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deSpotify: Open Source Spotify Client Running On A Nokia N900!!

Saturday, 24 October 2009 06:11

Written by Apocalypso.

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spotify_n900Couple of months ago, group of computer enthusiasts has created an open version of the Spotify music streaming client called deSpotify, that runs on most operating systems including Linux. The group of people is connected to the group #hack.se which is said to consist of people from the demoscene and piracy movement.

There were some claims that deSpotify is a rather extensive hack because #hack.se group has reverse engineered the Spotify protocols and have built client that decrypts the encrypted music served by Spotify, potentially allowing anyone to not just listen to music, but to download and save it as well.

Despotify has responded to this issue with the following info: 'People download music anyway, that's just the way it works, be it legal or not and there are far better places to download music (with better quality) than Spotify.'

'We haven't used any information from Spotify. We started at the bottom and studied how the Spotify client works', said a representative of #hack.se. 'Once we understood the model we recreated it with our own code.'

Anyway, since there is currently no official Spotify client that can run on Embedded Linux (wine doesn’t run on arm architectures), Eskil from the Qt lab team has managed to port this open source Spotify client library and write the front end using the latest version of Qt for Maemo devices.

Here’s a video of Despotify in action

To build the application, first compile and install despotify as explained here. Make sure you enable “pulseaudio” as the back end for despotify by editing the Makefile, as the default gstreamer back end has some threading issues and will cause crashes if you access the GUI while it’s playing. When you are done, do a “make install”.

To build the front end, you also need to have Qt 4.6 available. For best results on the N900, use the Maemo branch of Qt.

When you are done, copy the executable to your phone and start it up. Use the menu to log in, and the search field to search for music. If you want to access your play lists, select the “Retrieve play lists” menu option and they will pop up in the search field menu.

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, Spotify is a proprietary peer-to-peer music streaming service which is gradually gathering a large fan-base in Europe and allows instant listening to specific tracks or albums with almost no buffering delay. Music can be browsed by artists, albums or created playlists as well as by direct searches.

Although, due to the system's DRM, it is not possible to save the streamed music for use outside the application; a link is provided to allow the listener to directly purchase the material via partner retailers. The program/service in its free version is only available in parts of western Europe during the ongoing beta programme although the subscription model should be available in almost all countries.

Spotify has won plaudits from the music industry, which has been hammered by piracy, for offering a better and smoother alternative to illegal sites. It has more than 6 million users in Europe and over 5 million tracks available.

Users of the service can either listen to music for free and in exchange for watching adverts, or pay a premium fee of 9.99 pounds ($16.37) a month to avoid the ads.


Source: Qt blogs

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