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Last active Mar 17, 2020
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Spotify does not handle Media Keys

Debug media keys and Spotify

TL;DR: There is a bug in gnome that have been fixed in 3.3. But you can temporary fix this issue with: pkill gsd-media-keys

Let's Debug

  1. We check logs

    journalctl -f


    Jan 16 14:37:43 gregoire gsd-media-keys[2670]: Error calling method GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.chromium.instance8878 was not provided by any .service files

    It looks like it comming from dbus

  2. Check dbus logs


    Then use your media keys


    signal time=1579184803.311666 sender=:1.21 -> destination=:1.56 serial=82274 path=/org/gnome/Shell; interface=org.gnome.Shell; member=AcceleratorActivated
    uint32 1713
    array [
        dict entry(
            string "device-id"
            variant             uint32 3
        dict entry(
            string "timestamp"
            variant             uint32 222074642
        dict entry(
            string "action-mode"
            variant             uint32 1
    method call time=1579184803.313383 sender=:1.56 -> destination=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.chromium.instance8878 serial=586 path=/org/mpris/MediaPlayer2; interface=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player; member=PlayPause
    error time=1579184803.313423 sender=org.freedesktop.DBus -> destination=:1.56 error_name=org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown reply_serial=586
    string "The name org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.chromium.instance8878 was not provided by any .service files"

    It looks like a processus sender=:1.21 receive the event (media key pressed), and sent it to another processus destination=:1.56

    Then this processus sender=:1.56 sent the PlayPause event to another processus org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.chromium.instance8878

    But according to the error, this processus does not exists.

  3. Try if Spotify understand the event correctly

    The following command should Play/Pause Spotify

    dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.spotify /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.PlayPause
  4. Who is sender=:1.21 and sender=:1.56

    I looks like the first sender is doing right its job, but second does some bullshit.

    d-feet is a useful GUI software to get who it is (and try few things).

    Just type 1.21 or 1.56 in the Session Bus > search to know how it is

    • 1.21 is gnome-shell. Legit, gnome-shell handles my MediaKeys
    • 1.56 is /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-media-keys

    So it looks like we have found our culprit !

  5. restart gsd-media-keys

    Let's try to retry this little daemon that should forward Media Keys press to the right processus

    ps aux | grep gsd-media-keys
    pkill gsd-media-keys
    ps aux | grep gsd-media-keys
    # The process should have a new PID

Some resources:

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