Do you love Spotify’s free version, but tired of needing Wine just to listen to the music? Good news – Spotify now offers a free version specifically for Linux users. Or at least, users of Debian, Ubuntu and their variants. Sorry Fedora fans.
Spotify gives you access to millions of songs, for free. Unlike Pandora or Last FM though, you can listen to entire albums on demand. Be warned, there are some obnoxiously genre-defying ads involved. It’s totally worth it overall, though – you’ll discover new music and generally be a happier person.
The Linux version of Spotify used to only work with paid accounts. That’s why I showed you back in July, how to get Spotify’s free version working in Linux using PlayOn, a tool that makes using Wine simple. That worked, but it wasn’t perfect. Neither is the new, official version of Spotify. There are some interface bugs, and local playback can be tricky. If you just want to stream on Linux though, Spotify’s developers just did you a big favor – the official version runs much better than Wine could ever deliver, and it integrates well into Ubuntu’s Unity as well.
Native Is Better
Spotify’s native Linux version starts up quickly, meaning it won’t take you long to realize how much better this is than Wine.
You’ll need to register for an account at Spotify.com before you can do anything, and sadly registering requires a Facebook account (unless you were lucky enough to register before that became mandatory).
Once it does start up, it still feels a little out of place in Linux – a silver theme will do that. Still, find what you’re looking for and you’ll be listening very quickly:
Spotify starts playing music faster than some local-based players. You’ll quickly find something you like, because there are millions of songs here. Close the program and it will run in the background. You’ll find an indicator applet in the tray, though, meaning it’s easy to bring the program back to the front.
Ubuntu integration is fantastic with this version. The menu bar integrates with Unity, and you can use the volume button in Ubuntu to control the player:
Are you ready to install the new Linux Spotify? Find installation instructions for Debian and Ubuntu here. But if you prefer to not add the repositories directly, you can download Spotify for Linux directly here. I can’t find a release for other distributions. Presumably they’re coming, but I suppose for now the Wine method still works. Please correct me if there’s another version, and link to it below.
It’s great to see Spotify recognize us Linux users, but they’re hardly alone in doing so. Native Linux versions of software are becoming common. Dropbox loves us, and so does The Ubuntu Software Center’s selection of games is growing all the time, and the cloud means there’s not much left we can’t do with our Linux machines. It’s great news for Linux enthusiasts, and I can’t wait to see this trend grow in 2012.
Adobe: bring us the Creative Suite!
Let’s celebrate in the comments below. I’ll be around.