Display Your Spotify Album Art on an LED Matrix with a SparkFun ESP32 Thing

Cameron Coward
2 min readJan 28, 2019

Spotify is a great choice if you’re looking for a music streaming service. It offers a huge selection of music and it’s very easy to use. What you may not know is that you can use the Spotify API in all kinds of electronics projects — we often see it used in custom internet music-streaming radios. But, you can also use it to display album art on an RGB LED matrix, and SparkFun’s Englandsaurus will show you how.

This project will allow you to use your Spotify account like you normally would through your phone or computer, but will show the album art for the currently-playing music on a huge 64x64 RGB LED matrix. To build this, you’ll need SparkFun’s chainable RGB LED matrix panel, which has a built-in shift register to help the build go smoothly. You’ll also need a SparkFun ESP32 Thing, some jumpers and headers, and some kind of dedicated power supply, such as a 5V wall wart.

Follow the instructions to wire everything up. You can solder the header to your ESP32 Thing to make that wiring a bit easier, and the LED matrix already has a built-in plug for the input. Pay careful attention to the power connections, because the LED matrix will draw too much current for the ESP32 to provide directly. Then setup the provided code for your Spotify account, and flash it to the ESP32. That’s it! Spotify’s API will tell the ESP32 Thing what album art to show, and it will display the image on the LED matrix!

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Cameron Coward

Author, writer, maker, and a former mechanical designer. www.cameroncoward.com @cameron_coward