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Cannot Transfer Playback - Descriptor ID?

Cannot Transfer Playback - Descriptor ID?

Plan: Premium

Country: United States

Device: Macbook Pro

Operating System: Mojave

Browser: Chrome


My Question or Issue

I cannot transfer playback to my web app. This used to work just fine, but is throwing a new error I haven't seen before. I'm able to create the player, successfully connect to Spotify, and get a device ID. I can see it as expected when I call GET /devices.


When I call PUT on "/me/player" to transfer the playback (with the device ID in the body array "device_ids"), I get a 202 success status. 


In the console of my browser, I see this: 

"Uncaught CloudPlaybackClientError: Descriptor ID is null"

I cannot find any documentation on that error, or what playback_descriptor_id is. 


If I try to play anything after that, I get a 404 and "Player command failed: No active device found".

4 Replies

Hi @rhen321, welcome to the developer forum!

Thanks for bringing this up, I have not seen this particular error before. Are you seeing this problem with all types of content, or with a particular song, podcast or episode? 

Yes, all types of content are unplayable, since the Transfer User Playback PUT did not actually transfer playback. The device is not "active" if I call get all devices, even after a successful PUT. What is the Descriptor ID the error message is asking for? 


I have a hobby web app that I've already launched with this and it has worked wonderfully for a year, but now it's broken (no changes on my end) and I'm desperate to get it back to functional. 

@spotifyjosh is there any update here? I've contacted the support team three times and done my best to dig into this error, I have no idea how to fix it. This is broken on a live project for me and affecting hundreds of users. 

Hey rhen321,


Since I couldn't reproduce the issue, allow me to share with you the steps I followed in case it helps. For the test, I have used Chrome 99.0.4844.51 and Web Playback SDK v1.9.0-bb5ba1b. 


I started by creating a new Web Playback SDK instance (note that this instance does not receive the playback automatically). Then, I do a GET to /me/player/devices to see if the instance has been correctly registered. The response looks similar to this:


  "devices": [
      "id": "9912c96a1c1fd14247ab06708239d38f41a2181f",
      "is_active": false,
      "is_private_session": false,
      "is_restricted": false,
      "name": "Web Playback SDK",
      "type": "Computer",
      "volume_percent": 49
      "id": "2a34567134e3d0983823d0ad0319b6a14dbe78d1",
      "is_active": true,
      "is_private_session": false,
      "is_restricted": false,
      "name": "MYCOMPUTER",
      "type": "Computer",
      "volume_percent": 70

Finally, I transfer the playback by sending a POST to /me/player with the following body:


  "device_ids": [


Some questions to consider:

- Could you please check the Web Playback SDK version you are using?

- Did you, by mistake, modify/delete your app (along with the client credentials) in the dashboard?

- Are you getting the same error using a minimal setup? (e.g using the Web Playback SDK example from the Quick Start, and the Console to perform the API calls)

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