Skip to main content

Someone built a Spotify player for a Macintosh SE/30 and now I'm in love

Spotify on a Mac SE/30
Spotify on a Mac SE/30 (Image credit: "ants" / 68kMLA)

What you need to know

  • The Macintosh SE/30 debuted in 1989.
  • Spotify is a modern music streaming service.
  • And someone made them play nicely together!

If you hop on over to 68kMLA right now you can see the closest thing to magic you'll come across this year. Because someone took Spotify and made it work on a Macintosh SE/30. And it's glorious.

As you might imagine making it all work isn't just a case of powering up the old, old computer and installing Spotify from the internet. It's all considerably more complicated than that and required the building of a whole new app. It's called MacPlayer and it's up on GitHub.

The first version is pretty basic, it just plays your Spotify playlists. You can browse tracks, and the app displays 1-bit album art, which I think is a bit of fun.

Forum-goer "ants" even had to create a workaround just to sign in, with Spotify's use of OAuth causing authentication issues for the aging computer.

Another problem I had to solve was authenticating the app with a Spotify account. Like most modern web API's, Spotify uses OAuth to allow third party apps to access their services. However the OAuth flow requires a modern web browser for users to enter their login details. To overcome this, I wrote an OAuth bridge for vintage Macs which delegates the login part of the process to another device such as a smartphone. The first steps are handled on the Mac...And then completed on a modern device.

You can see the results of their labor in video form, although there's no music for copyright reasons. But I'm just happy to watch the thing in action. Over, and over. and over again.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.