Spotify Bug Could Be Dropping Your SSD Lifespan To A Matter Of Days

Written by Neil Soutter on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 2:00 PM

Now here’s something that caught my eye, particularly considering the number of gamers that use streaming services such as Spotify. It turns out that Spotify could be tearing through the entirety of your SSD’s data warranty in the space of a month, potentially killing the lifespan of your storage.

The problem originates from Spotify re-writing your playlist database almost constantly. This causes huge amounts of data to be written to and from your hard drive or SSD, sometimes as much as 1TB per hour. This occurs all the time, whether Spotify is in active use or just sat there idle. Some are reporting 10GB being written every 40 seconds, 24 hours a day.

As you’re probably aware this is a major issue for solid state drives. Each has a limited lifespan based on the total write capacity. Use them too much and they will eventually just die. For the most part this is never an issue. For a Samsung Evo 850 250GB SSD, you can safely write 250,000 GB. That’s 13GB a day, every day, for five years. When Spotify is burning through 15GB a minute however, the potential lifespan of these drives can shorten to a matter of days.

Spotify users are unsurprisingly up in arms about the situation. It doesn’t appear as if this has been an issue for long however, so this is a major bug that has been introduced on Spotify’s end in a recent update.

“Holy shit. I just checked, and Task Manager says Spotify has written over 1TB in the past 15 days. I’ve played maybe five songs on this computer during that time. I’m shutting it off now, and it’s not coming back till this is fixed,” wrote a commenter over on Ars Technica.

For now it may be best to stop Spotify running unless a fix rolls out (soon, according to a Spotify representative). The damage to SSD’s is in theory extremely rapid. The more playlists and songs in your library you have, the more data it will be writing.

To check whether this is affecting you download Process Explorer and look for Process I/O. In there look for the Write Bytes row.

Keep an eye out then and let us know believe if you think this issue may have affected you!

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20:49 Nov-12-2016

Never had it, never will. Amazon Music is included with my Prime sub for free and I barely even use that one xD

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23:10 Nov-12-2016

Yep i'm the same most of the music i listen i have downloaded as i mainly listen while out and about on my phone then when at home i can just open up foobar and all files are ready to go, 320kbps files obviously

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00:32 Nov-13-2016

Well yeah because all streaming services is that much more harder? Open service, listen to music...

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03:25 Nov-13-2016

I personally use Youtube when I'm at home and I've got local downloads on the phone from Amazon, etc.
The're not difficult, but not everyone needs them either.

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10:50 Nov-12-2016

Am I right, when I assume users of the Spotify web player aren't affected?

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06:05 Nov-12-2016

I am a bit confused here....250.000 gb is 140 GB a day every day for 5 years....not 13gb...(its almost 24 Tb ....only), if its this its lifespan , i dont think an ssd is much of a deal....but i think an ssd has 500TB NAND endurance....meaning that mostly for a normal user and not a "maniac" it will last from 10-40 years.....Normally

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14:03 Nov-12-2016

yeah they dropped one zero it's almost 136gig for 5years to make it 250000gigs of writing!

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02:40 Nov-12-2016

does it only affect the premium users or all the users??

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02:18 Nov-12-2016

Im glad im using Deezer instead of spotify.

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01:29 Nov-12-2016

its barely writing anything on mine.

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23:14 Nov-11-2016

Glad that I don't use such services, but even if I did my 1TB 840 EVOs have a 37 year lifespan at 100GB write per day. :D

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22:40 Nov-11-2016

I just use YouTube... guess I'm "old fashioned" XD

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20:48 Nov-12-2016

Same... hell, even my playlist is full of songs from the 60s-70s-80s xD

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18:53 Nov-11-2016

Maybe I'm old fashioned but I still listen to my music in FLAC format using AIMP3 player and a pair of Sennheiser HD555 Headphones.

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09:36 Nov-12-2016

Just for curiosity, are you listening through your onboard audio or through a sound card or something like a usb dac headphone amp?

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18:40 Nov-11-2016

I know it might be lame to ask but i still wanna ask before i search it on the google, what is Spotify?

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18:42 Nov-11-2016

Oh so its the music streaming service, never mind and ignore my question. I am save then since i didnt even knew what it was and never used it.

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20:50 Nov-11-2016

I asked myself that as well WTF is spotify xD idk i have youtube for music so i dont really need any other service

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18:03 Nov-11-2016

Well thats bad, for real! I will have it turned of then

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15:29 Nov-11-2016

ouch! Glad I never ended up giving spotify a try! I'm a Pandora user myself, and I'd been meaning to try spotify, but never got around to it since pandora seems to work pretty well for me, and doesn't seem to be writing excessive amounts of data, as my 2 year old 840 EVO only has around 5TB written so far.

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16:20 Nov-11-2016

I use Pandora from time to time, but for the most part it's mp3 and FLAC

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15:23 Nov-11-2016

lmfao xD

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23:02 Nov-11-2016

a moment of silence for those who are not reliant on internet connection to play music xD

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15:11 Nov-11-2016

Which spotify build?

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15:55 Nov-11-2016

All builds before build 1.0.42 aperantly.

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15:07 Nov-11-2016

has this been for long? my pc had 3 different brands of SSD's and all 3 of them died within 3 months. and yes i did have spotify on them

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15:54 Nov-11-2016

This is rare, someone with the same specs. A Medion PC perhaps? Anyway, yes. All versions before 1.0.42 according to other articles online caused this problem.

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15:56 Nov-11-2016

ayy, medion indeed, guess i now know why all my ssd's died, RIP. (i want a new pc already QQ)

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09:08 Nov-12-2016

I have owned this Medion PC since 2012 and it hasn't left me down yet. Don't look to upgrade your PC. I have tried it before and there are only a handful of parts compatible :&#60 I am giong to build my next computer myself.

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09:16 Nov-12-2016

in response to myself because it wouldn't fit: The 1.5GB VRAM is really bottlenecking me, hence the upgrade. I will probably turn this PC into a HTPC or something, just gotta find a mobile micro ATX case.

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16:58 Nov-13-2016

I thought about getting a 1050 TI once but i decided to wait for next year and build a new pc myself. with atleast a gtx 1070 or whatever nvidia has released by then.

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16:47 Nov-14-2016

You could buy a new PSU and a new GPU if you can't wait and use them in your current PC untill you can buy the other parts. Just remember to turn off Secure boot in the BIOS. Send me a PM if you decide to do it, i found the steps on a forum

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02:23 Nov-12-2016

3 months?? Well seems like i will wait till ssd get cheaper and have a longer lifespan :/

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17:00 Nov-13-2016

I asumed it had to do something with my pc, i know ppl with the same ssd as I did and they are still doing fine after 3 years. I would recommend storing data in a HHD and installing games on the ssd that will gain benefit from it.

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09:10 Nov-12-2016

SSDs are not that bad, they just aren't made with writing a ****ton of data per day in mind. A good SSD will last you atleast 4 years. You do get unlimited read times though.

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14:27 Nov-11-2016

I'm old fashion, I have mp3 and FLAC for my music

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14:48 Nov-11-2016

Same here. I'm keeping my trusty Winamp along with mp3 and FLAC files.

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15:25 Nov-11-2016

same here, FLAC is love :3

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15:33 Nov-11-2016

lol.... at one time my music collection was over 80GB and I used to run a rock and metal shoutcast staion, but keeping all that music organized is a huge pain, and since I don't run my shoutcast station anymore, I just find streaming music FAR easier.

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16:18 Nov-11-2016

I used to run a shoutcast too, had a website setup for it too where listeners could request songs from my library and it would automatically add it to play queue. Never had much trouble keeping things organized. As i got more music I immediately put it in the proper folder. Never really got in to the streaming music thing. I like to be able to listen to my music with or without an internet connection.

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18:19 Nov-11-2016

no problems organizing over 800GB music

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14:15 Nov-11-2016

Lucky me, mine seems to work just fine.
According to the Task Manager it's only writing on average &#600.1MB/s. Means worst case is -400MB/hour.
Also how can I see how much it has written in the past 15 days?

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14:55 Nov-11-2016

That's not fine...

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14:58 Nov-11-2016

Well it's WAY better than 1000GB/hour.
Also this "&#60" was meant to be a "smaller than".

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14:13 Nov-11-2016

Mobile apps are garbage compared to full blown desktop/laptop software. That's ewhy mobile apps coming to PC have these kind of issues and this will also be affecting the flash memory of phones! That's why mobile apps spend so much on marketing desktop-like functionality rather than actually delivering it.

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14:56 Nov-11-2016

Aha.. What "full blown desktop/laptop sofware" are you referring to?
Spotify is perhaps the worlds most used music streaming service if we don't count Youtube.

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14:13 Nov-11-2016

Stop running spotify is like asking someone to stop breathing. We need our music, goddamit!

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Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ultra 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
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APU A6-5400K Dual-Core Radeon HD 7450 4GB