Spotify just got a lot more creepy….

SPOTIFY RELEASED A new privacy policy that is now in effect, and it turns out that the company wants to learn a lot more about you and there’s not much you can do about it.

We encourage everyone to read the whole privacy policy before downloading the update or checking off the “Accept” box, but in case you have better things to do, here are some highlights from it.

“With your permission, we may collect information stored on your mobile device, such as contacts, photos, or media files. Local law may require that you seek the consent of your contacts to provide their personal information to Spotify, which may use that information for the purposes specified in this Privacy Policy.” – Spotify

Like a jealous ex, Spotify wants to see (and collect) your photos and see who you’re talking to. What kind of media files Spotify will collect from you is vague, and why the company needs it is unclear, but it’s doing it regardless. Also, the fact that Spotify expects you to go through your contact list and ask everyone for their consent in sharing their data with Spotify is–what’s the word? Oh yes: it’s ridiculous.

“You may integrate your Spotify account with Third Party Applications. If you do, we may receive similar information related to your interactions with the Service on the Third Party Application, as well as information about your publicly available activity on the Third Party Application. This includes, for example, your “Like”s and posts on Facebook.” – Spotify

It shouldn’t surprise you that if you connect your Spotify account to Facebook, Spotify will be able to see the information you post there. If this bothers you, we suggest that you log into your Spotify preferences and disconnect Spotify from your Facebook account (more information on how to do this can be found here). After all, Facebook isn’t all that necessary to use Spotify (unless, of course, you want your friends to know you’re listening to Owl City).

“If you don’t agree with the terms of this Privacy Policy, then please don’t use the Service.” – Spotify

I value my privacy, so I’ll stop using Spotify. Bye Spotify, I won’t miss you.

Custom URLs in Chromium (Edited)

I’ve been tinkering with Second Life and Spotify on Linux, and discovered there’s a known bug in XDG whereby it complains when you try to access a custom protocol link (e.g. secondlife:// or spotify://) that is already registered within XDG. There’s a (rather cumbersome) way of getting around it, if you’re using Chromium (probably works with Chrome, but I haven’t tried it) First step, add a mime desktop entry – usually in ~/.local/share/application/. This entry must contain a MimeType entry, and a NoDisplay entry. Use the %u to pass the url. This desktop entry will NOT be visible on the menus, and is solely to “connect” to the application you want to invoke when the link is clicked. This example is using the Singularity viewer as an example.

[Desktop Entry]
 Comment=Client for Online Virtual Worlds, such as Second Life
 Exec=~/.singularity-install/ %u

Next, inside the program you are calling, you may need to do some manipulation of the passed URL as it will come with escapes (e.g. %20 = space).  See later in the post for an example

Finally, make Chromium aware of this new handler, by editing the Chromium preferences, found in (for the Default user), in ~/.config/chromium/Default/Preferences. Chromium must be closed for this to work, or you will lose your changes. In the Preferences file, add this block of code:

"custom_handlers": {
 "enabled": true,
 "ignored_protocol_handlers": [ ],
 "registered_protocol_handlers": [ {
 "default": true,
 "protocol": "secondlife",
 "title": "Second Life",
 "url": "x-secondlife-url:%s"
 } ]

Note the trailing comma, and the url must be prefixed with the mime type you declared in the desktop entry. Start up Chromium afterwards, then click the link. When you click on the link, Chromium gets the link, finds there is a custom handler (in Preferences file), passes it to the mime desktop link you created (which contains the mime type), finds the program to use from the desktop link, and passes the url to the program using the arguments you specified.

Here’s an example of what I mean by manipulating of the passed URL. This is the script from the Firestorm Viewer. Singularity uses a VERY similar script so the code should be nearly interchangeable. I have hacked this script (changes I have made are in bold) so that it works with SLURLs (Second Life URLs)  with both spaces, and prefixed with “app/region”


NEWURL=$(echo $URL| perl -pe 's/^x-secondlife-url://; tr/+/ /; s/%([a-fA-F0-9]{2,2})/chr(hex($1))/eg;')
URL=echo $NEWURL | sed 's/secondlife:\/\///g' | sed 's/\/app\/region\///g'
if [ -z "$URL" ]; then
#echo Usage: $0 secondlife://...
echo "Usage: $0 [ secondlife:// | hop:// ] ..."
dirname "$0" || echo .
#cd “${RUN_PATH}/..”
cd “${RUN_PATH}”
#exec ./firestorm -url \'”${URL}”\’
if [ pidof do-not-directly-run-firestorm-bin ]; then
exec dbus-send –type=method_call –dest=com.secondlife.ViewerAppAPIService /com/secondlife/ViewerAppAPI com.secondlife.ViewerAppAPI.GoSLURL string:$URL
exec ../firestorm -url $URL

Google Play Music – All Access Trial

Google are now offering All Access to users in the UK. I had a go at their trial. And I wasn’t impressed. The things it offers like Radio and recommendations you can already get for free in other providers (, Spotify, Grooveshark). Recommendations you already get from the main Play Music app. Suffice to say, my trial didn’t last very long before I cancelled it…

Take a look at some of the related articles and make your own decision.

%d bloggers like this: