In short: Gapless Playback doesn’t work if you’re listening offline to downloaded music. Also, it only works on special “mixed” albums by Spotify and live albums with consecutive tracks.
You’ve toggled “Gapless Playback” ON but for some reason, there is a noticeable gap between tracks. Why is Spotify’s Gapless Playback not working? Let’s talk about it.
Gapless Playback doesn’t work on all albums and playlists
If you’ve turned on Gapless Playback and you feel like it’s not working, it’s probably because you’re listening to one of your own personal playlists, a random queue, or “Liked Songs”.
The truth is, Gapless Playback on Spotify only works on albums with consecutive audio tracks and certain Spotify playlists that are “mixed” together, not personal playlists.
A lot of Spotify users think that enabling Gapless Playback on Spotify works every time, but this is far from the truth. Here’s what one customer had to say in a forum:
“When I’m playing music on my iPhone, I’m trying to make my songs transition into each other seamlessly, but it won’t work on my iPhone. I’ve enabled Gapless Playback and set the Crossfade to 0 seconds but it still has the same gap between songs as if I didn’t have Gapless Playback enabled in the first place. For some reason if I listen to an album, the Gapless Playback does work on my iPhone – it’s just when I try to listen to my playlists it has the gap.”– Spotify Premium user
You’ll find similar stories across the web, which is why I’m here to tell you what’s right.
There is plenty of misleading information on the internet saying the Gapless Playback works to eliminate gaps between all songs. This is not true – it only works on some albums.
For example, if you listen to “The Trinity Session” by Cowboy Junkies with Gapless Playback ON, it would sound like one continuous session with the band without gaps between songs.
Gapless Playback only makes sense for album tracks played in the right order (mixed album or live album). It also works with two songs from the exact same album and in series.
If you play the first track of the “Monkey Business” album with Gapless Playback ON, the next song, “Don’t Phunk with My Heart” will be sewn together with the first song perfectly.
You can learn more about Gapless Playback right here.
Remember, Gapless Playback won’t work on your own playlists, liked songs, or a random queue of songs. It will only work on live albums and “mixed” playlists by Spotify.
Gapless Playback doesn’t work on local files
If you’ve made sure you’re listening to a live album or mixed album but Gapless Playback is still not working, it could be that you’re listening to offline downloads or local files.
One of the benefits of getting a Spotify Premium package is the ability to listen to songs offline. It’s practical because you don’t need to rely on an internet connection to enjoy music.
Unfortunately, Gapless Playback on Spotify only works on streamed tracks, not downloaded music and local files. You’ll need to listen online to enjoy Gapless Playback.
Try connecting to a stable Wi-Fi connection, turn on Gapless Playback, choose a live album on Spotify, then sit back and enjoy the music. Each song should transition smoothly without gaps.
Bluetooth is causing problems
Another thing you can try is to disable Bluetooth on your device. I can’t guarantee this will work for you, but for many people (myself included), it worked to restore gapless playback.
I noticed that whenever I have Spotify streaming through a Bluetooth connection (from a phone or tablet), gapless playback works about 25% of the time, maybe less.
After doing my research, I’ve discovered that Gapless Playback over Bluetooth is NOT officially supported on Spotify. You’re better off using wired equipment instead.
Crossfade is messing with Gapless Playback
If you’re not getting a smooth transition on a live album with Gapless Playback turned on, it could be that the Crossfade feature is messing with the gaps between tracks.
Crossfade is basically blending the tracks as one stops and the other starts. It works by overlapping 2 tracks, fading out of the first while fading in the next.
If you’re listening to a live album, I recommend switching the Crossfade slider to zero so it doesn’t interfere with the perfect transitions of songs as the artist intended.
Audio normalization is messing with Gapless Playback
It could be that Gapless Playback is working normally, but the audio normalization feature is messing with the song transitions (volume going up and down).
As a result, you’re hearing a poor song transition between each track.
On Spotify, audio normalization is a feature that tries to play all the music at more or less the same volume. Basically, it will try to keep the volume of all the songs consistent.
It’s great, but sometimes it messes with different tracks on live albums. I personally think the audio normalization should be turned off if you want to get the best out of Gapless Playback.
I discovered this when I was listening to “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd.
After turning on Gapless Playback and turning OFF audio normalization, I was able to enjoy a smooth transition between tracks without any disturbing volume changes.
A bug within the Spotify app
Last but not least, it could be a bug within the Spotify app. It’s completely normal for an app like Spotify to experience glitches and bugs that mess with the features inside.
There have been moments when the Gapless Playback feature was not working on Spotify, and there have been many people reporting the issue on Spotify forums.
The developer team was able to recreate the behavior and reported the problems to the right folks, but they can’t set a specific timeframe for when the issue will be fixed.
It would seem that this is caused by the technical time needed to load up and start the playback of a new song. Results might vary depending on the specs of the device.
The best thing you can do is to wait if the Gapless Playback is currently not working and hope that it will be fixed in the next update. Also, keep your Spotify app updated always.
A workaround is to turn off Gapless Playback on Spotify, then enable one second of Crossfade. This causes the next song to start loading at most a second earlier.
That same second shouldn’t interfere too much with the previous song as it’ll again need the time to load up, so it’ll be actually a bit less than a second of Crossfade between two tracks.