<Post edited to reflect that Spotify now allows US accounts>
Have you heard of Spotify? It’s essentially the realization of a utopian vision: a massive jukebox in the sky with every song you ever heard. It’s awesome. If you’ve read about it, you know some of this. If not, you have to try it. Imagine iTunes with not only all of your music, but you can listen to anything in the Store too. For free, if you’re willing to put up with a few ads.
I wanted to try Spotify, but they have basic checks in place related to their rights to distribute music. Spotify is now available in the US through invitation (www.spotify.com), so I’ve updated this post to focus on streaming your new Spotify music through iTunes to your Airport Express or Apple TV.
Some background on why it took Spotify so long to enter the US market: If you’re not familiar with the total and complete mess that is music digital rights, you can read this article (short) or this article (long) for background. In short, its a local problem and you have to do deals all over the world to have a global service. Spotify hasn’t been able to do the requisite deals in the US, so no soup for us.
So, the solution? Simple. Now it’s a three-step process:
- Visit www.spotify.com and request an invite
- Wait for approval
- Respond to your approval email by creating your account and downloading the Spotify client
If you had gone through the original back-door process, just edit your account details on Spotify to indicate your country is the US.
Here’s a 5 step process to get your own Spotify account from the US:
- Look up a UK postal code (here’s BBC Radio 1’s: W1N 4DJ)
- Visit daveproxy.co.uk
- Type Spotify.com in the address box
- Go through the sign-up for the free Spotify service (paid and paid trial [required for mobile] need a UK or other euro credit card)
- Install the Spotify client app
Bonus Points : Turn Spotify into a streaming radio station on your AirPlay devices. (This should work for any other audio player or Adobe Flash content like YouTube. I haven’t tested these, so YMMV.)
bit.ly link bundle to required files
- Exit Spotify
- Get iTunes if you don’t already have it (but why would you have an AirPlay device?)
- Get lame_enc.dll file through bit.ly link
- Get DSBridge .dll and .ini files through bit.ly link
- Drop the three files into your Spotify Program Folder and Flash folder (e.g., c:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash)
- Start Spotify
- Hop to iTunes, tune in (Advanced>Open Audio Stream…) http://localhost:8124/ and pick your AirPlay speakers
- rock out
For the Mac, I was desperately seeking a solution that didn’t run through Airfoil from Rogue Amoeba, but there just isn’t any competition. (DSBridge has no Mac equivalent) I have decided to think of this project as saving buku bucks on music, so the $25 to a long-time independent Mac developer is a pretty good deal.