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Control Spotify from the command line on macOS

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Control Spotify at OS X Terminal

An AppleScript for controlling Spotify through a terminal:

The scenario for which it was originally designed is controlling Spotify, which is playing on a Mac, via ssh, while working on a Linux machine on the other side of the room.

Currently supported functions are: play/pause, next/previous track, jumping in time, toggling shuffle/repeat and changing volume. This pretty much covers everything the AppleScript hooks of Spotify allow.

Tested Platforms

  • OS X Big Sur (11.5), Spotify

  • OS X El Capitan (10.11)

  • OS X Yosemite (10.10)

  • OS X Mavericks (10.9)

  • OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)

  • OS X Lion (10.7)


The simplest way to install the script is to

the repository,
into repository's directory, and run the command below to make a symbolic link into
ln -s $(pwd)/SpotifyControl /usr/local/bin/spotify


  • To start Spotify playback, type
    spotify start
    spotify play
    . If you do this locally and Spotify is not running, it will start. Remotely, Spotify will not start properly. Optionally, pass a Spotify URI as a second argument.
  • To Search for track name and play, type
    spotify play track [song name]
  • To Search for artist name and play, type
    spotify play artist [artist name]
  • To Search for album name and play, type
    spotify play album [album name]
  • To pause Spotify playback, type
    spotify stop
    spotify pause
  • To toggle playback, type
    spotify play/pause
  • To go to the next track, type
    spotify next
  • To go to the previous track, type
    spotify previous
  • To print information about the currently playing track, type
    spotify info
  • To jump to a particular time in the track, type
    spotify jump N
    , where N is the track position in seconds.
  • To fast forward, type
    spotify forward N
    where N is the number of seconds to jump ahead.
  • To rewind, type
    spotify rewind N
    where N is the number of seconds to jump backwards.
  • To change volume, type
    spotify volume N
    where N is a number between 0 and 100.
  • To increase volume by 10%, type
    spotify volume up
  • To decrease volume by 10%, type
    spotify volume down
  • Increase volume, type
    spotify increasevolume N
    where N is a number between 0 and 100 that you want to increment by.
  • Decrease volume, type
    spotify decreasevolume N
    where N is a number between 0 and 100 that you want to decrement by.
  • To toggle shuffle, type
    spotify shuffle [on|off]
  • To toggle repeat, type
    spotify repeat [on|off]
  • To show a list of these commands, just type

Over SSH

To enable the SSH server on OS X, go to Sharing in the System Preferences and enable Remote Login. The Sharing screen will also then tell you the command to use to connect to your Mac in the local network.


You may use, adapt, modify, and etc. Any way you want.

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