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Reversing Spotify Connect protocol

Spotify has been promising for months now to release "Spotify Connect" as a part of libspotify. Instead, they are steadily striking "exclusive deals" with one manufacturer after another (called "Spotify Partners") but knowingly ignore "Spotify Customers" like me, with slightly older hardware, but who might have been more loyal to Spotify then any new hardware buyers, loyal customers who are now desperately locked waiting for improbable firmware updates..

Onkyo also promised to add Spotify Connect to it's receivers line (specifically they mentioned NR-636 model). I have a sour feeling that my NR-626 model, bought just in October 2013, is not going to be supported (even though it is fully capable to).

Such marketing sucks ass. I already decided that I am not going to choose Onkyo for my next amp upgrade. And I might switch away from Spotify after paying them for 3 years too.

So yeah, fuck them - I'll do this stuff myself.

I was able to extract Spotify Connect implementation from one speakers manufacturer firmware, finally! (won't mention names for obvious reasons ;-).

So I am reverse-engineering Spotify Connect at the moment and it doesn't seem too hard. It is a relatively-simple protocol. Much simplier than what libspotify does.

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Running custom firmware on Onkyo

I am happy to report that my Onkyo TX-NR626 is now properly owned ;-)

Custom firmware was packed, encrypted, flashed with crossed fingers and works perfectly!

Firmware flashing completed!

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Decrypting ONKYO firmware files

This post relates to ONKYO TX-NR626. However, firmwares for other models seem to have similar encryption algorithm and should be well supported by the tool (Yes, I've tested it on some).


I bought this model of Onkyo receiver mostly for it's network capabilities, especially for Spotify support. Alas, the interface to control receiver remotely (the one running on port 60128) is pretty cumbersome and leaves much better to desire for. Network functions are painfully slow to my taste and it's not possible to use all Spotify features (even though developer library, which Onkyo embeds, exposes more functionality). Besides that, having a network device running Linux with no shell access to it makes me experience extreme consumer outrage :-) All that resulted in this quest to root the box and possibly make custom modded firmware.

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