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sp is a command-line client for Spotify's dbus interface. Play, pause, skip and search tracks from the comfort of your command line.
#!/usr/bin/env bash
# This is sp, the command-line Spotify controller. It talks to a running
# instance of the Spotify Linux client over dbus, providing an interface not
# unlike mpc.
# Put differently, it allows you to control Spotify without leaving the comfort
# of your command line, and without a custom client or Premium subscription.
# As an added bonus, it also works with ssh, at and cron.
# Example:
# $ sp weather girls raining men
# $ sp current
# Album 100 Hits Of The '80s
# Artist The Weather Girls
# Title It's Raining Men
# $ sp pause
# Alarm clock example:
# $ at 7:45 <<< 'sp bangarang'
# Remote example:
# $ ssh vader@prod02.nomoon.ta 'sp imperial march'
# Copyright (C) 2013 Wander Nauta
# Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
# of this software, to deal in the Software without restriction, including
# without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
# distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit
# persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following
# conditions:
# The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
# all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
# The software is provided "as is", without warranty of any kind, express or
# implied, including but not limited to the warranties of merchantability,
# fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement. In no event shall the
# authors or copyright holders be liable for any claim, damages or other
# liability, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise, arising from,
# out of or in connection with the software or the use or other dealings in the
# software.
shopt -s expand_aliases
function require {
hash $1 2>/dev/null || {
echo >&2 "Error: '$1' is required, but was not found."; exit 1;
# We need dbus-send to talk to Spotify.
require dbus-send
# Assert standard Unix utilities are available.
require grep
require sed
require cut
require tr
function sp-dbus {
# Sends the given method to Spotify over dbus.
dbus-send --print-reply --dest=$SP_DEST $SP_PATH $SP_MEMB.$1 ${*:2} > /dev/null
function sp-open {
# Opens the given spotify: URI in Spotify.
sp-dbus OpenUri string:$1
function sp-metadata {
# Prints the currently playing track in a parseable format.
dbus-send \
--print-reply `# We need the reply.` \
--dest=$SP_DEST \
org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties.Get \
string:"$SP_MEMB" string:'Metadata' \
| grep -Ev "^method" `# Ignore the first line.` \
| grep -Eo '("(.*)")|(\b[0-9][a-zA-Z0-9.]*\b)' `# Filter interesting fiels.`\
| sed -E '2~2 a|' `# Mark odd fields.` \
| tr -d '\n' `# Remove all newlines.` \
| sed -E 's/\|/\n/g' `# Restore newlines.` \
| sed -E 's/(xesam:)|(mpris:)//' `# Remove ns prefixes.` \
| sed -E 's/^"//' `# Strip leading...` \
| sed -E 's/"$//' `# ...and trailing quotes.` \
| sed -E 's/"+/|/' `# Regard "" as seperator.` \
| sed -E 's/ +/ /g' `# Merge consecutive spaces.`
function sp-current {
# Prints the currently playing track in a friendly format.
require column
sp-metadata \
| grep --color=never -E "(title)|(album)|(artist)" \
| sed 's/^\(.\)/\U\1/' \
| column -t -s'|'
function sp-eval {
# Prints the currently playing track as shell variables, ready to be eval'ed
require sort
sp-metadata \
| grep --color=never -E "(title)|(album)|(artist)|(trackid)|(trackNumber)" \
| sort -r \
| sed 's/^\([^|]*\)\|/\U\1/' \
| sed -E 's/\|/="/' \
| sed -E 's/$/"/' \
| sed -E 's/^/SPOTIFY_/'
function sp-art {
# Prints the artUrl.
sp-metadata | grep "artUrl" | cut -d'|' -f2
function sp-display {
# Calls display on the artUrl.
require display
display $(sp-art)
function sp-feh {
# Calls feh on the artURl.
require feh
feh $(sp-art)
function sp-url {
# Prints the HTTP url.
TRACK=$(sp-metadata | grep "url" | cut -d'|' -f2 | cut -d':' -f3)
echo "$TRACK"
function sp-clip {
# Copies the HTTP url.
require xclip
sp-url | xclip
function sp-http {
# xdg-opens the HTTP url.
require xdg-open
xdg-open $(sp-url)
function sp-help {
# Prints usage information.
echo "Usage: sp [command]"
echo "Control a running Spotify instance from the command line."
echo ""
echo " sp play - Play/pause Spotify"
echo " sp pause - Pause Spotify"
echo " sp next - Go to next track"
echo " sp prev - Go to previous track"
echo ""
echo " sp current - Format the currently playing track"
echo " sp metadata - Dump the current track's metadata"
echo " sp eval - Return the metadata as a shell script"
echo ""
echo " sp art - Print the URL to the current track's album artwork"
echo " sp display - Display the current album artwork with \`display\`"
echo " sp feh - Display the current album artwork with \`feh\`"
echo ""
echo " sp url - Print the HTTP URL for the currently playing track"
echo " sp clip - Copy the HTTP URL to the X clipboard"
echo " sp http - Open the HTTP URL in a web browser"
echo ""
echo " sp open <uri> - Open a spotify: uri"
echo " sp search <q> - Start playing the best search result for the given query"
echo ""
echo " sp version - Show version information"
echo " sp help - Show this information"
echo ""
echo "Any other argument will start a search (i.e. 'sp foo' will search for foo)."
function sp-search {
# Searches for tracks, plays the first result.
require curl
curl -s -G --data-urlencode "q=$Q"\?type=track \
| grep -E -o "spotify:track:[a-zA-Z0-9]+" -m 1 \
sp-open $SPTFY_URI
function sp-version {
# Prints version information.
echo "sp $SP_VERSION"
echo "Copyright (C) 2013 Wander Nauta"
echo "License MIT"
alias sp-play=" sp-dbus PlayPause"
alias sp-pause=" sp-dbus Pause"
alias sp-next=" sp-dbus Next"
alias sp-prev=" sp-dbus Previous"
# First, we connect to the dbus session spotify is on. This isn't really needed
# when running locally, but is crucial when we don't have an X display handy
# (for instance, when running sp over ssh.)
SPOTIFY_PID="$(pidof -s spotify || pidof -s .spotify-wrapped)"
if [[ -z "$SPOTIFY_PID" ]]; then
echo "Error: Spotify is not running."
exit 1
QUERY_ENVIRON="$(cat /proc/${SPOTIFY_PID}/environ | tr '\0' '\n' | grep "DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS" | cut -d "=" -f 2-)"
if [[ "${QUERY_ENVIRON}" != "" ]]; then
# Then we dispatch the command.
if [[ -z "$subcommand" ]]; then
# No arguments given, print help.
# Arguments given, check if it's a command.
if $(type sp-$subcommand > /dev/null 2> /dev/null); then
# It is. Run it.
eval "sp-$subcommand $@"
# It's not. Try a search.
eval "sp-search $@"
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Comand for search songs is still not work?


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wgorski commented Dec 20, 2021

Great script!

There should be an additional shortcut: sp rr which would alias to sp open spotify:track:4cOdK2wGLETKBW3PvgPWqT

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I have updated the searching. If anyone is interested in the changes, I've published them here:

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Is there any chance to have a "like" option to star a song?

has u found the solution to "like" a song, albun or playlist?

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