Control Music on Raspberry Pi with Spotify Connect

Instruction to install Spotify and Spotify Connect on Raspberry Pi

using ExaGear Desktop

Spotify for Raspberry Pi

If for some reason you haven’t heard of it yet, Spotify is a very popular music, podcast and video streaming service with over 100 million active and about half a billion registered users all over the world. You can access songs from both major and indie labels, create your personal or collaborative playlists, get inspired with personal recommendations and more.

Back in 2013 Spotify launched a very cool feature, called Spotify Connect. It lets users listen to Spotify on Wi-Fi speakers, TV, PlayStation and more, using the Spotify app as a remote, thus freeing your music from the device you use to listen to it. This, for example, will let you easily switch from your phone to your stereo without any playback when you get home.

There are a few ways to connect: you can use your phone or tablet as a remote and control the music on your laptop. You can also buy lots of gear with built-in Spotify Connect and thus enjoy Spotify on speakers, TV and Playstation. Or, instead of spending $100+ on new speakers, you can give a new smart life to your old ones by connecting them to your Raspberry Pi. After all, creativity and innovation – that’s what Raspberry Pi was developed for in the first place. And you will find lots of ways to turn your Raspberry Pi into a multi-room wireless stereo on the Internet.

Unfortunately, Spotify is still not available for Raspberry Pi. This problem, however, can be easily solved with ExaGear Desktop, which allows to run x86 apps on ARM mini PCs. And in this post we will tell you how to install Spotify on your Raspberry Pi and use Spotify Connect to control your music. Below is a simple instruction on how to install guest x86 Ubuntu 14.04 and run Spotify on your RPi 3.

Raspberry Pi test stand configuration

Model

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

Raspberry Pi 3

Frequency

1000 MHz

1200 MHz

Memory

1 GB RAM

1 GB RAM

Operating System

Raspbian Jessie from November 2015

Raspbian Jessie from May 2016

Software

Spotify for Linux

Eltechs ExaGear Desktop for Raspberry Pi 2 v1.4

Spotify for Linux

Eltechs ExaGear Desktop for Raspberry Pi 3 v1.5

Spotify installation instruction

Install ExaGear Desktop

1. Download ExaGear Desktop archive with installation packages and license key. Open Terminal (command line) and unpack the downloaded archive using the following command:

$ tar -xvzpf exagear-desktop-rpi3.tar.gz

2. Please note that you need to install guest x86 Ubuntu 14.04 image as Spotify can run with the guest Ubuntu only. Therefore run install-exagear.sh script with the following option in a directory with deb packages and one license key:

$ sudo ./install-exagear.sh ubuntu-1404

Launch guest x86 system

3. Enter the guest x86 system by using the following command:

$ exagear
Starting the shell in the guest image /opt/exagear/images/ubuntu-1404lts-wine2g

4. Now you are in x86 environment that can be checked by running the ‘arch’ command:

$ arch
i686

5. It is recommended to update apt-get repositories on the first launch of the guest system:

$ sudo apt-get update

Install Spotify

6. Add the Spotify repository signing key to be able to verify the downloaded packages:

$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys BBEBDCB318AD50EC6865090613B00F1FD2C19886

7. Add the Spotify repository:

$ echo deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/spotify.list

8. Update list of available packages:

$ sudo apt-get update

9. Install Spotify:

$ sudo apt-get install spotify-client
$ sudo apt-get install libxss1

Run Spotify

Now just run Spotify from the Start menu -> Sound & Video -> Spotify to play your favorite music

Spotify Account

Use Spotify Connect

To control the music on your Raspberry Pi from a phone or tablet you need to launch Spotify and play some song. Then tap the Now Playing bar, and push the Devices Available button. Select your computer from the list, and let the music flow.

Spotify Connect

Final notes

Spotify utilized RAM a lot at application startup. Therefore we suggest to increase swap size on your Raspberry Pi to 2GB. Here you can find instruction of how to set up swap space. Although there are warnings against using swap please note that we haven’t seen any SD card damaged in our lab yet. The reason is that Spotify actually uses swap in rare cases at the time of application startup – this does not affect SD card but allows to speedup the application startup time.

It is also worth noting that with ExaGear Desktop you can run other x86 apps on Raspberry Pi and other ARM-based devices such as Odroid, Banana Pi, Beagleboard, Cubox, Jetson, Cubieboard etc.

Please note that running Spotify on Raspberry Pi 1 and Raspberry Pi Zero is not possible because of lack of NEON support in the hardware of these devices.

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ExaGear is registered trademark of Elbrus Technologies. Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.