Proprietary media in Arch Linux/Manjaro

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Ever since I started using Manjaro Arch Linux as my primary desktop I’ve been unable to get the Spotify web player to run in Vivaldi (actually any web browser, but Vivaldi is my favorite). So I’ve been stuck using the awful native Spotify player available on the AUR. I’m happy to report that I’ve just figured out how to get the web player working, and it’s super easy. Incidentally, some youtube videos also refuse to play (but not all) (?).

The Spotify web player relies on a plugin (?) called widevine which allows DRM-protected content to be played. This plugin doesn’t install when you install Vivaldi from the AUR, because something something free software open source, which is all fine and good but I want music and video. In fact, if you ls -l /opt/vivaldi you’ll notice there’s a symbolic link libwidevinecdm.so which points to /opt/google/chrome/libwidevinecdm.so. For me there was no file at this location, but a quick search turned up this help page which talks about enabling streaming of DRM-protected content. Helpfully, the Vivaldi team has provided a script which downloads and installs the plugin for you. After running the script and restarting Vivaldi, the problem was solved. Although I don’t have Netflix or HBO, presumably this fixes playback issues with those platforms as well.

Update: So I just switched over to Arch Linux, which is even more awesome than Manjaro, but was again unable to get proprietary content to play in Vivaldi, even after installing widevine. At this point, I’ve also followed the instructions for enabling proprietary media on linux. After doing all that, Youtube and Spotify work flawlessly.

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