[ubuntu-uk] Heads-Up For Spotify Users

Nigel Verity nigelverity at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 18 14:46:21 UTC 2013

I've been a Spotify user for the last 2 or 3 years; ever since its library overtook Napster's in terms of depth and coverage. Officially the only desktop clients are for Windows and Mac. However, there is also a "preview" version of a Linux client which has never been formally released. It's available on a "no warranty or official support" basis for use on Debian-based distros.

Over the last year or so, this Linux client has improved dramatically. It used to freeze or crash so often that I had to rely upon the Windows client running in a Virtualbox VM. I've had no problems of that nature in the last 6 months or more and, despite its unsupported status, the Linux client it is now my standard means of using Spotify.

The ability to download tracks for local off-line playback is a real boon when you have a poor or slow connection. It avoids the buffering that you might otherwise encounter with the web-based stream.

The only problem I occasionally encounter is with the indexing. The list of albums and tracks for a given artist may lack a particular item of interest to you. An explicit search for that item by title will often find it. I suspect that this problem could well be at the server end, in which case it will not be unique to the Linux client.

I know that FLOSS purists will not want to run proprietary software such as this, but I am one of those people willing to turn a blind-eye when it provides superior functionality.

The Clementine media player for Linux now provides an add-on to give access to Spotify for Premium Service members. This is a significant improvement on browser-based streaming, as each track is copied to a local cache before playing, thereby avoiding buffering with slow connections. It doesn't, however, offer the off-line playback facility, which can be so useful if you are on the move, away from an internet connection.

For any Linux users who may have tried the Spotify client in the past, and given up in frustration, I would highly recommend giving it another go.



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