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Cross-platform ncurses Spotify client written in Rust, inspired by ncmpc and the likes.
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screenshots document theming + update screenshots Mar 22, 2019
src bugfix: make sure len is in bounds of usize Mar 24, 2019
.gitignore initial commit Nov 10, 2018
Cargo.toml switch back to latest rspotify upstream release Mar 23, 2019
LICENSE Create LICENSE Mar 13, 2019


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ncurses Spotify client written in Rust using librespot. It is heavily inspired by ncurses MPD clients, such as ncmpc. My motivation was to provide a simple and resource friendly alternative to the official client as well as to support platforms that currently don't have a Spotify client, such as the *BSDs.


NOTE: ncspot is still in a very early development stage. Things will break and change. The feature set is still very limited. Also, as this is my first contact with Rust, some design decisions may need to be reworked in the future. Contributions welcome, but please be kind ;)


  • Rust
  • libpulse-dev (or portaudio-dev, if you want to use the PortAudio backend)
  • libncurses-dev and libssl-dev
  • A Spotify premium account
  • pkg-config


  • Set your login credentials (see configuration)
  • Build using cargo build --release
  • The initial screen is the debug log. Press F1 for the queue and F2 to search for a track. More key bindings are described below.
  • For debugging, pass a debug log filename, e.g. ncspot -d debug.log

Key Bindings

These keybindings are hardcoded for now. In the future it may be desirable to have them configurable.

  • Navigate through the screens using the F-keys:
    • F1: Queue
    • F2: Search
    • F3: Playlists
      • d deletes the currently selected track
      • c clears the entire playlist
  • Tracks and playlists can be played using Return and queued using Space
  • Shift-p toggles playback of a track
  • Shift-s stops a track
  • Shift-r updates the playlist cache
  • < and > play the previous or next track, respectively
  • q quits ncspot

You can also open a Vim style commandprompt using :, the following commands are supported:

  • quit: Quit ncspot
  • toggle: Toggle playback
  • stop: Stop playback
  • previous/next: Play previous/next track
  • clear: Clear playlist

The screens can be opened with queue, search, playlists and log, whereas search can be supplied with a search term that will be entered after opening the search view.


For now, a configuration file containing Spotify login data needs to be created manually, until a login-screen is implemented (

The file needs to look like this:

username = "spotify_user"
password = "spotify_password"

Please save it to ~/.config/ncspot.


The color palette can be modified in the configuration. For instance, to have ncspot match Spotify's official client, you can add the following entries to the configuration file:

background = "black"
primary = "light white"
secondary = "light black"
title = "green"
playing = "green"
playing_bg = "black"
highlight = "light white"
highlight_bg = "#484848"
error = "light white"
error_bg = "red"
statusbar = "black"
statusbar_progress = "green"
statusbar_bg = "green"
cmdline = "light white"
cmdline_bg = "black"

More examples can be found in pull request

Audio backends

By default ncspot is built using the PulseAudio backend. To make it use the PortAudio backend (e.g. for macOS, *BSD, ..), you need to recompile ncspot with the portaudio_backend feature:

  • cargo run --no-default-features --features portaudio_backend
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