Download Spotify Playlists on Your Mac with spotDL

Tom Lynch

Welcome, music enthusiasts! This guide is designed to help you easily download Spotify playlists to your Mac using spotdl spotify-downloader, even if you're new to using command-line tools.

Understanding the Basics

What is Terminal?

Navigating Folders in Terminal


First, let's install the following essentials:

  1. Python & pip: Usually pre-installed on Macs. Python
  2. FFmpeg: Required for processing audio files. FFmpeg
  3. Homebrew: A package manager for Mac. Homebrew

Installing Homebrew (If not already installed)

Homebrew simplifies the installation of software on Mac.

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Installing FFmpeg

Install FFmpeg using Homebrew:

brew install ffmpeg

Installing spotDL

Let's get spotdl spotify-downloader set up on your Mac, depending on your version of python either run:

pip install spotdl


pip3 install spotdl

Creating a Download Folder

Now, create a folder for your downloads:

Downloading a Spotify Playlist

Now you're ready to download your Spotify playlists:

  1. To get the Spotify playlist URL, go to the playlist in Spotify, click the three dots, 'Share', then 'Copy link to playlist'. Edit the link to remove everything after the "?".
  2. In Terminal, type:
    spotdl [Clean Spotify Playlist Link]
    Replace [Clean Spotify Playlist Link] with your link.

Troubleshooting Common Issues


Congratulations! You've now downloaded Spotify playlists to your Mac. Any questions or issues? Drop a comment below. Enjoy your music!

Optional: Downloading Higher Bitrate Music using YouTube Music

For better sound quality, spotdl enables downloads from YouTube Music at 256kbps.


Obtaining Cookies

Setting Up for High-Quality Downloads

  1. Change Quality Settings in YouTube Music.
  2. Use the --cookie-file option in your spotDL command, pointing to your cookies file.
  3. Select M4A or OPUS format with the --format option.
  4. Use --bitrate disable to skip bitrate conversion.

Example Command

spotdl --cookie-file path/to/your/cookies.txt --bitrate disable --audio youtube-music --format=m4a [Spotify Playlist Link]

For more details, check the spotDL documentation.

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