Spotify takes away shuffle button from album pages


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Razia Islam, Science & Technology Editor

After a six-year long hiatus, English singer and songwriter Adele’s fourth album“30” has been a hot topic for many. Despite her undeniable popularity, Adele’s role in altering the familiar appearance of the world’s largest music streaming platform Spotify still came as a surprise.

The singer had requested Spotify to remove the shuffle button for her fourth album. Her request was granted almost immediately following the release of her latest album.

“Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended,” the singer wrote in a viral tweet.  Spotify had fondly replied to her tweet with a simple, “Anything for you.”

The streaming platform had gone the extra mile to remove the shuffle button for all albums on its platform, not just for Adele’s “30.” Users can always shuffle an album manually.

The original button has been removed and replaced with the default of playing an album’s tracks in order.

“For those users still wishing to shuffle an album, they can go to the Now Playing View and select the ‘shuffle’ toggle,” a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement to Variety.

The Spotify spokesperson claims the streaming platform has been thinking about this feature for a while and that it has been “long requested by both users and artists.”

This new app adjustment has caused an uproar of discussions among its users about art consumption. Controversy sparked regarding whether the order of the album story should be within the realms of the listener or of the artist.

One Twitter user tweeted, “Once an artist releases an album, it should become the listeners’ story.” Others disagreed and compared listening to an album to “reading a book” and stated that art should be consumed the way the creator intended for it to be.

Many have been thanking Adele for urging the streaming platform to make this decision as they believe listening to an album should be a curated experience. Those on the flipside are having a harder time adjusting to change and believe that art is up for interpretation.

The new feature, despite only being available for premium users, is under the scrutiny of all. Adele herself has also been the subject of internet backlash.

Numerous critics berate Adele for having this feature be her only request when Spotify has been notorious for underpaying its artists.

“What about supporting artists by give them a fair payment for all the streamings they get instead of just removing a damn button?” one Twitter user tweeted in reply to Spotify.

Previously, having the shuffle feature be the default allowed for smaller artists to get exposure and streams when their music played in between a different album’s songs. Many believe the new track by track feature will only benefit bigger artists with already established fanbases. A small music label based in Chicago called Sooper tweeted saying, “Adele is waging a ruthless war against me personally and all other small artists and companies.”

Adele is not the biggest fan of streaming, having held off the Spotify release of her album “25” for months, so it came as a big shock to many that she would focus her attention on a shuffle button before all else.

Despite the backlash, Spotify listening to Adele directly has given artists hope of having a say in future app updates.