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Build a company jukebox: Collaborative playlists with Slack and Spotify

By Jerod Greenisen | September 2017

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Remember when there were radios and jukeboxs, when sweet music flowed through the air? If those noise canceling headphones have you feeling that "alone together, together alone" vibe, then consider making a collaborative playlist with Spotify and Slack! There are a few ways to make collaborative playlists ranging from technical API integrations to simple drag and drop. 

Get to know Spotify's collaboration settings.

Getting set up

You're going to have to download Spotify for desktop and make a playlist. We've named ours with some Millennial nostalgia and a meme worthy photo of our project manager, Josh. 

To make this playlist collaborative, click on the ellipses icon next to the green "play/pause" button. Now, people can add songs to this playlist. Click that icon again and select "share" and copy and paste the link in a message to share your playlist with the office. At ArcStone, we use SlackWe highly recommend it as it saves you from sending multiple emails for small requests or simple questions.

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When it comes to actually collaborating, as long as other coworkers in the office have a Spotify account and they follow the playlist you've created, they'll be able to add songs and adjust the play order.

Slack has made playlist sharing in Slack channels an enjoyable and very visual experience. Additionally, if you're kinda nerdy, the team at Slack has actually encouraged developers to create their own integrations. We'll dive into that in a sec, but for the less tech savvy let's set up the last portion of the jukebox.

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Broadcasting your playlist and sharing the tunes

A great way to do this is to patch yourself into the office speakers with Chromecast. You can also take a more lo-fi approach with an old fashioned cable. However you may still prefer to listen "together but alone" with headphones—whatever works! Check out this guide on how to use Google Chromecast with Spotify and you can actually use your mobile device to nominate yourself as company DJ.

Have fun sharing music and make sure to check out the new "user" column found in the playlist to see who's added each song to the playlist. It's a great way to get to know your coworkers better and have some fun while remaining productive.

On a side note, Spotify has embed and APIs to make playlists and activity visible on websites. A web developer can utilize the fields within the app to post a "now playing" status update to your website. With that, let's get a little nerdy and talk about Slack integrations for native in-channel collaboration and playlist building.

Getting nerdy and integrating with Slack

Developers at a development firm in the United Kingdom called Benchmark have created a system that utilizes Slack's built in Slash Commands to which works by  `/` in the message bar. So, in a way you're able to type '/jukebox song by artist' and add things to a playlist. You're telling Slack to request info form the Spotfiy database to update your Spotify playlist using a slash command to search for a song, and when found, add it to the playlist.

It's kinda how a voice UI works when you tell Alexa or Siri to do a certain task. 

There are a whole bunch of community integrations including some for Spotify. It's really fun to browse through them and create productivity hacks, to-do lists and even an innocent office prank. 

Check out the developer guide here

Jam out!

In our most recent playlist coworkers confessed their most ironic car jams, favorite movie soundtracks, and a few indie music snobs came out from hiding to talk about the 00's as if it were the golden age. 

Check out our playlist for an example—you may even share a song with our team! 

Music is a great way to connect with people and the space around you. Remember the silhouette from the first iPod commercials (watch it with the sound off)? That's what real life is like Apple, do be like that. No one knows what you're jamming to!

Topics: Who is ArcStone?, App & Software Reviews

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