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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Spotify silently and remotely deleted app from Squeezebox devices

Spotify removed

Spotify silently and remotely deleted the Spotify app from the Squeezebox devices I found out after returning from vacation (Yes, they did post an article on their help pages I found out but I wasn't notified). I own a Squeezebox Radio and a Squeezebox Touch that I both use heavily to listen to music with the Spotify app. I even have a Spotify Premium Family account that enables me to play Spotify on multiple devices. I understand that support for hardware, such as the Squeezebox, is limited and will end some day. However what outrages me is that Spotify remotely removes software on a device that I own. Spotify makes it very clear that they control the software that they provide for the device and not the user. With that they control the functionality of my devices.

The Logitech Squeezebox Radio, one of several types of Squeezebox devices, now without Spotify (photo from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squeezebox_(network_music_player)).

The Squeezebox music player

The Squeezebox device is a network music player from Logitech. The devices are versatile and have excellent hardware. The Squeezebox can be used in two different ways; as a player that works with an online service, mysqueezebox.com, or with a private server called Logitech Media Server. I preferred to use my Squeezebox devices with the online service mainly for its ease of use and because some streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer are available as an app. The apps are very convenient to stream music just with a remote control. The Squeezebox hardware was discontinued in 2012 but  but, to it's credit, Logitech maintains the online service to this very day.

I didn't mention the best thing about Squeezebox, both the server and player software are non-proprietary and can be installed on several different operating systems. This enables all users to make build their own Squeezebox clients and servers.

Choices

With the removal of the Spotify app I have a choice to make. Will I continue to be using the my Squeezebox devices with the online server using Deezer instead of Spotify or will I set up my own private server? The latter is of course more of a hassle since it involves installing and maintaining the Logitech Media Server, ripping CD's to mp3's and storing them on the server. Nevertheless I may choose to create my own private server. I recently decided to move the software on my iMac from proprietary to non-proprietary so creating the private server for my Squeezebox would also make sense. I happen to have a Raspberry Pi 2 lying around and in the coming weeks I'll try to set it up as a Logitech Media Server.


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