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February 2, 2010

Search Spotify using Google App Engine and Python

Filed under: Cloud,Software — stephane @ 10:51 pm

Yesterday, Allan brought to my attention that Spotify is now available in France (which means that even if you’re not in France but do have a French issued credit card, you can pay for the premium service and benefit from ‘unlimited’ travel time). I was previously using this service in and out through the UK and really liked the ability to listen to mostly anything in a snap, no fancy social network feature and totally innovative UI. You play music, it streams and you forget it. It just works (TM).

While trying to figure out what was new in the Spotify catalog since last time, I realized that as a newcomer there seems to be absolutely no way to see what is available in the catalog without downloading the rich client. I found that fairly surprising as the content is nowhere to be seen on the website, no promotion, no teasing. You need to download the rich client. Period.

By accident I found the Metadata API (If you manage to find it by browsing their website, tell me where because it sure isn’t obvious). So I was just experimenting with Google App Engine.. that was the ideal tiny project to try the Python version. So here we go, there is a very simple interface available at

The Spotify Metadata API is extremely limited, so there is not that many possibilities to implement something advanced, but it was the ideal small project to get an idea of the Python version of Google App Engine. Barely a couple lines of code and it makes use of the memcached, urlfetch, the Django template engine and cElementTree. The CSS is based on the Yahoo! YUI one.

I’ll extend it in the next couple of days as soon as I have more time in my hands.

Note: Google App Engine seems to have some reliability issues as it has been throwing 500 errors all day across the planet including in the admin console, so do not be surprised if you get something like that when you use the service.

1 Comment »

  1. A couple of other sites worth checking out:

    Comment by Allan Beaufour — February 3, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

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