Backspin Tutorial

Library Scan

When you first install Backspin, the app scans the device for music files and builds your music library. Click this link for Google’s instructions on how to add music files to your Android device.

Music Library

When scanning is completed, view your music library by Artists, Albums, Songs, Playlists, Folders, Genres, Composers, or Cloud (Stream music from Dropbox). Tap a song to play it, or the 3-dot menu on the right for other options. On tablets, the app uses two columns for the library---so for Artists View, for example, the artists appear on the left, and tapping an artist lists the songs in the second column.

Now Playing

Once you start playing music in the app, tap the album cover at the bottom left to view the Now-Playing list. You can remove songs from the list by tapping “x,” or drag the up-and-down-arrows icon to rearrange songs. When shuffle is on, Now Playing shows the shuffle order (and you can save the shuffle order with “Save Playlist” in the 3-dot dropdown menu to the right of “Now Playing”).


Tap the shuffle icon at the bottom right to turn shuffle on or off---or tap “shuffle all” at the top of a list to shuffle it from scratch.


The equalizer can be accessed from the 3-dot menu at the bottom right of the screen, next to the shuffle toggle.


Backspin is great for making quick playlists. Tap “New Playlist” at the top right of the screen (or “+ New Playlist” in Playlists view), and give your playlist a name. When you tap Create, the new playlist will open in a playlist tab.

  • To add songs, tap the plus signs that now appear next to songs in your music library (plus signs only appear when a playlist tab is open).

  • To remove a song from the playlist, tap the “x” at the right side of a playlist entry (does not delete the song from the music library).

  • To rearrange songs, drag the “mover” icon at the left side of each entry.   

Playlists can be minimized or maximized---when plus signs are tapped, the song is added to the highlighted playlist tab, whether minimized or maximized. On tablets, you can view the playlist onscreen at the same time as the music library. On phones, the playlist tab takes up the whole screen, so it must be minimized to add songs---then maximize to play, rearrange, or remove songs.

Tap the “x” next to the name of the playlist to close it---all changes are automatically saved. If you make a mistake while making a playlist, you can undo accidental adds and deletions (button appears at the top right of the screen, or in the menu if there's not enough space). Multiple playlist tabs can be open at the same time.

Playlists when viewed are not always opened for editing---you can view them in the library or open them for editing in a playlist tab. This allows you to make new playlists using existing playlists (plus signs appear next to playlist songs open in the library). Tap the name of the playlist to view it in the library, or tap “edit” to open it in a playlist tab.


Basic options/functions can be viewed in the 3-dot context menu at the top right of the screen (or the Settings button on some Android devices). From there you can view the Settings list---take a look to try out some of Backspin’s unique features. (Descriptions of various settings appear below.)

Added New Music?

Backspin frequently updates the music library in the background to find new music---or update the library if songs have been removed from the device. If you add new music, give the app a little while to find it, and refresh the views by switching between them. You can also rescan your library (located near the bottom of Settings; re-scanning will not delete your playlists).

Dropbox Streaming

You can connect to Dropbox to stream music over wifi or your cellular network. Go to Cloud View and tap Dropbox to connect. You will be prompted to allow the app to have access (this brings up the Dropbox app if you have it installed, to allow access to audio files only, or loads an internet browser to allow access if not). Next tap the Dropbox entry to browse folders and start streaming music. You can play directly from a cloud folder, or you can add cloud songs to playlists, on which you can have both device songs and cloud songs in a single playlist. (Note: due to built-in API constrictions, cloud metadata cannot be batch-scanned and pulled into your music library, so folder browsing is used. Metadata is shown when a cloud song is being played.)

Smart Shuffle

Smart shuffle can be turned on or off in Settings. It allows you to shuffle a list of music (artist, folder, playlist, etc.), and songs won't repeat until everything has played. So if you've been shuffling a list for a while but want to hear a song on that list immediately, you can listen without starting the shuffle over. You can also turn shuffle off and back on again to reshuffle remaining unplayed songs.

Exporting and Importing Playlists

If you have Backspin installed on multiple devices, you can export a playlist from one device and import it on another. Playlists are exported as xspf files, which means that the app will resolve content and find files wherever they appear on the device. If a song cannot be found on a device, it will appear greyed out. Playlists can be exported to the device or via e-mail---and can be imported directly from an e-mail attachment. (Use the 3-dot context menu of a playlist to export, or the context menu at the top right of the screen to import.)

Consolidate Artists and Hide Albums

For those with large libraries, Artists View and Albums View can get cluttered with many 1-song artists and albums. We have included an option to “Consolidate Artists with Only One Song.” These songs then appear in a single list at the top of the artists list, called “Individual Artists.” You can also “Hide Albums with Only One Track.” Both options are located in Settings.

Double-Tap to Play

We have an included an option for “double-tap to play,” for situations where a user needs to ensure that a song is not accidentally tapped (and play is interrupted), such as when DJing or having a party.