Spotify is writing massive amounts of junk data to storage drives

Enlarge / SSD modules like this one are being abused by Spotify. (credit: iFixit)

For almost five months—possibly longer—the Spotify music streaming app has been assaulting users’ storage devices with enough data to potentially take years off their expected lifespans. Reports of tens or in some cases hundreds of gigabytes being written in an hour aren’t uncommon, and occasionally the recorded amounts are measured in terabytes. The overload happens even when Spotify is idle and isn’t storing any songs locally.

The behavior poses an unnecessary burden on users’ storage devices, particularly solid state drives, which come with a finite amount of write capacity. Continuously writing hundreds of gigabytes of needless data to a drive every day for months or years on end has the potential to cause an SSD to die years earlier than it otherwise would. And yet, Spotify apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux have engaged in this data assault since at least the middle of June, when multiple users reported the problem in the company’s official support forum.

“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.”

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Author: WITS Curators

Bo Washington is a Certified Computer Specialist and the owner and operator of Washington IT Solutions, a local Bartlesville computer repair company. He has been fixing computers since the late 90's and has clocked up thousands of hours performing hardware upgrades, system builds, software installations, virus and spyware removal using the most up to date techniques and general computer services.

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