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Control Spotify with IKEA Symfonisk

Control Spotify and other players/devices with this beautiful controller

I completely missed the release of the IKEA Tradfri Symfonisk controller. Designed to control the Symfonisk wireless speaker (via IKEA Tradfri hub) this remote is capable of changing volume, and controlling the music playback. Not a great deal if you consider that this £15 works with a single £99 device by default. Let’s use some NodeRED magic and control Spotify with IKEA Symfonisk (or anything you want) without the hub.

Is Symfonisk actually good?

I played with rotary dimmers from IKEA before, and I have to say that the rotation detection was very inconsistent. I fixed some of that thanks to NodeRED but the rotation movement remained imperfect.

The Symfonisk comes with the following functions:

  • Single Click – Play/Pause
  • Double Click – Skip track
  • Triple Click – Previous Track
  • Rotate – Change Volume

The rotation of the Symfonisk remote is better. It’s more consistent, as the remote uses a rotary encoder instead of the acceleration input. To use it with IKEA Tradfri, you will need the hub.

Control Spotify with IKEA Symfonisk

I will show you how to map the controls in NodeRED and how to link the Symfonisk remote with Spotify. You will be able to change the volume settings and control the playback while the Spotify is minimised.

To achieve this, I will take advantage of:

I will assume that you know the basics of NodeRED. This 7 part tutorial will bring you up to speed but this article alone will cover all you need to know. To make this all work you need a CC2531 Zigbee stick flashed with Zigbee2MQTT.

How does it work?

Inputs from Symfonisk are sent via Zigbee cc2531 to NodeRED. A flow maps the inputs and sends it via HTTP request and AutoRemote back to your Windows PC. EventGhost with AutoRemote plugin reads the commands and uses Toasittify to execute global shortcuts in Spotify.

Setting up Spotify

Spotify lets you use your local files as well (initially I wanted to use Groove Player – default app but I had issues controlling it). Check the settings to add your local files and make it available in the Spotify app.

Toastify is used to apply global shortcuts. I used the following combination:

  • {Ctrl+Alt+Up} – play/pause
  • {Ctrl+Alt+Left} – back
  • {Ctrl+Alt+Right} – skip
  • {Ctrl+Alt+Add} – volume up
  • {Ctrl+Alt+Substract} – volume down

The same configuration will be mirrored in EventGhost.

EventGhost

EventGhost is an equivalent of Tasker for Windows and despite the outdated looks,m it’s very powerful. Install AutoRemote and Keyboard Plugins (need to be present in Autostart). You will need an AutoRemote Chrome extension to send the commands over.

Each time a message is sent via NodeRED Event Ghost will execute the saved key macros. Once you set up the NodeRED component, you will be able to see the incoming messages in the EventGhost log and drag it to correct macros.

NodeRED

Pair the Symfonisk remote with cc2531 stick and rename it to your preference. By default, Symfonisk will be posting updates to zigbee2mqtt/devicename. I applied a 2msg/sec rate limit to avoid spamming my Zigbee stick. Commands sent by Symfonisk are stored as msg.payload.action:

  • play_pause
  • skip_forward
  • skip_backward
  • rotate_right
  • rotate_left

I’m not using the dynamic values for brightness [0-255] as in this case this is not needed. The action is encoded into an HTTP POST and sent to my AutoRemote device using credentials system.

FUNCTION NODE: Compose AR
var command = "SPOTIFY"+msg.payload.action; 
var AR = global.get("ARdesktop"); 
msg.url = "https://autoremotejoaomgcd.appspot.com/sendmessage?key="+AR+"&message="+command;

return msg;

Conclusion

Controlling Spotify with IKEA Symfonisk is simple! The Symfonisk remote can be used to control other devices too. Just think about it as a remote with 3 button actions and a [0-255] brightness control. I could map this to colour light and use the extra actions to not only change the brightness but also hue as well! Let me know if you have any comments about controlling Spotify with IKEA Symfonisk in this Reddit thread.

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