Smashing Boxes | 02.29.16 | Insights

Meet Maestro – Turn Spotify into a Workspace Jukebox Through Slack Integration

  • API
  • Design
  • labs
  • product strategy


An actionable solution to the age-old question, that 980 million Google results have not quite answered: how to play music at work.
What is Maestro?
Maestro is an application we built to integrate Slack with Spotify, allowing groups to collaborate on the music being played from an output source. Groups of people within a dedicated Slack channel can use nearly 20 different Slack commands to queue songs or playlists. Better yet? We gave Maestro the capability to allow users to skip and vote on songs to ban.

Why did we make this?
At Smashing Boxes, our culture and work go hand in hand. Showing up to work means stepping into an entrepreneur’s playground. In addition to having beer on tap and allowing dogs to hang out, we also play music over office-wide speakers to enhance the collaborative vibe. Our internal IM tool Slack tends to house a lot of our out-of-meeting conversation, so naturally it was a great place for us to integrate our music selection source. Our Back-End Development Lead, Brandon Mathis, created Maestro during Labs, our Friday innovation time, by reimagining an existing open source MIT project, Cripsyfi. We’ve been using Maestro to power our office soundtrack ever since (for almost a year now) and have found that it not only makes our tunes an unobtrusive part of our daily workflow, but has allowed our growing team to learn more about one another starting with music preferences.

Smashing Boxes Office Icons | Smashing Boxes Blog

It can’t be all fun and games, though. We have some rules that govern how Maestro is used in the office. For starters, no words are allowed in music that is played during work hours in hopes that we’ll get ambient vibe that facilitates a productivity. After typical work hours, the rules lighten up as we allow for our ‘After Hours’ playlist to start – this is our chance to queue up that Snoop Dogg track we’ve been itching to hear all day. This is still an office environment though, so the rule of thumb for after hours listening at SB is to keep it PG, meaning only radio edits should be added to the listening pipeline.


Our SB: After Hours playlist

How do I get Maestro for my workspace?
We are strong believers in the open source community, which is why we want to share this app with everyone. The full documentation on the technical implementation behind setting-up Maestro can be found on GitHub where we also detail the hardware necessary to power it. You can learn more about Maestro and its command features here or check out the project on GitHub.

Maestro is not affiliated with Spotify or Slack. Maestro is a reimagination of CrispyFi. Check rights and usage information before using Spotify as an output for your particular business.

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