Behind the Spotify Wrapped API scenes

Behind the Spotify Wrapped API scenes


·December 3, 2021


Cool. I love reading stuff like this, I feel like I don’t know enough about network technology to actually do it, but maybe if I read enough of these I’ll gain the confidence to try.

The most likely reason they’re forcing you to use the app is because they’re trying to funnel people to the app, possibly bec they control that experience more.


Oh absolutely - there is zero reason this can't be on the web, considering that all you need to do is just use the same protobuf-based API through a web app. I am considering actually implementing something just for myself that does it.


Everyone seems to be missing the obvious reason they want you to view Wrapped in the app: because they want you to share it to your stories on Instagram, Snapchat, etc, which you cannot do on the web.

When Wrapped came out a few days ago, virtually every person I follow on IG had shared their Spotify Wrapped. It's phenomenal marketing.


It'd be good it Github did "wrapped" videos for repos. Commits made, issues answered, PRs merged, number of releases, a graph of when stars happened, etc. That'd be fun.

(This is probably where someone points out that they do.)


Someone created last year which mimics it.

As far as I know GitHub itself doesn’t.


Gource is nice for version control visualizations if anyone is interested in generating video for their particular repos.


This experiment from Den is cool.

However for a wider impact, I'm wondering may be Spotify could expose a http link to share, so people can brag the listen list with their friends?


You can do that with Here's my profile:

Disclaimer: I've built this.


Impressive! Curious how you went about building this. Did you follow a similar journey to the poster, by exploring other Spotify services in addition to the public API?


This is very awesome, thanks for building and sharing!


They want people to post the simple and fun summary image rather than a link or a playlist nobody will click on




Doesn't even work for me in the client. It just clicks through rapidly.

I normally use web as my daily driver for listening because I can. Use uBlock Origin to hide all the podcast elements.


> Given that this is just structured data behind the scenes, it will remain a puzzle as to why Spotify decided not to enable Wrapped in the browser.

There is no puzzle here, they are 100% trying to force people to use the app. I suspect this is because it is much more likely people will pay for subscriptions since the app is severely limited, especially in comparison to the web/desktop version. IIRC you can't even see the songs in a playlist and it's fixed on shuffle for the mobile version.


> IIRC you can't even see the songs in a playlist and it's fixed on shuffle for the mobile version.

I don't know what you're referring to here. In general you've always been able to see the songs in a playlist by pressing it. The big play button is shuffle, which is annoying, but pressing the first track will play the whole album/playlist in order (unless you've turned on shuffle already).

I do agree that the UI could be better and their data seems to be a complete mess[1] but it generally works really well for my everyday needs.

[1] I recently went to a big artist's page and clicked the list of their top tracks. After a few tracks it started playing tracks by a different unknown artist with their own page but the same name.


> The big play button is shuffle

This was the case until a few weeks ago. Now it plays the tracks in order and there is an extra shuffle button. (Allegedly requested by Adele.)


I've read this but I still see the same old shuffle button and no others despite having updated Spotify. I was wondering why.


There seems to be trend among streaming services to implement dark patterns to give themselves control over what's being played.

This is distinct from discovery features, like starting a radio based on a playlist, which I actually enjoy using.


I believe it has more to do with the fancy visuals and the gRPC than with evil machinations.

As someone who works on an app that has both mobile and desktop/web - doing visual stuff on the desktop/web can be quite hard unless you have top notch frontend people, while for mobile, it’s much simpler.


> you can't even see the songs in a playlist and it's fixed on shuffle for the mobile version.

You can do both, though the 2nd one is a bit hidden (and to be fair, shuffle fits more the mobile experience)


>(and to be fair, shuffle fits more the mobile experience)

Can you explain the logic behind this? I don't want shuffle play unless I specifically ask for it, and that's independent of whether I'm on mobile, desktop app or browser-based. And it's certainly a pain to turn off on mobile now (the latest change seems to turn it on by default, which I'm not a fan of).

As an aside, I think the recent update to the Spotify app is a mess, and they seem to remove features (such as not wanting suggested songs in a generated playlist) at a whim.


> Can you explain the logic behind this?

You don't want to hear a playlist at the same order each time? I'm surprised people are questioning this.

Now if I go to an album on the mobile player it does default to the album order (i.e. not shuffle).


I don't know what you mean about the mobile experience. I've never really been a fan of shuffle and whether I'm listening on mobile or not doesn't affect that. Especially since I often use my phone connected to my stereo to listen to music in the kitchen.

My mother on the other hand uses Spotify on the PC connected to her TV in the living room or on her phone with headphones and mostly uses shuffle in both modes.






I don't believe this was done entirely on a lunch break.