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.
HTTP links look like this: http://open.spotify.com/artist/5lsC3H1vh9YSRQckyGv0Up
Spotify URIs look like this:
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.