Ubuntu Ambiance Theme for Spotify plus Radiance Icon main blog post image
January 14th, 2013 by Michael Tunnell

Ubuntu Ambiance Theme for Spotify plus Radiance Icon

Ubuntu Ambiance Theme for Spotify ( running on Ubuntu 12.04


Spotify looks nice in general but Linux is all about customization but Spotify clashes a lot with the default theme of Ubuntu (Ambiance) so I decided to customize it to the Ambiance theme. In this blog post you can find the Download file of this open source theme and the instructions on how to install it. The installation takes very little time and is VERY easy to do BUT it does require making changes as Root. (required because of Spotify's structure of the app)


Update: 05/06/2013

I have decided to create a section on this site for all of the projects that I build...this section is for projects that don't already have websites so I wanted to organize them here. They also come with RSS feeds. :) - Click Here to go to the new page.


Update: 01/20/2013

I just added another tutorial to remove the tray menu completely. This can be done with the default theme or the Ambiance theme.


Update: 01/16/2013

I have released a download for those who want to keep the default Spotify theme but change the Tray Icon to the Ambiance native icon that comes with the theme as well as a small tutorial on making your own.


I recently made a blog post bashing the fact that Spotify wouldn't let you customize the tray icon, that is still true because they do not provide a solution themselves or ever answer questions regarding Linux that I've been able to tell. This is Linux though so of course someone figured it out! In the comments of the previous blog post "Danny" let me know where to go to change the icon, I'm not sure if he figured it out or not but either way THANK YOU very much for sharing that information as it saved me a lot of frustration. While I was in the resources archive editing the tray icon I noticed that a LOT of the interface could be modified via this archive. So I started customizing it to fit the Ambiance theme (which I use) and after a while I realized that it was almost "release worthy" so I decided to continue working on it to share with the rest of the Ubuntu/Linux community.


Important Disclaimer:

Installing this theme requires ROOT actions to be taken because of the way the Spotify app is structured. I wouldn't ask you to use root unless it was necessary, which it is. I am also releasing this theme under my name (not a moniker) because some people might see this as sketchy to require Root but this is not my choice and I hope this eases your concerns because if I was doing something malicious then it would be incredibly stupid to be using my name. :)


Disclaimer: much less important

The resources.zip that is being used to modify the interface and tray icon provides a LOT of customization options BUT not everything can be changed with these resources. A few buttons and the blue highlight of the search results popup are declared somewhere other than the resources archive. I suppose I could have just missed it but I spent more time than I should have searching the contents and searching all the code inside of the skin.xml file.


Installation Instructions:

Spotify Version Compatibility:

The following process explains how to install both the Ambiance theme and the Radiance tray icon.

  1. Open up Nautilus and navigate to the theme download, extract the downloaded file.
  2. Inside the archive you will find a file named "resources.zip"...Do NOT extract this...it needs to stay a zip file for Spotify to use it.
  3. Open a Terminal or press "Alt + F2" to run the command in the Dash.
  4. Run the following command: gksu nautilus "/opt/spotify/spotify-client/Data"
  5. The above command will open the "Data" folder located in "/opt/spotify/spotify-client" as Root (sudo), if this for some reason does not work then run gksu nautilus and navigate to "/opt/spotify/spotify-client/Data".
  6. Inside this folder you will see an existing "resources.zip" file, drag and drop the new archive file to this folder and overwrite the existing file. (or rename the original, if you want to change back later)

That's It. Installation is DONE! (yes, just one simple drag and drop is all it takes...as root, of course.)


Ambiance, ok cool, what about Radiance users?

I'm going to be honest with you, this theme took a CRAP TON of time to do as I did it all in one sitting and it took HOURS. When I finished with Ambiance I was not interested in making a Radiance version especially since I don't use that theme. Also the Ambiance theme took a long time because I had to create over 270 images including a skin.xml file that had thousands of lines of code and Radiance is so drastically different from the default Spotify theme that I would have to do at least 3 times more work. I'm just not interested in doing that. HOWEVER, I did customize the tray icon for Radiance so at least you can use the tray menu without hating it all the time. This theme will also be Open Source when I get the time to package it up so for anyone who wants to make custom themes or make the Radiance version and can easily do so via a walk-through and LOTS of .psd files.


Is this Open Source, will source files be provided?

For those who skipped the Radiance answer, Yes this theme's source will be released as soon as I get the time to write the walk-through and package up all the 42 .psd files. Yes the 42 was on purpose, I originally made 41 and decided to just add 1 more. :)


So without further ado, here are the downloads...

Ubuntu Ambiance Theme for Spotify

Ambiance Tray Icon for Spotify

Radiance Tray Icon for Spotify


What do you think of this theme? Do you have any questions or other feedback?

Let me know in the comments below...