Spotify's Linux Preview Tray Icon is Ugly and Can't be Changed main blog post image
January 9th, 2013 by Michael Tunnell

Spotify's Linux Preview Tray Icon is Ugly and Can't be Changed

Spotify is a great service and their recent updates to their Linux version has fixed all the problems I was having with the program, except for one. Spotify's tray icon on Linux is UGLY and breaks the feel of the desktop ignoring the monochrome style. To make this worse, Spotify decided to make this icon impossible to change yourself. I created an icon that fits well with the desktop style but when I tried to apply it, I found out that Spotify likes their icon so much they refuse to let you change it.


UPDATE: I was totally wrong about customizing and in fact when I found that out I made a custom theme and multiple custom icons. :) - Links available in the right sidebar.


The above screenshot/anti-ad shows the icon that I made to replace the default icon...Hopefully this blog post will make them realize the way they implemented the icon is AWFUL. ::fingers crossed:: - For those who care, the reason why it doesn't allow customization is provided after the break.


Spotify decided that the best way to display the icon in the tray was to store it inside a tmp folder and to generate this icon every time the application is loaded. Brilliant. </sarcasm>


You can find the tray icon by going to something like "/tmp/sni-qt_spotify_4509-mLAXtU/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps", this path changes every single time you load the application. Which means if you close it and reopen then it just recreating the same icon over and over.


8 instances of the icon, left there until tmp is cleared.


These tmp folders store the tray icon and NOTHING ELSE!


I know some of you may be thinking that this is not a big deal and that I should probably get over it. You are completely right and I know that but it isn't that simple and this irritates me more than just because of an ugly icon. I know Spotify's Linux version is not an official app so it having a crappy tray icon is not surprising, I could probably get over it if this was the only problem.


The issue is not the icon itself, instead the problem is multi-factored.

  1. Ugly Tray Icon
  2. Spotify's app structure breaks any chance of changing it to a custom icon. (which you can do with almost every app on Linux)
  3. Inability to simply hide the tray icon. - you can hide the main app window but not the icon itself.
  4. Spotify supports Unity Sound Menu, which is awesome BUT because of that it makes the tray icon redundant. (well it works sometimes, sometimes it doesn't)


If I could simply hide the icon to use the main window or the sound menu settings then I would be fine with the ugly icon (since I couldn't see it). My problem is from all of these factors combine.


What do you think of this issue? Am I overreacting? (yea, I probably am)

Please leave your opinion in the comments section below...