Spotify on Linux

Published 2020-07-09 on Cara's Blog - Permalink

I’ve been trying to use command-line tools more often recently, and that includes my music software. For a long time, I was using the official Spotify client for linux, with an AUR package here. This was fine for a while, but I really wanted to be able to use it on the commandline. This post is documentation on where I went with this.


I started by doing a search for “spotify tui”. This led me to a number of options, but the only standalone one I could find was ncspot, a TUI written in Rust. I used cargo install to build and compile ncspot, and was presented with a screen allowing me to enter my username and password.

Following that, I was shown to the main screen, which looks like this:

ncspot main page

I could use the arrow keys or hjkl to navigate the tabs and songs, and F1, F2, and F3 to navigate the different contexts1. The keybindings were a bit confusing (Shift-p to toggle playback, and >/< to skip songs).

This is what the album view looked like: ncspot album view

This worked well for me, for a little while. Eventually I got tired of not being able to control it from my phone or control other devices from my laptop.

Enter Spotifyd

For those who don’t know, Spotifyd is an open source spotify client that runs as a system service. Its major benefit to me is the ability to use Spotify Connect to control or be controlled by other devices like my phone. Spotifyd is part of the AUR for different audio backends, so the install was a simple yay -S spotifyd-pulseaudio.

Following the documentation at the project’s github, I filled out a configuration file, which is tracked in my dotfiles repository. My password is tracked by pass, so I can put that command in the configuration file without worrying about my password getting leaked into git. There’s also a systemd service, that I placed in my .config/systemd folder to run as a user service.

With spotifyd enabled and running, I found a frontend in spotify-tui, another TUI written in Rust. I followed the README directions and created my OAuth application. With my Client ID/Secret in hand, I managed to authenticate with the Spotify API and could select devices.

One of the advantages of spotifytui over ncspot at least is that it supports Spotify Connect, so that I can control both the spotifyd service running on my laptop and any other clients running on my network, including my phone.

The main layout of spotify-tui looks like this: spotify-tui main layout

Overall I like spotify-tui a lot more than ncspot, but I’m keeping it on my system in case I need to run multiple clients at once.

spotify-tui is available in the AUR as yay -S spotify-tui.

  1. Queue, Search, and Library, respectively ↩︎

Articles from my webring

Clippy: Deprecating `feature = "cargo-clippy"`

Since Clippy v0.0.97 and before it was shipped with rustup, Clippy implicitly added a feature = "cargo-clippy" config1 when linting your code with cargo clippy. Back in the day (2016) this was necessary to allow, warn or deny Clippy lints using attrib…

via Rust Blog February 28, 2024

Status update, February 2024

Hi! February is FOSDEM month, and as usual I’ve come to Brussels to meet with a lot of other FOSS developers and exchange ideas. I like to navigate between the buildings and along the hallways to find nice people to discuss with. This edition I’ve been invol…

via emersion February 20, 2024

Why Prusa is floundering, and how you can avoid their fate

Prusa is a 3D printer manufacturer which has a long history of being admired by the 3D printing community for high quality, open source printers. They have been struggling as of late, and came under criticism for making the firmware of their Mk4 printer non-…

via Drew DeVault's blog December 26, 2023

Generated by openring