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A efficent MacOS application automatically silencing ads on the spotify desktop app
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README.md

MuteSpotifyAds

size download size macOS version support

This is a native and efficient macOS application automatically silencing ads on the Spotify desktop app.

This application is very CPU and power efficient, since it only checks for an ad when a new song gets played.

This application is not in any way affiliated with Spotify.

Features

  • Mute ads
  • Endless private session
  • Song log file
  • Restart spotify to skip ads
  • Auto-start Spotify with MuteSpotifyAds or run MuteSpotifyAds at startup

Usage

Instead of running Spotify directly, start this application. It will automatically start Spotify. Furthermore it will mute any ads it sees. When you close Spotify this program will also terminate, and thus it no longer has any effect on your battery or CPU.

As of version 1.5.0 you can also enable a option to automatically skip ads, by restarting Spoitify. Therefore, click the ☀︎ in the status bar of your mac (at the top of your screen), and then click ◎ Restart to skip ads.

Installation

Via homebrew: brew cask install mutespotifyads

Manual installation:

  1. Download this application from the releases page
  2. Move it to your Applications folder
  3. Run it using Right Click -> Open. You need to do this because I don't pay Apple $99 every year.
  4. If you like the app, leave a star!

This application is tested on macOS High Sierra (10.13.5) and macOS Mojave (10.14.5) with Spotify 1.1.5.153.gf614956d.

To uninstall the application, you can simply trash MuteSpotifyAds.app.

Troubleshooting

If the Application does not work, follow the steps for enabling a endless private Spotify session.

Endless private Spotify session

You can also use this application to enforce a endless private session. This requires administrative privileges. To enable them, do the following:

  1. Go to System PreferencesSecurity & PrivacyPrivacy tab → Accessibility → Enable the check mark next to this application.
  2. Go to System PreferencesSecurity & PrivacyPrivacy tab → Automation → Enable the check marks next to this application (for Spotify and System Events).

To enable/disable the endless private session, click the ☀︎ in the status bar of your mac (at the top of your screen), and then click ∞ Private session. This will ensure that the Spotify private session is enabled whenever the current song changes.

The state of the endless private session will be saved and restored on program restart.

This application enables the private session using the following apple script:

tell application "System Events" to tell process "Spotify"
tell menu bar item 2 of menu bar 1 -- AppleScript indexes are 1-based
tell menu item "Private Session" of menu 1
set isChecked to value of attribute "AXMenuItemMarkChar" is "✓"
if not isChecked then click it
end tell
end tell
end tell

How is it so efficient?

⚠️ Because of a Spotify bug, pausing and playing an ad every 4 seconds is implemented. This requires polling, but only when ads actually play. This will be resolved when the Spotify bug gets fixed. See #4. This Spotify bug has no effect when using the restart-spotify mode in v 1.5

Whenever the track changes, the following file will get modified by Spotify:

# When a song plays next
~/Library/Application Support/Spotify/Users/($SPOTIFY_USER_NAME)-user/recently_played.bnk
# When a ad plays next
~/Library/Application Support/Spotify/Users/($SPOTIFY_USER_NAME)-user/ad-state-storage.bnk

This application simply watches for a change at those files and then runs the following apple script, to detect ads:

tell application "Spotify" to (get spotify url of current track)

If the Spotify URL starts with spotify:ad, the volume will be set to 0. Once a normal track plays, your initial volume will be restored (if you haven't already enabled sound man).

To set and get the volume, the following apple script is used:

tell application "Spotify" to (get sound volume)
tell application "Spotify" to set sound volume to ($VOLUME)

Using those techniques, it uses only 0.4% CPU when the track changes (rate: 5 seconds), and 0% in idle. It has a energy impact of less than one tenth of Spotify when the track changes, and a energy impact of 0.0 - 0.1 in idle.

This application does not use any hacks, its simply accesses Spotify's apple script API and look for file changes.

Contributing

If you want to contribute, feel free to do so. If you need help, just open a issue.

You can also contribute by adding support for another language. To do so, clone the repo, and then follow the instruction from this image. Then add the translations and open a pull request.

Currently supported languages are:

  • English
  • German

Alternatives

Linux

I you want this functionality on Linux, I have found but not tested! the following program: https://github.com/SecUpwN/Spotify-AdKiller

Windows

I you want this functionality on Windows, I have found but not tested! the following program: https://github.com/Xeroday/Spotify-Ad-Blocker/

macOS

This application is a alternative to Spotifree. Spotifree uses constant polling every 0.3 seconds. This results in a constant CPU drain of around 4% and a energy usage of about one fourth of the one from Spotify.

Although I created this application and had the idea to use apple script and file watching on my own, looking at the Spotifree source code gave me the idea of using the Spotify url instead of the songs popularity (because the popularity is always 0 for ads).

Thanks

Thanks to BaldEagleX02 for the restart-spotify feature, the auto-start option and help with the documentation! Thanks to Artem Gordinsky and the other contributors of Spotifree! Thanks to vadian for the help!

License

GNU General Public License v3.0

Copyright (C) 2018 Simon Meusel

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