Onlineish music notes

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📃 These are primarily notes, intended to be a collection of useful fragments, that will probably never be complete in any sense.


Web player

It also allows links to playlists and such, though since it requires login, you may prefer links that open your player.


The old model was "star a track, then it's in your Starred playlist"

The new design is the "Your music" section, which seems to be:

  • Songs is basically how Starred worked - using the "+" next to tracks saves the track here
  • Albums is a collection of your local albums, plus saved ones (the latter can fall away if you have local stuff)
  • Artists - same as for albums

The starred playlist is still there, and right now it is still a permanent playlist. It will probably be possible to remove it later.

Reading playlist track status

Grayed out - Unplayable. Typically because it was local-only (not linked), but not present on this computer.

Grayed out album/artist - playable local file, unknown to spotify.

No icon - track can be streamed (from the given album)

Chain - track cannot be streamed off specified album, but can be played from another. It may well be a variation.

Note in a rectangle - can be played from local file

Red broken rectangle - local file is unplayable (missing or DRMed). Whether this playlist entry plays still depends on whether it is linked, which is not indicated(verify)

May be fixed when your local files are next rescanned (which is when? controllable?)

If a file you added locally is linked, this means spotify has found a streamable version in its catalogue, is using the catalogue metadata (assumed to be cleaner) and online content.

This is primarily useful to know the track will play when you log in elsewhere.

Unlinking means "I want my own music and metadata". only be done on local files, and means the the local music and metadata is used instead. This can be nice if you have well curated data and one main computer you play music from.

Be careful unlinking grayed-out items, because you're basically saying "no local file and forget the catalogue entry", i.e. "remove this playlist entry"

It happens that some playlist entries don't play while linked, and do once unlinked. This seems to be because only the linked version cannot play (e.g. present in catalogue, but no license for your country), and it doesn't try the local one (which, yes, is a bit stupid).

Note that album availability is effectively controlled by record labels, so can change over time. I'm guessing that's one reason some playlist entries can go dead.


Social features

Without facebook

I don't like linking this to facebook, so I haven't.

That means I have no idea what social features I'm missing. Presumably most, because I've seen few and they are hard to use.

If you have a friend who you know is on spotify, there seems no simple way to find them. Ask them for their username, then use Spotify's shell integration:


Facebook-only (apparently and/or for now)

  • collaborative playlists

Playlist backup

I like to log in elsewhere and play music. People may muck up my playlists. I don't mind, but like to the idea of having a backup.

Spotify does not really provide for this

Yes, you can drag and drop a playlist out of spotify and get a storable and reusable list of spotify links.

But I've got ~40 playlists. Also, I'd like things like names rather than spotify-only



I was missing Discover. I seem to recall it was a heading under Main, It's a tab under Browse now.

To log out all sessions elsewhere, there's a button for that at

⌛ This hasn't been updated for a while, so could be outdated (particularly if it's about something that evolves constantly, such as software or research).

lastfm:// urls

This article/section is a stub — some half-sorted notes, not necessarily checked, not necessarily correct. Feel free to ignore, or tell me about it.
  • lastfm://user/username (user's library)
  • lastfm://user/username/personal (user's library)
  • lastfm://user/username/neighbours
  • lastfm://user/username/recommended

  • lastfm://artist/artistname
  • lastfm://artist/artistname/similarartists
  • lastfm://artist/artistname/fans

  • lastfm://globaltags/tag

  • lastfm://group/groupname

  • lastfm://rql/rql_as_base64 (see below)

No longer allowed:

  • lastfm://user/username/loved - no longer allowed
  • lastfm://usertags/username/tag - no longer allowed (player will go to global tags?)

Apparently not:(verify)



RQL is a simple domain-specific query language used by They work the same way as the above URLs.


  • and
  • not - meaning 'and not'
  • or

I'm not sure whether you can combine or meaningfully with the other two operators, and (relatedly) whether you can use brackets.

Query elements:

  • tag:tagname
  • user:username
  • library:username
  • rec:username - recommendations for the user
  • neigh:username - neighbourhood
  • adv:username - mix radio
  • simart:"artist name" - similar artists
  • group:"group name" or group:[groupid]
  • Not available anymore: ptag, playlist, loved (verify)

Doublequotes should be used for any string that contains spaces.

Options (apparently should just be be appended; don't use and)

  • opt:rep|0.5 - how quick a track is allowed to be played again
  • opt:mainstr|0.5 - favour obscure or popular? (apparently adjusted for the (first bunch of) songs that will be played)
  • opt:discovery|true - enable or disable discovery mode


  • lastfm://rql/dGFnOnBvcCBvcHQ6bWFpbnN0cnwwLjk=, meaning tag:pop opt:mainstr|0.9, common pop
  • lastfm://rql/dGFnOnBvcCBvcHQ6bWFpbnN0cnwwLjA=, meaning tag:pop opt:mainstr|0.0, less common pop
  • lastfm://rql/YWR2Omxhc3QuaHEgb3B0OmRpc2NvdmVyeXx0cnVl, meaning adv:last.hq opt:discovery|true, discovery mode mix radio for user last.hq
  • lastfm://rql/dGFnOmJhZ3BpcGUgYW5kIHRhZzptZXRhbA==, meaning tag:bagpipe and tag:metal
  • lastfm://rql/dGFnOmNvd2JlbGwgYW5kIHRhZzpyb2NrIG9wdDpyZXB8MC4y, meaning tag:cowbell and tag:rock opt:rep|0.2

I've made a tool to make that easier:


  • I've has some specific requests not to work very well.
  • I've had varying results to ordering the query elements in different ways (I could be thinking that up)

See also:

Online listening