1. Rowenaldo's Avatar
    Hi guys,

    First post here in the hope that one of you lovely people can help me overcome this pretty major issue!

    The setup:
    1) I'm working at a desk using a tower PC and monitor
    2) I have my Surface Pro 4 on the desk, and I'm listening to music on it through headphones using Spotify. That's all I'm doing... I'm not interacting with the Pro 4 device in any other way.
    3) Whenever the screen goes off, the music stops until I turn the device back on.
    4) Unlike an iPad or cell phone, I cannot find anyway to listen to music without actually having to have the screen on!

    We all know the battery life of the Surface Pro 4 isn't great, so to have to have the screen on (even at 0 brightness) just to listen to music is ridiculous.

    I searched around and saw a lot of other people complaining about this, even from back in the days of the Surface 2. Is there really no way to do this? It seems like such a massive oversight from Microsoft if not that needs to be fixed ASAP IMO.

    Thanks for your help in advance!
    12-17-2015 06:13 PM
  2. ioaniro's Avatar
    What power settings are you using? If you click on the battery symbol on the task bar (or settings/system/power and sleep) what is the set time for the computer to turn off the screen and the next one for the computer going to sleep? If the computer is set to go to sleep as soon as the screen turns off there won't be anything playing. I'd change to plugged in turn off screen after 5 minutes and sleep never (assuming you are using it plugged in).
    12-17-2015 06:31 PM
  3. 920Walker's Avatar
    You can set the screen to go off in the Power setting while keeping the system running.
    12-17-2015 06:32 PM
  4. Rowenaldo's Avatar
    I have the screen set to turn off after 2mins on battery, and go to sleep after 30mins on battery.

    When the screen turns off, the audio from Spotify stops playing. As soon as I touch the keyboard, the lock screen comes on and the music starts playing again.
    12-17-2015 07:38 PM
  5. Rowenaldo's Avatar
    Bump! There must be somebody here who uses Spotify on their Surface Pro 4 to listen to music? I've looked all over the web and can find no solution for the music stopping when the screen gets turned off (>_<) !!! Seems to have been going on since the Surface Pro 3 too.
    12-20-2015 06:20 PM
  6. Chris_Kez's Avatar
    Does the same thing happen with other music apps?
    12-20-2015 06:28 PM
  7. unni_kmr's Avatar
    There is a setting to restrict apps from running in background under Privacy->Background apps. Is it set to disabled for Spotify?
    12-20-2015 07:02 PM
  8. astondg's Avatar
    Is this a Spotify Windows Store app, desktop app or running in a browser window?

    I think the default Surface sleep options are pretty aggressive and if it goes to sleep then the music could stop unless it is running through the background audio API.

    To get music from an app while your Surface is asleep you need to make sure that:
    1. The Surface is entering Connected Standby sleep (not hibernate or other sleep types)
    2. The app supports the background audio API. I think the built in Groove music app does so you could test with that to see if it's an app issue
    3. The app needs to be allowed to run in the background as unni_kmr noted

    If this is Spotify running in the browser then the browser needs to support background audio while the device is asleep. I can't get this to work with Edge.

    I think a desktop app has no chance of running audio while asleep.
    Chris_Kez likes this.
    12-20-2015 07:42 PM
  9. Rowenaldo's Avatar
    There is a setting to restrict apps from running in background under Privacy->Background apps. Is it set to disabled for Spotify?
    I got excited as I hadn't checked your suggestion before, but it turns out Spotify doesn't even appear in this list for me :(
    12-21-2015 01:34 AM
  10. Rowenaldo's Avatar
    Is this a Spotify Windows Store app, desktop app or running in a browser window?

    I think the default Surface sleep options are pretty aggressive and if it goes to sleep then the music could stop unless it is running through the background audio API.

    To get music from an app while your Surface is asleep you need to make sure that:
    1. The Surface is entering Connected Standby sleep (not hibernate or other sleep types)
    2. The app supports the background audio API. I think the built in Groove music app does so you could test with that to see if it's an app issue
    3. The app needs to be allowed to run in the background as unni_kmr noted

    If this is Spotify running in the browser then the browser needs to support background audio while the device is asleep. I can't get this to work with Edge.

    I think a desktop app has no chance of running audio while asleep.
    Thank you for taking the time to write such a great reply astondg!

    This is the desktop app of Spotify that I'm running.

    1. I have the surface set to sleep when I press the power button or close the keyboard cover.
    2. I tested with Groove Music as per your suggestion and lo and behold, the music continues to play with no problems after I press the power button or close the keyboard cover. Exactly how I would expect/want it to work! I of course then retried Spotify, and the music stops the second you press the switch or close the keyboard... Arghhh!
    3. I took unni_kmr's advice and went to the privacy>background apps settings, and Spotify isn't even in that list.

    This is a pretty major problem for me... A $2000+ machine that I can't even listen to music on with the screen off seems insane to me. I'm not even sure who this lies on... Spotify to update their app? Microsoft to update their OS to allow for desktop apps like Spotify to run in the background? Both of them? Sigh...
    12-21-2015 01:46 AM
  11. Chris_Kez's Avatar
    I'd definitely reach out to both Spotify and Microsoft.
    12-21-2015 01:55 AM
  12. ioaniro's Avatar
    I don't know very well how Spotify works but can you log in from Edge or a browser and try to see if it continues playing in the background when the screen is off? Could be a compromise until spotify releases an app for windows 10.
    12-21-2015 02:24 AM
  13. astondg's Avatar
    I'm not even sure who this lies on... Spotify to update their app? Microsoft to update their OS to allow for desktop apps like Spotify to run in the background? Both of them? Sigh...
    I think this is on Spotify. The supported path for these kinds of features is to build an app for the store on the new Universal App Platform.

    If they want to stick with a desktop application then I think Microsoft made some of the new APIs available for desktop applications in Windows 10, but again that's up to Spotify to update.

    That doesn't help you though.

    I thought Edge supported background audio, i.e. using Spotify in the browser as a workaround, but i can't get it to work on my SP3.
    12-21-2015 03:28 PM
  14. ChrisBMelbourne's Avatar
    This is not Spotify's problem (imho)
    Standby is supposed to kick in when you're not using the computer.
    I you're playing music, you're using the computer.
    It should keep playing until the song ends or I tell it to stop.

    This is all Windows lazy development.
    03-18-2016 06:39 AM
  15. astondg's Avatar
    This is not Spotify's problem (imho)
    Standby is supposed to kick in when you're not using the computer.
    I you're playing music, you're using the computer.
    It should keep playing until the song ends or I tell it to stop.
    But music can continue to play while the PC is in standby mode, Spotify just has to use the correct music APIs to make that happen. That way you save battery on your SP4 and you get to continue listening to music.
    03-23-2016 05:42 PM
  16. JustinW's Avatar
    Following works on Google Chrome + Spotify web player:

    Duplicate your google chrome shortcut on your desktop

    On the new duplicate, right click and click properties

    Inside the property, identify the target and append the existing targeted URL with the following command:
    -enable-exclusive-audio

    Eventually, it should look something like this:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -enable-exclusive-audio

    Close previous chrome and reopen the chrome with the modified shortcuts
    07-17-2016 02:02 AM
  17. Paul Boot's Avatar
    Hi,
    Target in Chrome shortcut is greyed out. Anyone found an app that works yet????

    Really frustrated by this one
    08-17-2016 03:38 PM
  18. Luinwethion's Avatar
    This is a problem cause by Spotify, since Windows 8 they refuse to update their app to newer API's.

    The only work around is playing with Edge web player, with the downside that you need to keep wifi active on sleep and you can't use it on the go.

    After my 3 months for 99 cent expires, I hope that MS will have the whole Groove + OneDrive battery drain solved, and I will really consider going to Groove music pass. Although I need to see how Groove works on Android.
    08-17-2016 06:55 PM
  19. ahoonethego's Avatar
    Don't know if anyone else is still having this trouble but have you tried this?

    onlysublime likes this.
    02-05-2017 11:25 AM
  20. boiledboots's Avatar
    This fixed the problem, but now simply closing the surface in a type cover keyboard shuts down Windows.
    02-16-2017 11:07 AM

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