Music at Work

Music is an important part of my daily office experience. My co-workers and I tend to rock out as we tackle our day. It helps tune out the world and allows us to focus on the code. This has been more or less accurate for many of the devs I’ve met over the years. What’s unique about my current environment is the lack of cubicles and earbuds.

We use an open concept with developers sitting in what amounts to a square round table of desks. Everyone is within earshot for instant communication and you only plug earbuds in if your after some private time. So without earbuds pumping music we had to figure out how to get tunes playing in the office.


For my first attempt I dumped all our music into iTunes and used the DJ feature to have a continuous playlist. This worked OK and could be controlled via the Apple remotes. I even installed GitHub’s Play which allowed us to control iTunes via Campfire. It was all pretty sweet at first.

After the first couple of hours we knew we had a problem. Even combining our iTunes libraries it wasn’t enough music to make it through a work day without hearing the same song over and over again. You may think this only a minor annoyance but you’d be wrong.


We realize our iTunes libraries were so weak because we all used services like Spotify, Pandora and Rdio. Duh! Using a music service seemed like an obvious choice. I opted for Spotify since I had already built huge playlists. Things were excellent now. We had unlimited tunes BUT we lost our ability to control it via Campfire.



So taking quite a bit of “inspiration” from @homan’s Play I set to work on a similar way to control Spotify. After a day of hacking I had a working solution. A couple days of refactoring and Spot was born.

Spot is simple Spotify-powered tunes for your office controlled via Campfire.

Spot exposes a simple API to control the common functions of the Spotify player. It comes with a Hubot script that allows you to control it via Campfire.


Today I decided to make Spot available as open source. Hopefully bringing some Spotify-powered goodness into offices whose iTunes library were as pathetic as ours.

How do I get it?

Go find Spot on Github.