I’ve been a premium user of Spotify for many years now, and one thing that bothered me a lot was that it was so hard to know if something was added to the Spotify catalog without browsing through each of your artists and going down the list.

The reason for this, of course, is that Spotify list the albums of an artist in their release dates, but that is not the same as the date that the album in turn was actually added to Spotify. Say, for example, that you enjoy listening to the music of Dr.Dre, and you want to put together your own best-of-playlist for said artist. While assembling the list, you find that Spotify doesn’t have your old time classic from 1994, and you have to do without it. You then start using the playlist, but a year later, Spotify strikes a deal with the record label holding the rights to your missing song, and all of a sudden, it is available to you! The problem now, of course, is that unless you constantly monitor Dr.Dre, you will never find out that it has been added.

Solution

Being as I am, I got tired of looking through my favorite artists and decided to create my own program that used the Spotify Meta Api to poll artist information and pick out any differences from the last run and present them to me. This was a great step forward for me in discovering new music on Spotify and always having something new to listen to.

As I thought that this perhaps could be useful to someone else, I decided to set up a web page for the said functionality, and since a couple of years back it’s been online. You might think that the service would have reached 100 million users by now, and indeed I think it ought to have, but the truth of the matter is that there are only three of us using it. That means that the server isn’t at all staggering under user pressure, so if you feel like trying it out, be my guest!

What Hit The Spot is available at http://www.whathitthespot.com. There is also a lot of technical stuff there on how I used a flash component to make cross-site-scripting (GAH!) possible from the user’s web browser. This, in turn, was done because Spotify has a limit on how many times each computer can access the API, and expecting millions of users as I was, I had to make the code work client side.