Spotify for Linux media keys with DBUS

May 10 2011

Now that Spotify has discontinued the free account, and restricted me to an ‘open’ account with only 10 hours of music a month, I’ve ended up paying for an ‘unlimited’ account.

While I’m a little disappointed with this turn of events, it does mean I am now able to use the Linux client. It seems pretty decent so far, but I wanted to map some keys to do things like play/pause and next.

Luckily DBUS is supported, so you can create new key mappings in Gnome as desired. I found a fairly concise list of the most useful key bindings on jylam’s page:

"dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.spotify /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.PlayPause" XF86AudioPlay
"dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.spotify /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.Stop" XF86AudioStop
"dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.spotify /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.Previous" XF86AudioPrev
"dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.spotify /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.Next" XF86AudioNext

For those who are interested, there’s a more complete exploration of the available commands at Mabishu, and a tool which makes use of the API for track notifications at Muffin Research Labs.


John Reese has implemented a program to automatically provide the mappings needed to control Spotify over DBUS. You can get it from GitHub.