In response to the waves and waves of copyright claims fired at Twitch streamers for more than a year, one developer has come up with a clever workaround for gamers who want to play copyrighted jams on the Amazon-owned streaming site.
Enter SpotifySynchronizer, an extension created by Twitch dev Peter Frydenlund Madsen, aka Pequeno0, that does pretty much what its name suggests: It synchs the Spotify tracks of a streamer who’s playing a particular game with the Spotify account of the people watching that stream. The result? Viewers can listen to the same music played by their favorite Twitch streamers, without any copyrighted tracks being streamed without an artist’s—or record label’s—permission.
In an interview with TorrentFreak, Pequeno0 explained that he got the idea from watching Grand Theft Auto streams that were among the hardest hit by the recent deluge of copyright strikes lobbed against Twitch by major record labels. “It was actually with them in mind that I started the project,” he told TorrentFreak in an interview, noting that Spotify was the natural choice for creating a tool like this. Spotify’s one of the most popular music streaming platforms around, with more than 150 million regular Spotify-ers accessing the service on the regular—including Pequeno0 himself. On top of that, he added, Spotify also has a public set of developer tools that made it easy to set up the extension he was envisioning.
Here’s how it works: If a Twitch streamer wants to play a certain set of tunes in the background of their gameplay, they can hook up their personal Spotify account to this extension, which shows off which song is currently on loop. Someone watching this stream can open this extension, which opens their own Spotify account on their own device, to play the same tunes currently looping on the streamer’s Spotify account. Because Spotify’s the one playing the song on either end, that means the artists are still getting paid (somewhat, anyway.)
It’s a pretty elegant system, but one that’s not without its fair share of technical hiccups. Pequeno0 described that it was difficult getting Twitch’s and Spotify’s respective APIs to play nicely together, resulting in the need to make this extension a popup window, rather than a tool that’s embedded directly in a Twitch platform itself. And if a streamer chooses to switch a track mid-song, a viewer might need to “force” their Spotify accounts to synch in order to change tracks along with them.
Pequeno0 also told TorrentFreak that “if the extension gets very popular,” he’s open to expanding to other music-streaming services, like SoundCloud or Pandora Radio. “It could be extended to use even more services, and maybe even lookup songs on different music services, so the viewer/streamer could use different services but listen to the same songs,” he said. Considering how some popular artists have been cutting exclusive deals with some Spotify competitors, adding more streaming services can only mean more sick beats for the rest of us.