Bart Simons

Bart Simons

Thoughts, stories and ideas.

Bart Simons



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Ripping Spotify songs on macOS

Ever wanted to rip songs of Spotify on your Mac? Since there are no tools available that allow you to directly download songs from Spotify, I decided to create a so-called 'duct tape' solution that might help you out with ripping songs.

So, it works as follows: AppleScript bindings allow users to automate Spotify in the following way for example:

osascript -e "tell application \"Spotify\"" -e "play track \"spotify:track:21cp8L9Pei4AgysZVihjSv\"" -e "end tell"

This will play the song Child In Time by Deep Purple for example. There are so many ways to control Spotify with AppleScript: lots of examples and/or AppleScripts are available on the internet.

To summarize: we are now able to control and automate Spotify with AppleScript. But, we also want to record songs. I came across a brilliant application called Piezo. Piezo is a simple to use app that allows Mac users to record the audio of a specific application, which makes it a perfect solution since we only want to record Spotify audio, right?

We also want to update the song's ID3 tags afterwards, since Spotify also makes song information available through AppleScript.

I decided to write my script in Python to help better integrate the 3 main tasks:

I have included comments in my Python script so that you can easily understand what each part of the code does:

# - record a song on Spotify with the help of Piezo

# Example usage:
# python3 spotify:track:21cp8L9Pei4AgysZVihjSv

import subprocess, sys, os, time, shutil, eyed3
from urllib.request import urlopen

# Setup variables
piezoStorageLocation = '/Users/bart/Music/Piezo/'
ripStorageLocation   = '/Users/bart/Music/Ripped/'

# Clear all previous recordings if they exist
for f in os.listdir(piezoStorageLocation):

# Tell Spotify to pause, tell Piezo to record, tell Spotify to play a specified song
subprocess.Popen('osascript -e "tell application \\"Spotify\\" to pause"', shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
subprocess.Popen('osascript -e "activate application \\"Piezo\\"" -e "tell application \\"System Events\\"" -e "keystroke \\"r\\" using {command down}" -e "end tell"', shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
subprocess.Popen('osascript -e "tell application \\"Spotify\\"" -e "play track \\"'+sys.argv[1]+'\\"" -e "end tell"', shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)


# Get the artist name, track name, album name and album artwork URL from Spotify
artist  = subprocess.Popen('osascript -e "tell application \\"Spotify\\"" -e "current track\'s artist" -e "end tell"', shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)'utf-8').rstrip('\r\n')
track   = subprocess.Popen('osascript -e "tell application \\"Spotify\\"" -e "current track\'s name" -e "end tell"', shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)'utf-8').rstrip('\r\n')
album   = subprocess.Popen('osascript -e "tell application \\"Spotify\\"" -e "current track\'s album" -e "end tell"', shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)'utf-8').rstrip('\r\n')
artwork = subprocess.Popen('osascript -e "tell application \\"Spotify\\"" -e "current track\'s artwork url" -e "end tell"', shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)'utf-8').rstrip('\r\n')

# Download album artwork
artworkData = urlopen(artwork).read()

# Check every 500 milliseconds if Spotify has stopped playing
while subprocess.Popen('osascript -e "tell application \\"Spotify\\"" -e "player state" -e "end tell"', shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE) == b"playing\n":

# Spotify has stopped playing, stop the recording in Piezo
subprocess.Popen('osascript -e "activate application \\"Piezo\\"" -e "tell application \\"System Events\\"" -e "keystroke \\"r\\" using {command down}" -e "end tell"', shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)


# Create directory for the artist
if not os.path.exists(ripStorageLocation+artist):

# Create directory for the album
if not os.path.exists(ripStorageLocation+artist+"/"+album):

# Move MP3 file from Piezo folder to the folder containing rips.
for f in os.listdir(piezoStorageLocation):
        if f.endswith(".mp3"):
            shutil.move(piezoStorageLocation+f, ripStorageLocation+artist+"/"+album+"/"+track+".mp3")

# Set and/or update ID3 information
musicFile = eyed3.load(ripStorageLocation+artist+"/"+album+"/"+track+".mp3")
musicFile.tag.images.set(3, artworkData, "image/jpeg", sys.argv[1])
musicFile.tag.artist = artist
musicFile.tag.album  = album
musicFile.tag.title  = track

Please note that this script should run in Python 3, not Python 2. Also, make sure that you have all dependencies installed:

pip3 install eyed3
brew install libmagic

Now, we can rip songs from Spotify without having to deal with the circumvention of DRM. Enjoy your music!

Bart Simons

Bart Simons

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