There are many different platforms that can be used to create a playlist and many different devices on which to listen to that playlist. Not all music platforms and devices are compatible with each other, and this can become a barrier for people when choosing the best way to access a playlist.
One of the most popular questions we are asked is if it is possible to listen to a Spotify playlist on an MP3 player.
Most MP3 players are not compatible with Spotify or any other streaming platforms. However, the Mighty Player allows you to transfer playlists from Spotify or Amazon Music and listen to them without an internet connection. The device looks similar to the other MP3 players Playlist for Life recommends and you use it in a similar way.
We wanted to find out how user friendly the player was. We wanted to find out how user friendly the player was. Lami, whose husband John lives with dementia in a nearby care home contacted us and agreed to take part in a Music Lab test. Lami had made some playlists for John on Spotify but wanted to find a device that would be simple for him to listen to the music on. She agreed to test the Mighty Player and feedback on her experience.
Setting up the player required Lami to have:
- The Mighty Player
- A premium Spotify account (£9.99 per month)
- A smart phone
- A laptop or computer with a USB port
- A Wi-Fi connection
We sent her the player with the basic instructions provided in the box and she tested the process of setting up the device, getting John’s playlist on to it and how he responded to the device. Our Music Lab leader was also on hand to offer advice and support if needed and kept in touch with Lami through email and Zoom calls.
Setting up the Mighty Player
- The written guidance that came with the device was very basic but the additional online support that Mighty provides was very helpful. Lami found YouTube tutorials online, which were the most effective tool in helping set up the device.
- There is quite a lot of jargon used in the instructions that might be confusing for people who aren’t used to terms like ‘apps’ and ‘syncing’.
- The process of putting the music onto the device, called syncing, was a quite complicated but the app guided her through each step and with the support she found online she was able to do it herself.
- The set up process required her to create an account with her email address. After signing up Mighty sent her a lot of emails with news and updates. It was possible to unsubscribe from these but this could be overwhelming and could put others off.
Using the Mighty Player
- Once the player was set up it worked well and John enjoyed listening to the music. However, he did need support to use the device. The staff members in the home were not always able to support John to use the player, meaning that he was mostly only able to listen when Lami was visiting.
- The device is very small, which meant it was often overlooked and misplaced in the home.
- The device had to be synced with Lami’s Spotify account once a month to keep the music available to listen to. This process involved connecting the device to a laptop and smart phone. Lami felt that the carers in the home would not have the time or equipment to sync the player. This meant she had to take it home herself once a month to update it. During the Covid pandemic, when visiting was limited, this was very difficult to organise.
Lami worried that with device being so small it might get lost in the care home environment. She purchased a brightly colour lanyard and put John’s name on it so he could keep the playlist on him and the carers would know who it belonged to.
The Mighty Player could be a useful device for people who want to access their Spotify or Amazon Music playlists on a player that is simpler to use than a smart phone or laptop. However, elements of the set up and maintenance of the player are significantly more complicated than more traditional MP3 players and this could be a barrier for people.
Although the device is fairly simple to use once the music is on it, the set up requires a smart phone, a laptop with USB port and an internet connection. If someone is setting the device up on behalf of a person with dementia they would need to be able to get access to the player once a month in order to sync the device. This means it is potentially not very suitable for people living in a care home setting or without support near by.
Small-scale Music Lab projects like this allow us to support individuals looking for a tech solution and learn from their experience. We can then share this experience with others to further support people with dementia and carers to overcome their own tech barriers.
“I don’t know if I would have had the patience or the drive to go through this process if it wasn’t for knowing you were there to help me.”
Thank you to Lami and John for testing the Mighty Player and for sharing their feedback!