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Spotify may be killing your components – but there’s a fix

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Spotify

Spotify could be significantly reducing the lifespan of your computer storage, according to a new report.

It’s believed that Spotify’s music streaming app has been writing huge amounts of data to users’ machines, potentially putting some storage systems at risk. According to an Ars Technica article and multiple user reports, Spotify users were experiencing hundreds of gigabytes of data being written in an hour, with some reported write amounts rising to 1TB or more. More worryingly, the issue seemed to be occurring even when Spotify was idle, and not storing songs locally.

The chief problem with this bug is that it can cause significant problems for solid state drives (SSDs). That’s because SSDs have a limited amount of write capacity, after which point their endurance runs out. Generally, that’s such a high amount that it never really becomes an issue, which is why SSDs – typically faster, but more expensive than HDDs – are still so popular.

But if Spotify is consistently writing vast quantities of data to an SSD for no apparent reason, it could bring forward the death-date of an SSD:

This is a surprisingly big deal. The huge amounts of data Spotify is writing not only burns through the effective life of your SSD, but if you have a capacity budget SSD, Spotify could burn through your entire data warranty in little over a month," says Michael Passingham, Computing Editor at TrustedReviews.

One commenter wrote: “It’s re-writing your playlist database, which is a total non-issue if the database is small. If your database is big then this is a huge problem. For example, Samsung’s 840 Evo can handle 10GB of writes per day for 28 years. According to Reddit, people with especially large databases are seeing Spotify write 10GB every 40 seconds, which according to Samsung, would wear out the drive in just four days.”

Another commenter wrote: “Holy shit. I just checked, and Task Manager says Spotify has written over 1TB in the past 15 days. I’ve played maybe five songs on this computer during that time. I’m shutting it off now, and it’s not coming back till this is fixed."

To check if Spotify is writing to your SSD, download this program, then right click on the top row of the table, click ‘Select Columns’, choose ‘Process I/O’, then select ‘Write Bytes’ (Credit: /u/KnoppersKing).

A Spotify spokesperson gave TrustedReviews the following statement: “We’ve seen some questions in our community around the amount of written data using the Spotify client on desktop. These have been reviewed and any potential concerns have now been addressed in version 1.0.42, currently rolling out to all users."

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Have you experienced any issues with Spotify? Let us know in the comments.

Hamish Campbell

November 11, 2016, 12:44 pm

Nice sidestep press release 'any potential concerns have now been addressed'.

Heaven forbid someone should be honest :

Yes, they were right, sorry everyone. This could be a problem for people with this sort of usage
Blah
Blah
Blah
We have fixed it by
Blah
Blah
Blah.

Still, they would lead to liability I guess, and it would be pretty unfair that they should pay for trashing your hard disk, cause errrr...Blah blah blah?

Darius

November 12, 2016, 3:24 pm

Well, I've installed the Process Explorer app. In my case, Spotify was on the second place with the 405 MB of disk write usage, but Chrome was on the first place with 2.3 GB. So I have tested it a little bit furher. Openning 3 new tabs resulted in Chrome writting additional 100 MB. And it does that every time I repeat the test.

Clearly Spotify is not our only concern when it comes to keeping our SSD's write capacity healthy on the long run.

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