Reviving Spokify

I have been a premium subscriber of Spotify for a few years already. As a Linux user I haven’t been completely happy with the level of support Spotify shows for its paying customers.

There’s a native Linux client that Spotify offers but it has been in the “preview state” forever now. Previously there was a repository for .rpm packages (I’m using Fedora) but that was removed some months ago for some reason. The only way to get the preview client now is as a .deb package. I used to jump the hoops with the .deb package: it’s easy enough to extract it to some directory and even install system wide. I wouldn’t get any notifications about new versions this way (since I’m not connected to a package repository) but at least I could listen to music…until I went and updated the client and then it stopped working completely. All I get is a segmentation fault when starting the program. Seems that I’m not the only one. I tried the various suggested workarounds but nothing helped.

So what will a Linux nerd do in this situation? Write his own application off course!

Well, instead of starting all the way from scratch I searched for an alternative Spotify client application from the internet first. After a while I found Spokify. It seemed that Spokify had been in development some time in 2010. But then the development had stopped for a reason or another.

The original code was written by Rafael Fernández López. Afterwards Martin Sandsmark had added some more features. I tried to reach these guys and ask what’s the situation with Spokify. Unfortunately I couldn’t reach Rafael at all (the email bounced – if you happen to read this, feel free to contact me). Martin replied that at the time there didn’t seem to be much interest for Spokify so he lost interest on it.

I have now picked up where these guys stopped and continued working with the code. The first thing I did was to make Spokify work with the current version of libspotify. That was easy enough. After this I have already been able to use Spokify for listening to music from Spotify — somehow. Now it’s time to improve it.

My version of Spokify is available in Github. As a next task I’m thinking of improving the search functionality. And then…I don’t know yet. But Facebook integration won’t be on the TODO list!

What is Spokify?

Spokify is a Spotify client for KDE. It uses the libspotify library provided by Spotify (the company). One needs a Spotify Premium account in order to use Spokify.

End rant

I was never too satisfied with the official Spotify client anyway, even when it did more than just crash. For starters: why do these companies always have to make their applications’ interfaces “look their own” – only to make it feel alien in all desktop environments.

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