Collaborative playlists

Jelly BeansA couple of weeks ago we talked about the excitement of getting music recommendations and inspiration from our friends and our ongoing search for delicious things.

I found myself making a kick-ass playlist with house music and sent it to my friend Eric, since he’s my great source of inspiration when it comes to music. I believed the playlist would haven been even better if he could have helped me by adding a few favorites and edit the playlist. The more the merrier, right?

Creating a collaborative playlist in SpotifyAnyway, here at Spotify we believe that sharing is the golden path. Therefore we released collaborative playlists today. That means that not only are you able to share playlists with others, you can let them edit the shared playlists as well. We would love your input on it so try it out and let us know what you think!

In order to turn on collaboration for a playlist, right-click (or Ctrl-click on the Mac) the list and select Collaborative Playlist. Then copy the link to the playlist and send it to a friend.

When your friend clicks on the link, it opens in Spotify and your collaborative playlist is added. Now you can both make changes, which will appear on both of your screens instantly. You can identify a collaborative playlist by the unlocked padlock icon next to it.

Using a collaborative playlist in SpotifyYou can share the playlist with any number of people, but remember that anyone who gets the link will be able to alter your playlist, as well as pass the link on to others. There is currently no way to give only specific users the right to alter a collaborative playlist, other than by controlling the access to the link. The link is the key to the playlist.

You can, however, turn off the collaborativity of the playlist the same way you turned it on. Then only you will be able to alter the playlist, but everyone who has got the link will still be able to view and play the list.

Patching MediaWiki for fun and profit

Inspired by Peter Saint-Andre’s blog post, we decided to patch MediaWiki to make it recognize the spotify: URI scheme. (And we threw xmpp: in there as well, because we use it internally for instant messaging.)

First we added spotify: and xmpp: lines to the $wgUrlProtocols array in LocalSettings.php:

$wgUrlProtocols = array(

        'telnet://', // Well if we're going to support the above.. -Ævar
        'nntp://', // @bug 3808 RFC 1738

See also the MediaWiki manual!

Then we added some styling to MediaWiki:Common.css to get the nice icons:

#bodyContent a[href ^="spotify:"],
.link-spotify {
    background: url("spotify-external-link-tag-icon.png") center right no-repeat;
    padding-right: 11px;

#bodyContent a[href ^="xmpp:"],
.link-xmpp {
    background: url("xmpp-external-link-tag-icon.png") center right no-repeat;
    padding-right: 11px;

And we uploaded these icons: spotify-external-link-tag-icon  xmpp-external-link-tag-icon

This is the result:

Spotify MediaWiki

Nice, huh? Well, it’s Friday after all.

Missing sign

lost sign Since our last party there is a lost little Spotify sign somewhere out there. I hope it’s in good hands and is handled with love. If the new foster parent sees this, I would be truly happy to see a picture of it’s new home, just to ensure it’s not been harmed… :)

Searching Spotify

One of the core features of Spotify is searching. You just type the name of an artist or a song into the search bar and off you go. Normally that’s all you need to get the Spotify experience: you know, when you think of some music and literally seconds later you’re listening to it.

There are cases, though, when you need to refine your queries. Perhaps you don’t want to search for “madonna“, because you’re not looking for the artist Madonna, but rather songs whose titles include the word “madonna”. Then you can search for “title:madonna“.

Similarly, you can search for “album:madonna” and “artist:madonna” to find only matching albums and artists, respectively.

To further refine your searches (or to indulge in some nostalgia or browse through a new musical genre), you can search for a year, a range of years or a genre: “year:1969“, “year:1994-1996” or “genre:soul“.

Logically, you can use combinations to search for techno from the early 90s or Grateful Dead songs from the late 60s: “genre:techno year:1990-1995” or “artist:”grateful dead” year:1965-1970“. In the latter example, you see how you can use quotes to control to what parts of the search string a keyword applies.

Spotify 0.2.4

We released a new version of Spotify today, mostly consisting of changes under the hood, but there are a few bug fixes as well.

On the Mac:

  • Spotify now scrolls down to view the currently playing song when “Now Playing” is clicked.
  • Spotify now remembers sort order for playlists and marks sort order in the list headers when visiting a sorted playlist.
  • Auto-upgrade in Leopard has been sped up considerably. This will not be visible until the next client upgrade.
  • A bug causing right-clicked playlists to become selected was fixed.
  • A bug that sometimes caused shared playlists to look like ordinary playlists was fixed.

On Windows:

  • A bug preventing Spotify links to be opened from Internet Explorer 7 was fixed.

Linking to Spotify

What makes the web great? One of the key benefits over traditional media is that it’s hypertext, meaning that you can link words to other documents. This way, you can tie the documents together, provide context and refer to other sources.

As the web progressed from an electronic library for physics researchers to the greatest medium humanity has seen so far, people wanted to link to resources other than text, such as images, movies and, of course, music.

Naturally you’re able to link to Spotify as well. Anything that’s a resource or object in Spotify should be linkable. You might have seen us link to artists, albums, tracks and playlists on this blog, but you can even link to searches.

If you want to link to a song, for instance, you need to get its address: Just right-click (or control-click) a song in Spotify and select “Copy HTTP Link” or “Copy Spotify URI” from the context menu. Which one you should use depends on what you want to do with the link.

Context menu showing link options

HTTP links look like this:

Spotify URIs look like this: spotify:artist:5lsC3H1vh9YSRQckyGv0Up

The benefit of the latter kind is that they open in Spotify immediately. The first kind needs to go through a web browser and a web page redirecting you to the latter kind, which in turn opens in Spotify. It has the advantage, though, of being recognized as a link by major mail and instant-messaging (IM) software so that it turns blue, underlined and clickable.

Therefore, if you’re quickly sending your friend a song over IM, use the HTTP links. If you’re posting to your blog or web site, where you have control of the link target, use the Spotify URIs to avoid unnecessarily opening another web page.

And if you’re the author of mail, IM or any kind of software that auto-detects URIs, please consider supporting the spotify: URI schema.