Spotify. (Photo : Spotify)
A new Chrome web browser extension allowed Spotify users to download unrestricted mp3s of any song played through the streaming service.
The extension, Downloadify, was available in the Chrome Web Store, but it's since been removed. It's still currently hosted at various file download sites, but Spotify has also patched the exploit, so even users who still have a copy of the program can't use it.
Seems like @spotify fixed the player :) the extension doesnt work anymore. Still no official response....
— Robin Aldenhoven (@rAldenhoven) May 8, 2013
"Seems like @Spotify fixed the player :) the extension doesn't work anymore. Still no official response...." tweeted Downloadify developer Robin Aldenhoven.
"Hey I don't like encription but love spotify, just pay them for your their awesome content and I am sure they fix it soon ( like create a corrupted mp3 and fix it with the html5 file api )," Aldenhoven writes on the GitHub repository for Downloadify. While the extension doesn't work with Spotify anmore, the project is complete and there won't be any more iterations of the software.
"Spotify has employed a more streamlined and secure protocol that makes it harder to request stored tracks. Aldenhoven also said that the project would not be updated to circumvent Spotify's new security measures," writes The Verge.
Of course, this short-lived incident merely provided a simple way for users to obtain non-DRM music. Typically, music lovers who prefer not to pay for their tunes simply torrent large batches of song files from services like The Pirate Bay, which recently played hopscotch with its servers, switching from country to country as law enforcement tried to shut down the site and seize their gear.
And tech savvy Spotify users can already record streaming video or music with simple developer's tools, though we won't specify exactly how to go about doing that.
It's odd that Spotify didn't encrypt its files in the first place, but it seems like the service has learned a valuable, if embarrassing, lesson.