Open Source

Get Spotify on your Linux desktop (and why you should)

Jack Wallen not only shows you how to install Spotify on your Ubuntu desktop, but reminds us how important it is to install, use, and even purchase these titles!

Up until recently, my main sources of listening to music were purchased music from the UbuntuOne music store and/or Pandora (via Pithos). But both are somewhat limited. My music collection is finite and Pandora seems to have a serious issue with repeating music. Last.fm was also an option but I received an email from them recently that a lot of the clients I use depend upon a protocol they are deprecating soon.

So, what was I to do for music? I know a lot of peers depend upon Spotify — with good reason. And since long-time reader (and fellow lover of punk) Jonah Geib had been hounding me to give Spotify a try... I dove in.

I'm glad I did. Spotify is an incredibly powerful tool that offers plenty of ways to enjoy your life's soundtrack. But going to the Get Spotify site you quickly see they only support Windows and Mac. Or so it seems. If you read the short blurb on that site, you find out they do have a preview version of Spotify for Linux! Of course I had to try it. Since I have music playing in the background nearly every waking moment, I had to see if there was a better means of streaming.

In the end, I was very pleased. To be completely transparent, I had never tried Spotify before. In fact, I didn't even have an account. So I signed up for the free account, loaded up Spotify on my Ubuntu 12.10 desktop, and enjoyed.

How is it done? Simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open up a terminal window.
  2. Open up the /etc/apt/sources.list with your favorite editor with the command sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the file.
  4. Add the following to the end of the file: deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free
  5. Save and close the file with the Ctrl-X key combination.
  6. Issue the command sudo apt-get update.
  7. When the above command completes, issue the command sudo apt-get install spotify-client

Once the application has installed, open up the Unity Dash and search for "spotify" (no quotes). The launcher will appear, ready for you to open. Once the Spotify window appears, you'll be prompted to login (most likely with your Facebook account), and you're ready to begin enjoying the tool in all of its glory (Figure A at left).

I won't bother going into the ins and outs of using Spotify — it's fairly straightforward.

What I will mention is this — with the ever-growing amount of previously unavailable applications coming to the Linux desktop, it's very important that users actually download and install these apps (and even purchase them when necessary). You can use Spotify for free, but there are limitations. For $4.99 per month you can get the unlimited edition and remove the ads and enjoy unlimited music. That's a small price to pay to say thanks to Spotify for bringing their client to the Linux desktop.

I expect this trend will continue. Just like Steam has proved — bringing apps to Linux is not only possible, it's smart. We just have to make sure, as the apps continue to pile up, that we use them and spread the word.

Now go — get your Spotify on and feed your soul with some great music!

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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