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What Is Crossfade on Spotify? All You Need to Know

Photo by Brandon Zack / Unsplash

Imagine listening to a concept album with a bunch of cool transitions between tracks but never experiencing them because that annoying pause after each song ruins the magic. Thankfully, some streaming services including Spotify have a feature that resolves this issue. Meet the almighty crossfade!

This article covers all you need to know about Spotify crossfade: what it is, how to make Spotify songs fade, and what the best Spotify transition setting is.

What does crossfade do on Spotify?

But first, let’s get back to the physical realm and take a look at a good ol’ DJ mixer.

A photo of a DJ controller with a crossfader highlighted in red
Source: Home DJ Studio

This little knob is called a crossfader, and its function is manipulating the volume balance between two tracks. If you move it to the left, only the left track will be playing, while the right one will be on mute, and vice versa. And, if you slowly move the knob from left to right or vice versa, the tracks will merge into each other — one will go quieter, while the other will go louder.

Consider this the simplest rudimentary mixing technique. DJing is obviously more complex than just changing track volumes, but that’s a topic for another article. So, what is crossfade on Spotify then?

Basically, crossfade on Spotify is the digital version of this process. If you turn it on, your playlist will turn into a rudimentary DJ set, with tracks transitioning into each other — one fades out, while the other fades in.

Why would I need Spotify crossfade?

We mentioned one of the use cases in the intro! First things first, crossfade on Spotify ensures a smoother listening experience, especially if you’re enjoying an album with many transitions between tracks. However, there’s more to it — here’s how you can benefit from Spotify crossfade:

  • You can “test” transitions. If you’re an aspiring DJ, you may not always be able to predict if the two tracks you’d like to mix will sound well together. Spotify crossfade on longer settings allows you to check out if the transition is worth trying out when you don’t have access to a laptop with your favorite DJ software installed and ready to go.
  • You can be a house party “DJ”. We don’t use the quotation marks derogatively here, though! Maybe someone who trusts your music taste handed you the aux cable, and you don’t have the necessary equipment. Or maybe you just want to get rid of awkward pauses in your party playlist. Either way, Spotify crossfade will save your house party.

Whether you want to test the transitions for your future Boiler Room performance or just enjoy your favorite prog rock record with zero friction, let’s learn how to fade songs on Spotify.

How to get crossfade on Spotify?

The streaming platform’s crossfade feature is pretty easy to access — let’s find out how to make songs transition on Spotify on different devices.

How to add crossfade on Spotify: Android and iPhone

Here’s how to crossfade on Spotify if you’re using the app on an Android or iOS device, no matter if it’s a smartphone or a tablet:

  1. Go to Settings. It’s the gear icon on the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Find the Playback settings.
  3. Move the slider to any setting that is not “Off” and enjoy!
Spotify Playback settings mobile screen, the Crossfade setting is highlighted in red
Source: Adam Bowie

How to enable crossfade on Spotify: Desktop

Is Spotify crossfade available on desktop devices? Yes — here’s how to turn it on:

  1. Click on the Profile icon and go to Settings.
  2. Click Show advanced settings.
  3. Find Playback settings.
  4. Enable Crossfade songs.
  5. Set up the desired transition length and enjoy!
Spotify desktop Playback settings screenshot, the Crossfade songs setting is disabled
Source: ViWizard

What is the best crossfade time for Spotify?

Spotify crossfade allows users to set up the transition length from 1 to 12 seconds. To put this into perspective, a 1-second transition would be barely noticeable, while a 12-second transition may get you confused by a bit of a sonic mess. How to choose the best Spotify crossfade setting then?

Aside from the fact that anything “best” is subjective, it mainly depends on two factors:

  • Your goal. For example, if you’re using Spotify crossfade to test transitions for your next DJ set, shorter crossfade times won’t allow you to hear ugly harmonic clashes or a BPM difference that’s way too big for beatmatching. In this case, we suggest setting Spotify crossfade to 10–12 seconds. Meanwhile, if you just want a smoother listening experience, 1–2 seconds is enough.
  • The music genre. Many dance music genres, like techno, tend to have ridiculously long track intros that can last up to 2 minutes — here’s a particularly lengthy example. These intros are designed specifically for live mixing on the dancefloor. People are not supposed to hear a full minute of a kick drum — it’s a part of a transition that is meant to be played under the previous track. So, longer crossfade settings can massively elevate your EDM listening experience on Spotify. Meanwhile, rock songs often start right away, so shorter transition settings will work better for them.

But it all boils down to your personal preference — we’re not here to judge you for how you listen to music, right?

How is Spotify crossfade different from other Spotify features?

Spotify offers several features related to transitions between tracks and improving the listening experience — and all these playback settings seem oddly similar, right? However, they are siblings but not twins.

Let’s dig deeper and compare Spotify crossfade with its relatives: Automix, Gapless playback, and Spotify AI DJ.

Spotify crossfade vs Automix

Out of these three features, Automix is the closest one to Spotify crossfade — like the latter, it ensures smooth transitions between tracks. But it’s a little more complex:

  • Automix creates beatmatched transitions. In DJing, beatmatching is the practice of synchronizing the tempos of the tracks you’re mixing together for a seamless transition. So, Spotify Automix is closer to the actual DJing than crossfade.
  • Automix is not customizable. Spotify crossfade allows you to fool around with different transition settings. Meanwhile, Automix tweaks the length of the transition for each track pair automatically.
  • Automix only works for certain playlists. Automating a transition between 90-BPM and 200-BPM tracks is a very complicated task. That’s why Automix only works in curated playlists like House is a Feeling. In such playlists, all tracks have more or less compatible BPMs — this allows users to enjoy smooth transitions even on shuffle. Meanwhile, Spotify crossfade works for all the music you listen to: albums, personal and Spotify-curated playlists, radio, and so on.

However, unless you enable Automix, it won’t work even on special playlist. Like Spotify crossfade, it’s in the Playback settings.

Spotify Playback settings screenshots, the Automix feature is highlighted in red
Source: Reddit

Spotify crossfade vs Gapless Playback

Gapless Playback is another Spotify transition setting that is meant to give you a better listening experience. Like Spotify crossfade and unlike Automix, it works with all the music you listen to. Here’s the only difference between these features:

  • When Spotify crossfade is on, all the tracks you listen to will “melt” into each other for up to 12 seconds.
  • When Gapless Playback is on, you’ll simply have no pauses between tracks — the beginning of the next track and the end of the previous track won’t overlap.

Unlike crossfade, Gapless Playback only improves the experience of listening to albums with a lot of transitions between songs — you can’t use it for testing DJ transition ideas, for example.

Spotify playback settings screenshot, Gapless Playback is highlighted in red
Source: AdWeek

Spotify crossfade vs Spotify AI DJ

In 2023, Spotify introduced the AI DJ feature, which is the most distant “relative” of Spotify crossfade. Unlike Automix and Gapless Playback, it has nothing to do with song transitions. Here’s how it works.

AI “DJ” is more of an AI “radio host”. In its core, it’s a personalized generated playlist with a text-to-speech voice interrupting the music stream with different, sometimes annoying comments. The public opinion on this feature is a bit polarizing. Some Reddit users say that it generates decent playlists, others note irrelevant song suggestions and dislike the whole “radio host” mechanic.

A Reddit comment in the Spotify AI DJ thread where a person says that AI DJ interruptions are like a jump scare
Source: Reddit

Wrapping up

Spotify crossfade is an awesome feature that can drastically improve your listening experience. It can help you with a lot of things from removing annoying gaps between songs to becoming a makeshift house party DJ. To turn it on or off, and edit the transition setting, explore the Playback part of the Settings menu on any device.

We hope you learned all you need to know about crossfade on Spotify. Now, if you haven’t done this yet, go ahead and have fun with different settings!


Can you enable Spotify crossfade in the web player?

Unfortunately, no! Some features, including crossfade, are not available in the web version of Spotify. To enjoy transitions between songs, download a mobile or desktop app.

How to edit crossfade on Spotify?

To change the Spotify crossfade setting, go to Playback settings on your preferred device and set the slider to any value between 1 and 12 seconds.

Does Spotify crossfade work in Spotify Connect?

Crossfade settings are device-specific, so no, Spotify crossfade doesn’t work in Spotify Connect.

How to turn off crossfade on Spotify?

The same way you turn it on! Go to Playback settings in your mobile or desktop app and disable Spotify crossfade once you don’t need it.