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Showing my listening activity

March 1, 2021
Showing my listening activity

Spotify icon can be found in my Figma Community file (as well as a bunch of other icons)

TLDR: Grab your music and podcast info from Spotify using Next.js

Sticking to this site's ethos - designing in the open - I thought I could share a few new things that I've been finding a ton of fun.

Either while I'm driving, walking, sitting at my desk, or falling asleep, I'm regularly listening to a song or podcast via Spotify. Using their Web API, you're able to access:

  • Music (playlists, artists, songs, albums, etc.)
  • Podcasts (episodes, shows)
  • User metrics (currently listening, top listens)
  • ...and probably a ton more

How to build

After a quick search, I came across Lee Robinson's Spotify & Next.js tutorial. Using the Spotify Web API and Next.js v10+, I threw together a way to grab my own Spotify data and pull it into this site.

Lee's tutorial is incredibly helpful in getting Spotify setup to show your own "Top Tracks", but I also wanted to have a way to show:

  • if I'm currently listening to something
  • if I'm my currently playing item is a podcast or song
  • my last played song
  • my recently subscribed podcasts

I also wanted to design this in a way that was compact and not overly informative. Let's start with a component that let's me see if I'm currently listening to something, and whether that item is a song or podcast. We'll need 2 endpoints for this:

// spotify.js

If you've followed Lee's tutorial and completed the token & auth setup, we just have to add 2 more functions in order to fetch these endpoints:

// spotify.js
export const getNowPlaying = async () => {
const { access_token } = await getAccessToken();
return fetch(NOW_PLAYING_ENDPOINT, {
headers: {
Authorization: `Bearer ${access_token}`
export const getPodcastPlaying = async () => {
const { access_token } = await getAccessToken();
headers: {
Authorization: `Bearer ${access_token}`,

After that, we just need two routes to grab's playing. I kept the song and podcast routes separate in case I need them later. Using the route for grabbing the currently playing song as an example, we can import one of our new functions to grab the response from Spotify:

// /api/spotify/now-playing.js
import { getNowPlaying } from '@utils/spotify';
export default async (_, res) => {
const response = await getNowPlaying();
if (response.status === 204 || response.status > 400 || response.status === 500) {
return res.status(200).json({ isPlaying: false, playing: null });
const song = await response.json();
if(song.context === null) {
return res.status(200).json({ isPlaying: false, playing: 'podcast' });
const isPlaying = song.is_playing;
const title =;
const artist = =>', ');
const album =;
const albumImageUrl = song.item.album.images[0].url;
const songUrl = song.item.external_urls.spotify;
'public, s-maxage=60, stale-while-revalidate=30'
return res.status(200).json({

We would repeat the same function for the currently playing podcast - making slight changes in the object we send back and the endpoint function we're referencing. The above function accounts for 3 scenarios:

  1. If a song is playing
  2. If a song isn't playing, but a podcast is playing
  3. If neither a song nor podcast is playing

Let's see how we can design a single component to account for all 3 of these states:

component states

This component can account for each of the scenarios our API response may give us - helping us only surface the correct information in a way that is a bit more seamless to the user.

What's next?

podcast subscriptions

I've been having some fun grabbing my recent top tracks and my recent podcast subscriptions - check it out! If you have feedback or ideas of what else could be a fun way to make this information more transparent and tangible, I'd love to know - let me know using the form below.

Have feedback?

I'd love to see if this was helpful or if there was anything I should look to update - let me know below!

Hey, I'm Ryan.πŸ‘‹

I'm a designer and .

More about me→