Spotify on Linux

In which I get Spotify to run on Debian Wheezy.

I’ve been playing about with Debian’s upcoming 7.0 release, codenamed ‘wheezy’. On the whole, it’s fantastic – booting is fast, GNOME 3 is blisteringly quick and the user experience is very slick. There’s some new metaphors to learn, but I’m fine with that.

I did have a problem getting Spotify to work, however. Previously I’ve used the Spotify linux package, but this has dependency issues for older versions of packages. This time I decided to try running the Windows version under Wine.

Here’s what I did (your mileage may vary):

dpkg –add-architecture i386

apt-get update

apt-get install wine-bin:i386

apt-get install lib32nss-mdns

The instructions for getting Spotify running under Wine talk about selecting the “OSS Driver” for sound; unfortunately despite installing the OSS driver, I could not select alternate drivers when running winecfg.

I then read in the Wine Wiki Sound page that “choosing either Windows 7 or Windows XP may cause your application to use a different audio system, which may have better success“. So in winecfg I went to the Applications tab and from the Windows Version drop-down at the bottom I switched from Windows XP to Windows 7.

I restarted Spotify, and that seemed to cure the problem. Even scrobbling to last.fm works.

Another “getting to know GNOME 3″ tip: when you close Spotify, it usually minimises to a tray icon. On GNOME 3, you can access these by moving the mouse pointer to the bottom-right of the screen. The same goes for Dropbox.

Also, when you minimise for example a browser window, it doesn’t sit in the task bar as before (mainly because the task bar has gone). If you move the mouse pointer to the top-left of the screen (triggering what on OS X would be considered “Exposé”), you’ll see all windows, including minimised ones.

If you haven’t tried out Debian 7.0 yet, I recommend you give it a spin. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

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