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Control Spotify with text messages
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A Twilio SMS server that will accept an artist name and look it up using The Echo Nest and Spotify APIs. It will respond with a text that contains a URL to a song by the artist.


I like to listen to post-rock. Unfortunately, post-rock bands tend to have very long names like ‘Explosions in the Sky’, ‘God Speed you black emperor’, and ‘This will Destroy You’. I have a long commute and I will find that I am frequently risking my life trying to type a long band name into my music player. I wish Siri supported non-itunes players like Spotify, but until then I need a way to tell Spotify to play music by bands with long names. If I don’t, I will die in a fiery crash on Route 3 in Lowell Mass. A horrible way to go. So this weekend at the Artists Hack I built something to solve this problem. It lets you play music in Spotify without having to type long artist names. Here’s how it works.

I used Twilio to set up a phone number such that if you text it an artist name, it will respond with a spotify link to a song by that artist. You can add the phone number to your contacts as “music player”, You can then use Siri in a dialog like so:

Me: Send a text to Music Player

Siri: What would you like it to say

Me: Explosion in the Sky

Siri: OK, I’ll send it

A few seconds later I get a text message back with a link to a popular track by Explosions in the Sky. I tap the link and Spotify opens and plays the song. It is about as simple a hack, but it solves a real problem for me.

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