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GreenStripes: Ruby bindings for libspotify

GreenStripes provides Ruby bindings for libspotify, letting you write programs like this one:

session =, 'GreenStripes', 'tmp', 'tmp')
session.login(USERNAME, PASSWORD)
session.process_events until session.connection_state == GreenStripes::ConnectionState::LOGGED_IN

search =, 'yakety sax', 0, 100)
session.process_events until search.loaded?
puts "found #{search.tracks.size} tracks:"
puts {|track|}

session.process_events until session.connection_state == GreenStripes::ConnectionState::LOGGED_OUT

Installing GreenStripes

First off, make sure that you have libspotify installed and set up correctly, and that you have a valid application key. An easy way of doing this is compiling and running one of the example programs that come with libspotify.

The easiest way of installing GreenStripes is via RubyGems:

$ sudo gem install sarnesjo-greenstripes --source

(If you've already added GitHub as a gem source, you can skip the --source flag.)

If the installation fails with about a million errors, make sure you've installed libspotify somewhere gcc will look, like /usr/local.

Working with GreenStripes

GreenStripes is intended to provide a fairly straight mapping from C to Ruby. Since libspotify is written in a rather object-oriented way, this isn't too awkward.

For example, functions dealing with session management in libspotify have names beginning with sp_session_, and take a sp_session * as their first argument. In GreenStripes, these functions become methods in the Session class, and the first argument becomes self.

Class and method naming is mostly intuitive. The libspotify function sp_session_process_events becomes the method Session#process_events, etc. Some name changes have been introduced to give a more Ruby-esque feel to the API. For example, libspotify functions with names ending with _is_loaded become loaded? methods.

There are a few exceptions to these rules, however. For details, refer to the API docs.

Application keys

The Session::new method expects as its first argument your libspotify application key as a binary string. An easy way of creating this string, is using Array#pack, like this:

APPLICATION_KEY = [0x00, ..., 0x00].pack('C*')


GreenStripes is not stable or complete in any way. Please be aware that the API may change rapidly, and that it currently lacks much of the functionality in libspotify.

Currently, GreenStripes provides mapping for all libspotify datatypes, functions and constants, except those dealing with audio or images. It also lacks callback support of any kind. It probably leaks memory, it is not thread-safe, and its test coverage is incomplete. Hopefully, all of these issues will be solved in the near future.


Copyright (c) 2009 Jesper Särnesjö. GreenStripes is available under the terms of the MIT license (see LICENSE for details). However, it's not good for much without libspotify, which comes with a much less permissive license.