Strava launches Spotify integration: quick hands-on look

Listen, I’m a sucker for embedding Spotify into anything. Whether it’s watches, Ikea speakers (because I’m too cheap to buy the SONOS ones), or as is the case today, Strava. Don’t worry, this post is a quickie, and more specifically, your price doesn’t change anymore.

Instead, starting today, Spotify users can now control Spotify from the Strava app. This allows browsing Spotify favorites, as well as controlling play/pause/resume/skip from the Strava app. This is available for Spotify free and premium users. Essentially, the idea is that if you normally open the Strava app to record a workout and then open the Spotify app, those shortcuts open the Spotify app.

Obviously, for many readers of this site (myself included), you’re probably mostly using a dedicated device that uploads to Strava, rather than recording to the default Strava app. I really tend to only check into the Strava app a few times a year when my watch battery dies. Still, with over 100 million users, many of them will be using the default app. And if you’re like my wife, who hates the clutter of background apps with surprising fury, this solves that problem.

Anyway, here’s how it works.

You’ll open the Strava app, then tap as if you were going to start a new workout (from the app). You will either see the Spotify icon in the bottom right corner or you will get a new prompt to connect your Strava account to your Spotify account. Also, you’ll be reminded that some people are still apparently running with wired headphones, but again, she’s running with an 8-year-old Forerunner 225 – so that does the trick. From there, you tap to complete the authorization, just like authorizing any other Spotify app.

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At this point, you have a new shelf that appears at the bottom (assuming you tap on the “Spotify” icon that you see at the bottom right). This exposes your music habits or those of your children to the few hundred thousand people who will read this article. You can swipe left/right to different playlist collections. At the top, there’s a play/pause button, as well as a skip and favorite button. Plus, of course, album title/title information.

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Once it is done playing, you will notice the name of the playlist at the bottom. You can swipe up to see the other songs on the list, although it always seems to be in shuffle mode because it doesn’t skip to the next song on that list for me. A bit strange then to display what songs are coming up, but then not to. But hey, I can’t win them all.

Note that all of this is the same whether you are in a pre-training, active training, or paused state. You can drag all of that down, out of the way.

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There’s no method to get past the playlist selections, so you’ll have to do that directly in the Spotify app.

It doesn’t appear that Strava saves the music you’ve listened to in the activity profile. Garmin used to do this back when they first launched music support on the Forerunner 645M and then people got angry that their Britney and Bieber music preferences were exposed to their circle of friends previously allowed.

Listen, I’ll probably never use this feature – for the simple reason that I don’t usually log workouts in the Strava phone app. But I appreciate that a lot of people do both today. I use Strava daily, and I use Spotify pretty much every waking hour of the day, and I even use Spotify while doing things that I upload to Strava. But this particular article is not something I will use, even if it is cool for others.

With that, thanks for reading!

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