A number of users have taken to the internet to complain that Spotify’s desktop music streaming app is thrashing their hard drives, by writing huge amounts of data to the drives while running in the background.
Over the last five months, multiple users have posted about the problem in Spotify’s official support forum, as well as on Reddit, Hacker News, and elsewhere. Users claim the Spotify app has been writing inordinate amounts of data to their drives while running in the background, in some cases writing up to 10GB every 40 seconds.
ArsTechnica was able to replicate the problem on their Macs while running the current version of the Spotify app. the massive data writes appear to happen whether or not songs are set to store locally. The continuous data writes could significantly reduce the lifespan of a user’s drive, especially those with Solid State Drives (SSD), which have a finite write capacity.
While an SSD typically offers a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, extremely high data usage, such as is being reported with the Spotify app, can greatly reduce the lifespan of the drives.
“This is a *major* bug that currently affects thousands of users,” Spotify user Paul Miller told Ars. “If for example, Castrol Oil lowered your engine’s life expectancy by five to 10 years, I imagine most users would want to know, and that fact *should* be reported on.”
Spotify responded to Ars’ requests for comment, telling them “any potential concerns have now been addressed” in version 1.0.42 of the app which is said to be rolling out to customers right now. However, many users report the update is not yet available to them.
Some reports indicate the data writes may involve playlist-related operations, involving database files. with titles that include the string Mercury.db. While a number of solutions have been suggested, perhaps the best advice for Spotify users is to use the streaming music service through their browser until the app update becomes available.