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How to Figure Out Why a Spotify Track Won’t Play

Sometimes, you might receive a track in your Spotify Inbox or see it on a playlist — but it just won’t play. Why can other people seem to play it but not you? This playback problem might be happening for a number of reasons:

  • Unavailable track: If you try to send someone a track from your own MP3 collection, you aren’t actually sending him that track — just a link to that track. Spotify tries to match the track from its own streaming catalogue so that he can play it.

    If it doesn’t have the track, your recipient can’t play it unless he also has it stored in his local files. A message may appear encouraging you to import the file in order for you to be able to play it.

  • Country restrictions: Spotify’s current record label agreements mean that if you send tracks to friends in other Spotify countries, it’s possible that they may not be able to play those tracks and vice versa.

  • Spotify’s official blog says that the restrictions “are a legacy from when most music was sold on tapes and CDs and they have continued over into streaming music.” Hopefully record labels will move with the times and catch on to this restriction problem.

  • Listening limit: After their accounts are six months old, Spotify Free users can listen to one streaming track only five times, ever. Not just five times per month. After you listen to a track five times, you need to buy the track in MP3 form from Spotify to be able to play it and do what you want with it.

    There are bundled deals available to allow you to buy music cheaply (from as little as 50p per track), but these bundles last for only 30 days, so you need to know roughly what music you want before committing.

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