Spotify warns users not to use modified versions of their app

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 07 Mar 2018

Following an update to Spotify's Connect service, many users of smart speakers will now be limited to streaming music via smartphone or computer, either with Bluetooth, Google Cast, Airplay or a simple auxiliary cable. — dpa

Spotify users with modified apps that remove some restrictions placed on free accounts were sent warning e-mails from the streaming service that their accounts could be terminated.

In a report by Torrent Freak, they said e-mails stated that "abnormal activity" was detected on the user's software, with a warning that future breaches could result in suspension or even termination of the user's account.

Torrent Freak found that users had been going to Spotify’s forums asking why they received the e-mail, and though many claim they were not in the wrong, signs point to people using modified software.

Spotify's music streaming service had more than 159 million users, of which around 71 million were premium subscribers, according to figures released by the company last December.

The 88 million Spotify members using the free tier are subjected to advertising and other limitations, such as shuffle-only play and track-skip restrictions.

Torrent Freak said by giving free users a decent level of service but holding back just enough with small irritations, Spotify could convince users to make the jump to a premium subscription.

They added that there were unauthorised Spotify apps out there that can remove many of these restrictions. 

"All the user has to do is sign up to a free Spotify account, download one of the many ‘hacked’ Spotify installation files out there, put in their username and password, and enjoy," it said. 

They added that the exact number of people using unauthorised versions of Spotify remained unclear, and it was a mystery why Spotify itself had not taken action earlier. 

In a post to the Spotify forum, user Anna_scooter asked the staff about a "strange" e-mail she received from the company which read: 

"Dear user: 
We detected abnormal activity on the app you are using so we have disabled it. Don’t worry – your Spotify account is safe.
To access your Spotify account, simply uninstall any unauthorised or modified version of Spotify and download and install the Spotify app from the official Google Play Store. If you need more help, please see our support article on Reinstalling Spotify”.

Anna_scooter said she was using an old version of Spotify on her PC and smartphone as she did not want to upgrade to the new version which she disliked, to which a Spotify forum moderator with the user handle Maxim replied that they had detected her using an unauthorised app.

He advised her to uninstall the existing app, then download the latest official version from Spotify, in order to keep using the service. 

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