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Cher is a self-taught engineer currently working as a technical lead for Starbucks. With 20 years of experience in web development, Cher attributes her skills … More about Cher ↬

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With Spotify, machine learning and social media has gone musical. With their app, your friends can check out what you’re jamming to. What if the rest of the Internet could experience your algo-rhythm, too? In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to compose your own application to share what you’re listening to on Spotify using Vue.js and Nuxt.

We’ve all heard of Spotify. Launched back in 2008, the app offers millions of tracks from various legendary and upcoming artists. It allows you to create a playlist, follow other people or choose a playlist based on your mood.

But let’s take the app from another perspective today. Let’s build a two-page server-side rendered web application featuring a “Now Playing on Spotify” component. I’ll walk you through all of the steps of building a client-side application, building and connecting to a server API, as well as connecting to external API services.

Our project will be built using the Node.js and npm ecosystems, Github to store our code, Heroku as our host, Heroku’s Redis for our storage, and Spotify’s web API. The application and internal API will be build entirely using Nuxt’s system. Nuxt is a server-side-rendering framework that runs on Vuejs, Expressjs, Webpack, and Babeljs.

This tutorial is moderately complex, but is broken down into very consumable sections. You’ll find a working demo at cherislistening.heroku.com .

An image depicting the final product of the tutorial. Contains the information for the song “Break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored” by Ariana Grande with a link to the song on Spotify, and a photo of the album cover
Final result created with Nuxt.js, Redis, and Spotify. ( Large preview )


This tutorial requires knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript (ES6), and how to use command line or terminal. We’ll be working with Node.js and Vuejs ; a basic understanding of both will be helpful before starting this tutorial. You’ll also need to have Xcode Tools installed if you are on MacOS.

If you prefer to reverse-engineer, you can fork the repository .

More after jump! Continue reading below ↓

Table Of Contents

  1. Planning Our Application
    We’ll lay out our expected functionality and a visual representation of what we plan to see when we are finished.
  2. Setting Up And Creating Our Project
    We’ll walk through how to setup an application hosted on Heroku’s server, setup auto-deployment from Github, setup Nuxt using the command line tools, and get our local server running.
  3. Building Our API Layer
    We’ll learn how to add an API layer to our Nuxt application, how to connect to Redis, and Spotify’s web API.
  4. Client-Side Storage And State Management
    We’ll look at how we can leverage the built-in Vuex store to keep what’s playing up to date. We’ll set up our initial data connections our API.
  5. Building The Pages And Components
    We’ll take a brief look into how pages and components differ in Nuxt, and build two pages and a couple of components. We’ll use our data to build our Now Playing app and some animations.
  6. Publishing Our Application
    We’ll get our app onto GitHub and built on Heroku’s server, authenticate and share with everyone what music we’re listening to.

Planning Our Application

The most important step before we start any new project is to plan our goals. This will help us establish a set of requirements for accomplishing our goals.

  • How many pages are there?
  • What do we want on our pages?
  • Do we want our Spotify “Now Playing” component present on both of our pages?
  • Do we want a progress bar to show listeners where we are in the song?
  • How do we want our pages laid out?

These are the types of questions that will help us draft our requirements.

Let’s build out two pages for our application. First, we want a landing page with our “Now Playing” component. Our second page will be our authentication area where we connect our data to Spotify. Our design is going to be very minimalistic, to keep things simple.

For our “Now Playing” component, let’s plan on showing the progress of the track as a bar, the name of the track, the artist’s name, and the album art. We’ll also want to show an alternate state showing the most recent track played, in case we aren’t currently listening to anything.

Since we are dealing with Spotify’s API, we’ll have special tokens for accessing the data from our site. For security purposes, we don’t want to expose these tokens on the browser. We also only want our data, so we’ll want to ensure that we are the only user who can login to Spotify.

The first issue we find in planning is that we have to login to Spotify. This is where our Redis cache storage comes in. Spotify’s API will allow to permanently connect your Spotify account to an application with another special token. Redis is a highly performant in-memory data structure server. Since we are dealing with a token, a simple key:value storage system works well. We want it to be fast so we can retrieve it while our application is still loading.

Heroku has its own Redis cache service built in, so by using Heroku for our server, host, and storage, we can manage everything in one place. With the added benefit of auto-deployment, we can do everything from our console with commands in terminal. Heroku will detect our application language from our push, and will build and deploy it without much configuration.

Setting Up And Creating Our Project

Install Nodejs

Grab the right package for your OS here: https://nodejs.org/en/download/

										$ node --version v10.0.1

Install git

Follow the instructions for your OS here: https://git-scm.com/book/en/v2/Getting-Started-Installing-Git

									$ git --version git version 2.14.3 (Apple Git-98)

Sign Up For GitHub

Follow the instructions here: https://github.com/join and https://help.github.com/articles/set-up-git/ .

Create a repository: https://help.github.com/articles/create-a-repo/

Clone the repository: https://help.github.com/articles/cloning-a-repository/

I named mine “cherislistening”. Here’s what my clone looks like:

								$ git clone https://github.com/cherscarlett/cherislistening.git Cloning into `cherislistening`... remote: Counting objects: 4, done. remote: Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done. remove: Total 4 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0) Unpacking objects: 100% (4/4), done. $ cd cherislistening/

Install And Setup Heroku

Sign up for Heroku here: https://signup.heroku.com/

Download and install the Command Line Interface (CLI): https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/heroku-cli#download-and-install

We’ll need to login and create our app, along with setting up some configuration variables. I named my app “cherislistening”. You can also leave off the -a command and Heroku will give you a randomly generated name. You can always change it later. The url of your app will be https:// .herokuapp.com .

Nuxt requires some specific configuration to build and run properly, so we’ll add those now to get them out of the way.

								$ heroku –version heroku/7.19.4 darwin-x64 node-v11.3.0

​$ heroku login heroku: Press any key to open up the browser to login or q to exit: Logging in… done Logged in as cher.scarlett@gmail.com

$ heroku create -a cherislistening

​$ heroku config:set CLIENT_URL= https://cherislistening.herokuapp.com API_URL=/ HOST= NODE_ENV=production NPM_CONFIG_PRODUCTION=false Setting CLIENT_URL, API_URL, HOST, NODE_ENV, NPM_CONFIG_PRODUCTION and restarting ⬢ cherislistening… done, v1 API_URL: / CLIENT_URL: https://cherislistening.herokuapp.com HOST: NODE_ENV: production NPM_CONFIG_PRODUCTION: false

Go to the Heroku dashboard and click into your newly created app. In the ‘Deploy’ tab, connect to your Github account, select the repository you cloned, and enable auto deploys from the Master branch.

Github selected on a screenshot of the dashboard area of Heroku
Github selected in the Heroku dashboard ( Large preview )
Repository selection in Github on a screenshot of the dashboard area of Heroku
Repository selection in Github ( Large preview )
Automatic deployment setup with Github on a screenshot of the dashboard area of Heroku
Automatic deployment setup with Github ( Large preview )

Create Nuxt App

We’ll use npx to create our Nuxt application. Npm is a great ecosystem for managing Node.js packages, but to run a package, we must install it and add it to our package.json file. That isn’t very useful if we want to execute a single package one time, and installing something isn’t really necessary. This makes npx suitable for executing packages that compose file trees, adding boilerplates, and install the packages you need during execution.

					$ npx --version 6.4.1

npx is shipped by default in npm 5.2.0+, so it is highly recommended we upgrade npm instead of globally installing npx. If you just installed a fresh version of node.js, you should have current npm and npx.

The Nuxt.js team has created a scaffolding tool which will give your application the basic structure required to run. Make sure you’re in your new project’s folder before running the command.

					$ npx create-nuxt-app npx: installed 407 in 5.865s > Generating Nuxt.js project in /Users/cstewart/Projects/personal/tutorials/cherislistening ? Project name cherislistening ? Project description A Spotify Now Playing App ? Use a custom server framework none ? Choose features to install Prettier, Axios ? Use a custom UI framework none ? Use a custom test framework none ? Choose rendering mode Universal ? Author name Cher Scarlett ? Choose a package manager npm

npm notice created a lockfile as package-lock.json . You should commit this file.

To get started:

			npm run dev

To build and start for production:

		npm run build npm start

npm notice created a lockfile as package-lock.json . You should commit this file.

To get started:

	npm run dev

To build & start for production:

	npm run build npm start

Every folder within the scaffolding comes with a README file. This file will give you the basics for how the folder works, and whether or not it’s needed. We will talk about the folders we’ll use as we get to them in the tutorial.

	.nuxt/ assets/ |___README.md components/ |___Logo.vue |___README.md layouts/ |___default.vue |___README.md middleware/ |___README.md node_modules/ pages/ |___index.vue |___README.md plugins/ |___README.md static/ |___favicon.co |___README.md store/ |___README.md .gitignore .prettierrc LICENSE nuxt.config.js package-lock.json package.json README.md

We’ll need to make a change to package.json so that when we deploy to Heroku, our build process will run. In “scripts”, we’ll add "heroku-postbuild": "npm run build" . Don’t forget to add a comma after the previous line in the object.

	"scripts": { "dev": "nuxt", "build": "nuxt build", "start": "nuxt start", "generate": "nuxt generate", "heroku-postbuild": "npm run build" },


If you run npm run dev, and go to https://localhost:3000 in your browser, you should see the scaffolded app running:

A screenshot of the initial Nuxt application. The initial application contains the title of the application, Nuxt’s animated logo, and links to Nuxt’s documentation
Initial state of Nuxt application after scaffolding ( Large preview )

Install Redis

Open a new terminal or command line tab and change directories (cd) into your project’s parent folder. Download redis and run make. If you’re on Windows, you’ll need to check out https://github.com/MicrosoftArchive/redis/releases .

	$ cd ../ $ wget https://download.redis.io/releases/redis-5.0.3.tar.gz $ tar xzf redis-5.0.3.tar.gz $ cd redis-5.0.3 $ sudo make install cd src && /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/make install

Hint : It is a good idea to run ‘make test’. 😉

	INSTALL install INSTALL install INSTALL install INSTALL install INSTALL install $ redis-server --version Redis server v=5.0.3 sha=00000000:0 malloc=libc bits=64 build=bfca7c83d5814ae0 $ redis-server --daemonize yes

That will start our redis server as a background process and we can close this tab. The local redis server will be running at .

In our tab with our project running, type Ctrl + C to kill the server. We’ll need to install a redis package for node, and provision our Heroku Redis instance.

		$ npm install async-redis --save npm WARN eslint-config-prettier@3.6.0 requires a peer of eslint@>=3.14.1 but none is installed. You must install peer dependencies yourself. + async-redis@1.1.5 added 5 packages from 5 contributors and audited 14978 packages in 7.954s found 0 vulnerabilities $ heroku addons:create heroku-redis Creating heroku-redis on ⬢ cherislistening... free Your add-on should be available in a few minutes. ! WARNING: Data stored in hobby plans on Heroku Redis are not persisted. redis-metric-84005 is being created in the background. The app will restart when complete... Use heroku addons:info redis-metric-84005 to check creation progress Use heroku addons:docs heroku-redis to view documentation

Because we are using a hobby account, we don’t have a backup of our data. If our instance needs rebooted, we’ll need to re-authenticate to get a new key. Our application will also sleep on the free account, so some initial visits will be a little slow, while the app is “waking up”.

Our new app will be live at https://cherislistening.herokuapp.com/ , where ‘cherislistening’ is whatever you named your Heroku application.

A screenshot of the initial Heroku hosted application. The initial parked page says “Welcome to your new app!” and contains a link to Heroku’s documentation
Default parked page for our new Heroku app ( Large preview )

Sign Up For A Spotify Developer Account

This requires a Spotify account. Make note that every use of Spotify’s API must adhere to their brand guidelines .

Create a Client ID at https://developer.spotify.com/dashboard/applications .

Take the Client ID and the Client Secret , which you can find if you click on the green card into your new application’s details, and export them to Heroku as configuration variables. Keep these safe and secret! If you believe your client secret has been exposed, you can get a new one, but you’ll need to update your application’s configuration as well.

A screenshot of the client ID and client secret tokens in Spotify’s dashboard - the client ID and client secret have been blurred out
Never share your client ID and client secret tokens! ( Large preview )
	$ heroku config:set CLIENT_ID=
			Setting CLIENT_ID, CLIENT_SECRET and restarting ⬢ cherislistening... done, v3 CLIENT_ID:

On the top right side of the application dashboard, there is a Settings button. Click that and add in two callback URLs for whitelisting. You’ll need a local callback URL and one for your production server (the Heroku URL we got during setup).

A screenshot of edit settings in Spotify’s dashboard. Under redirect URIs, two entries have been added: ‘https://localhost:3000/api/callback’ and ‘https://cherislistening.herokuapp.com/api/callback’.
Whitelisted callback URLs in Spotify’s dashboard ( Large preview )

Spotify has fantastic developer documentation , including a great reference interface for testing endpoints. We’ll need to get our user ID to save to our configuration variables, so let’s do that with Get Current User’s Profile . Get an auth token from their console, selecting the user-read-private scope. Click “Try It”, and in the right-hand column look for your ID. We’ll use this identifier to make sure no one else can sign into our app.

				$ heroku config:set SPOTIFY_USER_ID=
					Setting SPOTIFY_USER_ID and restarting ⬢ cherislistening... done, v4 SPOTIFY_USER_ID:

As we discussed, we will have data we wouldn’t want exposed to the public. Two of these are clientId and clientSecret we were given by Spotify, and another which Heroku exported for us to access our Redis cache on the server. We’ll need to grab those for our local development as well.

			$ heroku config === cherislistening Config Vars API_URL: / CLIENT_URL: https://cherislistening.herokuapp.com HOST: NODE_ENV: production NPM_CONFIG_PRODUCTION: false REDIS_URL:
							$ touch .env

We’ll transfer the credentials Heroku returned in our terminal to our new file, .env , and we’ll make our client URL our local server, https://localhost:3000/ . We’ll need to make our Redis URL point to our local instance, too, which by default is redis:// . This file will be ignored by git.

				CLIENT_URL=https://localhost:3000/ REDIS_URL=redis:// SPOTIFY_CLIENT_ID=


In order to access the configuration on our local server, we’ll need to update the nuxt config. We’ll add another item to our modules array: @nuxtjs/dotenv . We’ll also need to import two of the variables we will need available on the client-side of our application. We’ll add an env object following modules.

					/* ** Nuxt.js modules */ modules: [ // Doc: https://axios.nuxtjs.org/usage '@nuxtjs/axios', '@nuxtjs/dotenv' ], env: { spotifyId: process.env.SPOTIFY_CLIENT_ID, clientUrl: process.env.CLIENT_URL }


Building Our API Layer


Nuxt has two separate methods for executing server-side code.

In a single-file component (SFC), you have access to the middleware property , which corresponds with the middleware folder in your scaffolding. The drawback with this middleware for our use-case is that while it will execute server-side when your page is loaded or refreshed, it will execute client-side once your app is mounted, and when you navigate with nuxt’s routes.

The other option is what we’re looking for. We’ll create our own directory and add it as serverMiddleware to our config. Nuxt creates its own express instance, so we can write middleware registered to its stack that will only run on the server. This way, we can protect our private data from exploitation. Let’s add an api folder and index.js to handle our API endpoints.

			$ mkdir api $ touch api/index.js

Next, we’ll need to add our directory to our config so it registers when we start our server. Let’s open up the file nuxt.config.js at the root of our app. This file gives us our HTML , as well as connecting anything to our client at build time. You can read more about the config in the docs .

We’ll add our api directory to our config file,

			}, serverMiddleware: ['~/api'] }


While we are developing, our changes will require rebuilds and server reboots. Since we don’t want to have to do this manually, nuxt installs nodemon for us, which is a “hot reload” tool. This just means it will reboot the server and rebuild our app when we save our changes.

Since we’ve added our API as serverMiddleware to Nuxt’s, we’ll need to add our directory to the config. We’ll add watch to our build object, and add the relative path from root.

	*/** *** Build configuration* **/* build: { watch: ['api'], /* ** You can extend webpack config here */ extend(config, ctx) {} }, serverMiddleware: ['~/api'],


We’ll also need to change our dev script in package.json to restart the server. We’ll need to make it nodemon --watch api --exec \"nuxt\" :

	"scripts": { "dev": "nodemon --watch api --exec \"nuxt\"", "build": "nuxt build", "start": "nuxt start", "generate": "nuxt generate", "heroku-postbuild": "npm run build" },


Now we don’t have to worry about rebooting and restarting our server manually every time we make a change. 🎉

Let’s start our local development server.

	$ npm run dev

Data Flow, Storage, And Security

Before we start writing our API layer, we’ll want to plan how we move data from external sources to our client. We’ve set up a Redis cache server, signed up for Spotify API, and set up a structure that has a client layer and a server layer. The client has pages and a store where we can store and render our data. How do these work together to keep our authentication data safe and drive our Now Playing component?

A model drawn to show how we will move our data through our application - in the center is our internal API layer - connected to it, flowing data in two ways is Spotify’s API, Redis Storage, and the client - the client is further divided into a Vue Page and the Vuex Store
Data flow plan in a chart ( Large preview )

Any information we want to keep long-term, or for new incoming connections, we’ll want to store on the server. We can’t log into Spotify when other users visit our app, so we’ll need want to ensure that new client connections can bypass authentication by accessing our special service token. We’ll want to keep track of our own Spotify login so that only our own connection is approved by the API, and we’ll want a track ready to show in case we can’t connect to Spotify’s API for some reason.

So, we’ll need to plan on storing our Spotify refresh_token , our Spotify userId , and our lastPlayedTrack in our Redis Cache.

Everything else can safely be stored in our client’s vuex store. The store and the pages (including their components) will pass data back and forth using nuxt’s architecture, and we’ll talk to the Redis cache and Spotify’s API via our own server’s API.

Writing The API

Nuxt comes with the express framework already installed, so we can import it and mount our server application on it. We’ll want to export our handler and our path, so that nuxt can handle our middleware.

	import express from 'express' const app = express() module.exports = { path: '/api/', handler: app }


We’ll need a few endpoints and functions to handle the services we need:

  • POST to our Redis Cache
  • Spotify last played track
  • Name
  • Artists
  • Album Cover Asset URL
  • Spotify refresh_token
  • Spotify access_token
  • Status of Spotify Connection
  • GET from our Redis Cache
  • Same as POST
  • Callback from Spotify
  • Refresh our Spotify access_token
  • GET recently played tracks from Spotify
  • GET currently playing track from Spotify

This may seem like a lot of calls, but we will combine and add small bits of logic where it makes sense as we write.

The Basics Of Writing An Endpoint In Expressjs

We’ll use express’s get() method to define most of our endpoints. If we need to send complex data to our API, we can use the post() method.

But what if we could do both? We can accept multiple methods with all() .

Let’s add the first route we’ll need, which is our connection to our Redis Cache. We’ll name it spotify/data . The reason we’re naming it based on spotify rather than redis is because we’re handling information from Spotify, and Redis is simply a service we’re using to handle the data. spotify is more descriptive here, so we know what we’re getting, even if our storage service changes at some point.

For now, we’ll add only a res.send() :

	import express from 'express' const app = express() app.all('/spotify/data/:key', (req, res) => { res.send('Success! 🎉\n') }) module.exports = { path: '/api/', handler: app }


Let’s test to make sure everything is working properly. Open a new tab in your terminal or command line, to ensure your nuxt server continues running and run the following cURL command:

	$ curl https://localhost:3000/api/spotify/data/key Success! 🎉

As you can see, res.send() returned the message we included in response to our GET request. This is how we will return the data we retrieve from Spotify and Redis to the client, too.

Each one of our endpoints will have the same basic structure as our first one.

The image depicts the endpoint path as spotify/data, the param as /:key, request as req, and response as res
Breakdown of an API endpoint function in Expressjs ( Large preview )

It will have a path, /spotify/data/ , it may have a param, like :key , and on request, express will return a request object, req , and a response object, res . req will have the data we send with to the server, res is waiting to handle what we want to do after we complete any procedures within our function.

Connecting To The Redis Cache

We’ve already seen that we can return data back to our client with res.send() , but we may also want to send a res.status() . When we have an issue reaching Spotify (or our Redis cache), we’ll want to know so we can gracefully handle the error, instead of crashing our server, or crashing the client. We’ll also want to log it, so we can be informed about failures on applications we build and service.

Before we can continue with this endpoint, we’ll need access to our Redis Cache. During setup, we installed async-redis , which will help us easily access our cache from Heroku. We’ll also need to add our dotenv config so we can access our redis URL.

	import redis from 'async-redis' require('dotenv').config() // Redis function connectToRedis() { const redisClient = redis.createClient(process.env.REDIS_URL) redisClient.on('connect', () => { console.log('\n🎉 Redis client connected 🎉\n') }) redisClient.on('error', err => { console.error(`\n🚨 Redis client could not connect: ${err} 🚨\n`) }) return redisClient }


By default, redis.createClient() will use host and port 6379 , but because our production redis instance is at a different host, we will grab the one we put in our config.

We should add some console commands on the connect and error listeners the redisClient provides us. It’s always good to add logging, especially during development, so if we get stuck and something isn’t working, we’ve got a lot of information to tell us what’s wrong.

We need to handle the following cases in our API layer:

  • POST to our Redis Cache
  • Spotify lastPlayedTrack
  • Title
  • Artist
  • Album Cover Asset URL
  • Spotify vrefresh_token
  • Spotify access_token
  • GET from our Redis Cache
  • Same as POST
	async function callStorage(method, ...args) { const redisClient = connectToRedis() const response = await redisClient[method](...args) redisClient.quit() return response }


Since we are requesting data from an external resource, we’ll want to use async/await to let our program know that this endpoint contains a function that always returns a promise, and that we’ll need wait for it to be returned before continuing.

In our arguments, we pull out our required, known argument method, and assign the rest ( ... ) of the parameters to the scoped const args.

We make a call to our redis client using bracket notation , allowing us to pass a variable as the method. We again use the spread operator, ... to expand our args Array into a list of arguments with the remaining items. A call to https://localhost:3000/api/spotify/data/test?value=1 would result in a call to the redis client of redisClient['set']('test', 1) . Calling redisClient['set']() is exactly the same as calling redisClient.set() .

Make a note that we must quit() to close our redis connection each time we open it.

	function storageArgs(key, ...{ expires, body, ...props }) { const value = Boolean(body) ? JSON.stringify(body) : props.value return [ Boolean(value) ? 'set' : 'get', key, value, Boolean(expires) ? 'EX' : null, expires ].filter(arg => Boolean(arg)) }


We know that we can get two types of inputs: either a JSON body or a string value. All we really need to do is check if body exists, and we’ll assume it’s JSON and stringify it. Otherwise, we’ll use props.value . If it’s empty, it will be null. We’ll assign whichever we get back from the ternary statement to the const value. Make note that we are not destructuring value from the rest ( ... ) of props because we need to assign body to value if it exists.

The first index of the array we are returning, position , will be the method we call on the redis client. We’re making a Boolean check in case something other than null is passed, like undefined. If there is a value, this will return true and our method will be set. If false, get .

Index 1 and index 2 are our key and value, respectively.

The 3 rd and 4 th positions are used to set an expiration date on the key. This comes in handy for our access_token , which will expire every few minutes to protect the integrity of our application.

As you may have suspected, we don’t want a null or undefined value in our array, so if there is no value, we’ll want to remove it. There are several ways to handle this, but the most readable is to use Array’s method filter() . This creates a new Array, removing any items that don’t match our condition. Using a Boolean() type coercion, we can check for a true or false. A null or undefined argument in our array will be removed, leaving us with an array of arguments we can trust to return back to the caller.

	const app = express() app.use(express.json()) // Express app app.all('/spotify/data/:key', async ({ params: { key } }, res) => { try { if (key === ('refresh_token' || 'access_token')) throw { error: '🔒 Cannot get protected stores. 🔒' } const reply = await callStorage(...storageArgs(key)) res.send({ [key]: reply }) } catch (err) { console.error(`\n🚨 There was an error at /api/spotify/data: ${err} 🚨\n`) res.send(err) } })


Make note of app.use(express.json()) . This gives us access to body on the request object. We’ll also be wrapping our endpoint procedures in try/catch blocks so we don’t wind up with uncaught errors. There are other ways to handle errors, but this is the simplest for our application.

Note : Check out this awesome demo of different errors by Wes Bos on Error Handling in Nodejs with async/await .

We want to make sure that this endpoint doesn’t return any of the data we’re trying to hide, so after we grab our key by destructuring the request object, we’ll throw an error letting the client know they can’t get those stores. Make note that when we know the structure of an incoming Object’s structure in JavaScript ES6, we can use curly braces to pull out variable names using the Object’s keys.

	const reply = await callStorage(...storageArgs(key))


We’re calling the function named callStorage . Because we may have 3 or 4 arguments, we’re passing in rest parameters using a spread of our args Array. In the call, above, we use ... to expand an Array into our list of arguments of an unknown size, which are built from the function StorageArgs() .

	res.send({ [key]: reply }) } catch (err) { console.error(`\n🚨 There was an error at /api/spotify/data: ${err} 🚨\n`) res.send(err) } })


Now that we have our reply from the redis client, we can send it to the client via the response Object’s method send() . If we POSTed to our cache, we’ll get a 1 back from the server if it’s a new key and if we replaced an existing key. (We’ll want to make a mental note of that for later.) If there’s an error, we’ll catch it, log it, and send it to the client.

We’re ready to call the redis client and begin setting and getting our data.

The image maps a test parameter in the API endpoint to the key argument in the Redis client call function, and a query of value set to 1 mapped to the second argument of value
Mapping an endpoint to a Redis server call ( Large preview )

Now let’s send a few test cURLs to our API endpoint in our command line or Terminal:

	$ curl --request POST https://localhost:3000/api/spotify/data/test?value=Hello {"test": 1} $ curl https://localhost:3000/api/spotify/data/test {"test": "Hello"} $ curl --request POST \ https://localhost:3000/api/spotify/data/bestSong \ --header 'Content-Type: application/json' \ --data '{ "name": "Break up with ur gf, I'\'’m bored", "artist": "Ariana Grande" }' {"bestSong": 1} $ curl https://localhost:3000/api/spotify/data/bestSong {"bestSong":"{\"name\":\"Break up with ur gf, I’m bored\",\"artist\":\"Ariana Grande\"}"}

Connecting With Spotify

Our remaining to-do list has shrunk considerably:

  • Callback from Spotify
  • Refresh our Spotify access_token
  • GET recently played track from Spotify
  • GET currently playing track from Spotify

A callback is a function that must be executed following the completion of a prior function. When we make calls to Spotify’s API, they will “call us back”, and if something isn’t quite right, Spotify’s server will deny us access to the data we requested.

	import axios from 'axios'


Our callback will need to do a couple of things. First, it will capture a response from Spotify that will contain a code we need temporarily. Then, we’ll need to make another call to Spotify to get our refresh_token , which you may recognize from our redis storage planning. This token will give us a permanent connection to Spotify’s API as long as we are on the same application logged in as the same user. We’ll also need to check for our userId for a match before we do anything else, to prevent other users from changing our data to their own. Once we confirm we are the logged in user, we can save our refresh_token and access_token to our redis cache. Because we’re making API calls in our callback function, we’ll need to import axios to make requests, which nuxt installed when we scaffolded the app.

Note that JavaScript has a native fetch() method, but it’s very common to see axios used instead, because the syntax is more user-friendly and legible.

	const getSpotifyToken = (props = {}) => axios({ method: 'post', url: 'https://accounts.spotify.com/api/token', params: { client_id: process.env.SPOTIFY_CLIENT_ID, client_secret: process.env.SPOTIFY_CLIENT_SECRET, redirect_uri: `${process.env.CLIENT_URL}/api/spotify/callback`, ...props }, headers: { 'Content-Type': 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded' } })


One of the benefits to using a function expression instead of an arrow function expression is that you have access to an inherit object called arguments which is mapped by index, you also get access to a contextual this object. While we don’t need access to a lexical this, since we’re only returning the response of our redisClient call, we can omit closures here and implicitly return the response of the call.

We’ll want to write a single function for getting Spotify tokens. The majority of the code for getting our refresh_token and access_token is basically the same, so we can write an axios POST boilerplate, and spread ( ... ) a props Object. Spreading an Object expands its properties into the context parent Object at the root depth, so if we spread { grant_type: 'refresh_token' } , our params Object will be extended to contain the properties of {client_id, client_secret, redirect_url, grant_type } . Again, we forego a return with an arrow function and opt for an implicit return since this function only returns a single response.

Note that we set props in the arguments as an empty Object ( {} ) by default just in case this function gets called without an argument. This way, nothing should break.

	const spotifyBaseUrl = 'https://api.spotify.com/v1/' const getUserData = access_token => axios.get(`${spotifyBaseUrl}me`, { headers: { withCredentials: true, Authorization: `Bearer ${access_token}` } })


In order to check to see we are the user who logged in via Spotify, we’ll write another implicitly returned arrow function expression and call Spotify’s Get Current User’s Profile method (the one we tested earlier to get our SPOTIFY_USER_ID ). We set a const here with the base API URL because we will use it again in our other calls to the library. Should this ever change in the future (like for Version 2), we’ll only have to update it in once.

We now have all of the functions we need to write our callback endpoint. Make note of the fact that this will be a client-facing endpoint.

	app.get('/spotify/callback', async ({ query: { code } }, res) => { try { const { data } = await getSpotifyToken({ code, grant_type: 'authorization_code' }) const { access_token, refresh_token, expires_in } = data const { data: { id } } = await getUserData(access_token) if (id !== process.env.SPOTIFY_USER_ID) throw { error: "🤖 You aren’t the droid we’re looking for. 🤖" } callStorage(...storageArgs({ key: 'is_connected', value: true })) callStorage(...storageArgs({ key: 'refresh_token', value: refresh_token })) callStorage( ...storageArgs({ key: 'access_token', value: access_token, expires: expires_in }) ) const success = { success: '🎉 Welcome Back 🎉' } res.redirect(`/auth?message=${success}`) } catch (err) { console.error( `\n🚨 There was an error at /api/spotify/callback: ${err} 🚨\n` ) res.redirect(`/auth?message=${err}`) }


Our callback endpoint must match the URL we added to our settings in the Spotify dashboard exactly. We used /api/spotify/callback , so we’ll get at /spotify/callback here. This is another async function, and we need to destructure code from the request object.

We call the function we wrote earlier, getSpotifyToken() , to get our first access_token , our refresh_token , and our first expires_in . We’ll want to save all three of these to our redis cache, using redis’ set method’s built-in key timeout command to expire our access_token in expires_in seconds. This will help us set up a system of refreshing our access_token when we need it. Redis will set the access_token to null after the time to live (TTL) has reached 0 milliseconds.

Now that we have an access_token , we can make sure that the user who connected is us. We call getUserData() , the function we wrote earlier, and destructure the ID to compare to the user ID we saved to our environment configuration. If it’s not a match, we’ll throw an error message.

After we’re sure that our refresh_token is trusted, we can save our tokens to our redis cache. We call callStorage again — once for each token.

Make note that redis does have methods for setting multiple keys, but because we want to expire our access_token , we need to use set() .

Since this is a client-facing endpoint, we’ll redirect to a URL and append a success or error message for the client to interpret. We’ll set this path up later on the client side.

We’ll need to retrieve our access_token and refresh it if necessary before we call any other Spotify endpoints. Let’s write an async function to handle that.

	async function getAccessToken() { const redisClient = connectToRedis() const accessTokenObj = { value: await redisClient.get('access_token') } if (!Boolean(accessTokenObj.value)) { const refresh_token = await redisClient.get('refresh_token') const { data: { access_token, expires_in } } = await getSpotifyToken({ refresh_token, grant_type: 'refresh_token' }) Object.assign(accessTokenObj, { value: access_token, expires: expires_in }) callStorage(...storageArgs('access_token', { ...accessTokenObj })) } redisClient.quit() return accessTokenObj.value }


We assign a const accessTokenObj to an Object with the value of our redis get('access_token') . If the value is null, we’ll know it’s expired and we need to refresh it. After getting our refresh_token from our cache, and getting a new access_token , we’ll assign our new values to accessTokenObj , set() them in redis, and return the access_token .

Let’s get write our endpoint for getting the currently-playing track. Since we’ll only want recently-played if there’s nothing currently playing, we can write a function for our endpoint to call that handles getting that data if it’s needed.

	app.get('/spotify/now-playing/', async (req, res) => { try { const access_token = await getAccessToken() const response = await axios.get( `${spotifyBaseUrl}me/player/currently-playing?market=US`, { headers: { withCredentials: true, Authorization: `Bearer ${access_token}` } } ) const { data } = response setLastPlayed(access_token, data) const reply = await callStorage('get', 'last_played') res.send({ item: JSON.parse(reply), is_playing: Boolean(data.is_playing), progress_ms: data.progress_ms || 0 }) } catch (err) { res.send({ error: err.message }) } }) async function setLastPlayed(access_token, item) { if (!Boolean(item)) { const { data } = await axios.get( `${spotifyBaseUrl}me/player/recently-played?market=US`, { headers: { withCredentials: true, Authorization: `Bearer ${access_token}` } } ) postStoredTrack(data.items[0].track) } else { postStoredTrack(item) } } function postStoredTrack(props) { callStorage( ...storageArgs({ key: 'last_played', body: props }) ) }


The endpoint gets the Get the User’s Currently Playing Track endpoint and the async function setLastPlayed() calls the Get Current User’s Recently Played Tracks if nothing is returned from currently-playing. We’ll call our last function postStoredTrack() with whichever one we have, and retrieve it from our cache to send to the client. Note the we cannot omit the else closure because we aren’t returning anything in the if closure.

Vuex: Client-Side Storage And State Management

Now that we have middleware to connect to our services by proxy , we can connect those services to our client-side application. We’ll want our users to have automatic updates when we change songs, pause, rewind, or fast-forward, and we can handle those changes with state management .

State is our application’s way of holding onto information in real-time. It is how our application remembers the data it uses, and any changes to that data. State is really a short way of saying “the state of the system’s data”. The state of a Vue application is held in a user’s browser session, and with certain patterns, we can trigger various events to mutate that state. When the state changes, our application can update without requiring storage or server calls.

The pattern we’ll use is called a store pattern . This gives us a single source of truth as a user moves about our application (even though we’ll only have two pages for this particular app).

Vue’s component lifecycle adds the necessary one-way bindings we need, and Nuxt comes with Vuex that does all of the heavy lifting when our data changes. We will want our state to be constantly updating, but we won’t to call our API every few milliseconds to keep a progress bar moving. Instead of constantly polling our API, and reaching Spotify’s rate limit , we can lean on Vuex setters to continuously update the state of our bindings.

The data we’ll be dealing with will only be bound one-way. This means that our component and page views can get the data in store, but in order to mutate that data, they will need to call an action in the store.

A model drawn to show how data flows one way in our app - in the center is our Vuex store, which sends data our view, the pages and components - the view calls actions to mutate the model, which in turn update the Vuex store
One way data flow in our application ( Large preview )

As you can see, the data only moves one way. When our application starts, we’ll instantiate our models with some default data, then we will hydrate the state in a middleware function expression built into Nuxt’s implementation of Vuex called nuxtServerInit() . After the application is running, we will periodically rehydrate the store by dispatching actions in our pages and components.

Here’s the basic structure we’ll need to activate a store in store/index.js :

	// instantiated defaults on state export const state = () => { property: null } // we don’t edit the properties directly, we call a mutation method export const mutations = { mutateTheProperty (state, newProperty) { // we can perform logical state changes to the property here state.property = newProperty } } // we can dispatch actions to edit a property and return its new state export const actions = { updateProperty: ({ commit, state }, newProperty) => { commit('mutateTheProperty', newProperty) return state.property // will equal newProperty and trigger subscribers to re-evaluate } }

Once you feel comfortable, you can set up more shallow modular stores , which Nuxt implements based on your file structure in store/ . We’ll use only the index module.

	$ touch store/index.js

	export const state = () => ({ isConnected: false, message: null, nowPlaying: {}, recentlyPlayed: {}, trackProgress: 0, isPlaying: false })


We’re going to need a few models to instantiate the state when our app starts. Note that this must be a function that returns an Object.

  • isConnected : tells us if we’re already connected via Spotify.
  • message : tells us if there’s an error during authentication (we set these up in the API on our callback endpoint).
  • nowPlaying : the song (track) Object that is currently or recently playing.
  • recentlyPlayed : the track most recently played.
  • trackProgress : the amount of the track that has already played (a percentage).
  • isPlaying : if the nowPlaying track is currently being played.

To update these, we’ll need to add mutations for each model. You can mutate more than one model in a mutation function, but to keep things digestible, we’re going to write a flat mutations object.

	export const mutations = { connectionChange(state, isConnected) { state.isConnected = isConnected }, messageChange(state, message) { state.message = message }, nowPlayingChange(state, nowPlaying) { state.nowPlaying = nowPlaying }, isPlayingChange(state, isPlaying) { state.isPlaying = isPlaying }, progressChange(state, { progress, duration }) { state.trackProgress = (progress / duration) * 100 }, recentlyPlayedChange(state, recentlyPlayed) { state.recentlyPlayed = recentlyPlayed } }


We’re not doing much in the way of data massaging for this app, but for progress we’ll need to calculate the percentage ourselves. We’ll return an exact number from 0-100.

		export const actions = { async nuxtServerInit({ commit }) { try { const redisUrl = `${clientUrl}/api/spotify/data/` const { data: { is_connected } } = await axios.get(`${redisUrl}is_connected`) commit('connectionChange', is_connected) if (Boolean(is_connected)) { const { data: { item, is_playing } } = await axios.get(`${clientUrl}/api/spotify/now-playing`) commit('nowPlayingChange', item) commit('isPlayingChange', is_playing) } } catch (err) { console.error(err) } }, updateProgress: ({ commit, state }, props) => { commit('progressChange', props) return state.trackProgress }, updateTrack: ({ commit, state }, nowPlaying) => { commit('nowPlayingChange', nowPlaying) return state.nowPlaying }, updateStatus: ({ commit, state }, isPlaying) => { commit('isPlayingChange', isPlaying) return state.isPlaying }, updateConnection: ({ commit, state }, isConnected) => { commit('connectionChange', isConnected) return state.isConnected } }


nuxtServerInit() will be run when our server starts automatically, and will check if we are connected to Spotify already with a query to our redis data endpoint. If it finds that the redis cache key of is_connected is true, it will call our “now-playing” end point to hydrate nowPlaying with live data from Spotify, or whatever is already in the cache.

Our other actions take our store object and destructure commit() and state with our new data, commit() the data to the store with our mutations, and return the new state to the client.

Building The Pages And Components

Now that we have our API setup to give us data from Spotify and our store, we’re ready to build our pages and components. While we’re only going to make a couple of small pieces in this tutorial for brevity, I encourage liberal creativity .

We’ll need to remove the initial pages that the Nuxt scaffolding added, and then we’ll add our components and pages.

		$ rm pages/index.vue components/Logo.vue layouts/default.vue $ touch pages/index.vue components/NowPlaying.vue components/Progress.vue

The basic structure of every layout, page, and component in a single file component is the same. In fact, every layout, page, and component in Nuxt is a Vue component .

You can read further usage outside of the scope of this tutorial on Vue’s component registration documentation. We’re just going to do everything in the file and use plain HTML and CSS.

The repository for the demo will contain some components and styles that are not in this tutorial in order to keep things a little less complex.



We need to start with the default layout ; this is the root of the application, where Vue will be mounted. The layout is a type of view , of which every page extends . This means that the HTML found in the layout will be the basis of all the html in every page we create.



In the template tag, we need a single root container, and is where our application will mount.

Note : In the demo code, I’ve added a

and a