Spotify uses too much energy

When you’re on a laptop, battery life automatically becomes a topic. Even though I’m hardly ever away from home, I still need to plug it in to charge it. Of course I could keep it plugged in all the time, but de-charging it once in a while is good for it.

I noticed my MacBook Pro got quite warm, even when I was just browsing the net and… playing music with the Spotify app.

I found out that the Spotify app for OS X was using 100% of a CPU core — even when it was paused. When I restarted Spotify, this was much less. It typically used around 5% CPU power now. Still, the Spotify Helper process was not responding and soon the power consumption went up to dramatically again.

Spotify already had an on average power consumption of 67% of the MacBook’s battery energy, while I also use it for tasks that you’d expect to use more much power, for example apps that play HD video.

I switched to the Spotify web player version. It seems to have a more stable and reasonable power consumption of only around 5% on top of the Safari CPU usage.

Update

It appears that Spotify taps into the graphics card, causing a huge energy drain. Killing the Helper process responsible for this in OS X Activity Monitor temporarily (until restarting Spotify) should solve it, according to some, but it keeps popping up. (There are several helper processes but you’ll easily recognise it from the red ‘not responding’ text.)

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