Spotify Windows, Mac, Linux desktop app: Update now to stop it trashing your SSD

Music-streaming service Spotify has released an important update that stops its desktop client tearing into storage drives with massive and unnecessary write rates.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Some users say the Spotify client for Windows, Mac and Linux has been writing to disk at rates of 10GB an hour.

Image: CNET

Spotify has released an updated desktop client that addresses a bug swamping storage drives with tens of gigabytes per hour of data writes.

The Swedish music-streaming service quietly released version 1.0.42 of its desktop client on Thursday to fix a bug that's created panic because of the sheer volume of data it causes to be written to expensive SSD drives, which gradually wear out with each write.

Depending on the exact SSD drive, 50GB a day can wear a device out in about 12 years.

Few people write anywhere near that much per day, but according to user reports the Spotify client for Windows, Mac and Linux has been writing to disk at rates of 10GB an hour, while others report 100GB per day, amounting to hundreds of gigabytes and in some cases more than a terabyte per month.

Over time these rates would be enough to cause serious wear and tear to storage devices.

IBTimes first reported the issue on Thursday, but posts on Spotify's user forums indicate the bug has troubled some users since June. As Ars Technica noted, users have traced the behavior to database files with the reference Mercury.db. The writes were occurring regardless of whether the app was playing music.

Spotify issued a brief statement yesterday on its user forums that version 1.0.42 should fix the problem.

"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," said Spotify forum moderator, Chris, declaring the case closed.

However, complaints are still rolling in because the remedied version remains unavailable to some users.

"I'm a premium subscriber and am minutes away from switching to Apple Music because I'm so fed up. And nothing here from Spotify. Abysmal customer service," said one user who's unable to update.

A number of other Spotify users are unsatisfied with the firm's failure to communicate and its lack of transparency about version history. Spotify does not provide even a rudimentary change log of issues and bugs that are fixed with each update.

"I don't mind the occasional bug; all software has them. But what gets me is the persistent lack of communication," said one user.

ZDNet has contacted Spotify for comment but has not received a reply at the time of writing.


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