kraftwerk (or vice versa, if you’re the one into the saxophone solos), but they’ll be accountable because the username of whoever added the track is displayed.

At the moment, you can’t restrict who has access to a collaborative playlist. Spotify has put one measure in place to help restrict a free-for-all collaboration by random strangers — it doesn’t let you publish collaborative playlists to your public profile.

So, you can control who has access to the playlist’s web address, and it’s up to you to determine whether your friends can be trusted to keep the playlist within your circle of buddies and not publicize it to their blogs or on Facebook.

However, if the web address to the collaborative playlist somehow gets out there, anyone with that address can edit the playlist, and someone might delete all the tracks listed in it. Back up your collaborative playlist by making a copy of it as a private playlist — the master version.

Just select all the tracks in the playlist (by clicking one, and then pressing Ctrl+A on PC or Command+A on a Mac to select them all) and drag them into a new playlist to create a copy.

Making a playlist collaborative is straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  1. After creating a playlist, right-click its title in the main sidebar, and then select Collaborative Playlist from the pop-up menu that appears.

    The music note turns from white to green, and a little dot appears next to it.

  2. Share the playlist.

    Remember that anyone who has the web address can edit the tracks within the playlist.

  3. If you feel the need to turn collaboration off and make the playlist all yours once more, right-click the playlist in the sidebar again.

    If the playlist is collaborative, a check appears next to Collaborative Playlist.

  4. Click Collaborative Playlist to uncheck that option and turn off the collaborative feature.

    The music note turns back to its original white.

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