Tag Archives: Last.fm

Last.fm activity now in Complexlife

Last.fm is one of the top, if not the best music service out there and it’s something I’ve been using for quite a while now. While last.fm includes things like groups, friends, forums and other aspects of a social network, your activities in these was never provided. In the latest version these activities (new friends, loved songs etc) were shown in the form of a little block in the sidebar but unfortunately there has been no way to grab that for use in Complexlife.

I knew there is a way to get these activities somehow as Friendfeed does show you when you love a track but having asked directly about it in the forum, I was told that getting this in a feed was just not an option.

Fortunately web-mastered stepped up and created a yahoo pipe which grabs the last.fm latest activities API and returns it as a feed. Very useful but unfrotunately I noticed that it wasn’t exactly in the format I needed. If I used that in Complexlife then you would only see the title (a generic “New activity from <username>”) and having no date info in the feed, b0rked the sort by date of Simplepie.

Thus I had to modify the pipe in a way that

  1. Made the content become the title of the post (removing any html which might break Complexlife)
  2. Provide the date in the RSS so that the item can be sorted

Creating the title

It took me a while to figure it out, but making the content become the title was the easiest part of it all. Since yahoo pipes provides a handy renaming function, all I needed to do is tell it to rename the content as the title

Renaming the content as Title
Renaming the content as Title

The first part copies the whole content as the date field. I will later use this get the date. The second part renames the current content to the title so that it is displayed in whole. If I didn’t do it, I would get only part of the content displayed with elipsis after 30 characters or so.

Now I need to remove all the html code the activity stream has in. As it includes links to my profile as well as to artists and tracks, this would break the link complexlife puts for each row. The only way to remove the unecessary parts is of course through regular expressions and yahoo pipes gives exactly that function.

Removing the unecessary parts from the content
Removing the unnecessary parts from the content

This part actually goes before the renaming/copying as I remove various parts I also don’t need from the date field. Thus when I copy, I save duplicating the work.
The most interesting part is the previous the last field, wherein I tell it to remove all html tags (anything between < and >) and all their settings (i.e. target=”_blank”). Thus I’m left with the title in plain text.

Creating the date

This was a more tricky part as not only does the last.fm activity stream API consider it a good idea to put the date on the content but it also puts it in as a relevant entry to the current date.

Putting the date in the correct field was the easy part as all I needed to do was copy the content in the date field and remove everything except the date. As right before the date there was a fullstop, it was fairly simple to use another regex to delete anything until the last fullstop

The regular expression removes everything until the last fullstop
With a little regex magic, anything except the date is gone

The more difficult part was to make the relevant fuzzy date to become something that is expected to be in an RSS feed, which is something very specific in time and format. Fortunately, I noticed that there is a specific module that does exactly that: Date builder. How convenient.

Unfortunately this module accepts only strings so I could not really parse my whole feed through it unless I had a loop. Oh wait…

With a loop I can make all date items in the correct format
With a loop I can make all date items in the correct format

Sweetness. Unfortunately one problem remains which is that because the date provided is always fuzzy, I end up getting a rolling date for the item each time the pipe is run. For example, an item which has a date of “one month ago” today will point to Aug 28, tomorrow on Aug 29 etc. There’s not much I can do about it other than wait until (and if) last.fm deems it worthy to give us a proper feed.

And now my new shiny feed is in exactly the format I need to have for Complexlife to use it. A little hacking later and version 0.9.8 is ready to go. The last.fm activity stream is finally lifestreamable 🙂

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Lost the last

So after 3 years of faithful subscription to last.fm, I’ve finally been unsubscribed. This is because they stopped accepting Paypal subscription payments.

They did however give me 6 months for free so that’s alright 🙂 I think I’ll stay unsubscribed for a while and see how annoying it is for me.

Thoughts overload

This is one of the most thought-provoking, interesting and just fucking lengthy threads I have ever set eyes upon. I found it within a Last.fm group which is another reason why you should take another look at this service.

I am warning you that this is quite a lengthy thread, not because of the number of replies (it’s just 2 pages long currently), but because every fucking reply is a gawd damn Thesis!

Anyway, hop on to it y’all. I’ve already replied and I’m quite eager to see some more responses.

Last.fm Events

[tag]Last.fm[/tag] once more has done something extremely cool with its newest version. It’s called the event system and it allows you to find local events (gigs/concerts whatever) that are similar to your music taste and see who else is going or register that you will be attending.

This is one of the coolest ways to meet new people. Arrange to meet up for a concert and maybe for a beer afterwards.

You can also search for events by any number of factors, like band, date or location.

Excellent!

The other interesting update is the last.fm flash radio. No longer must you download the last.fm player from anywhere you need to listen to music. That seriously helps in case you want to listen from a place where you don’t have admin rights or are just in a hurry.
It still needs work as it seems. I’ve been trying it all morning and I get a lot of disconnection errors and heavy buffering but I expect that will be fixed sooner or later. It’s probably because of the amount of people trying it out and putting a strain on the servers.

Other new & interesting stuff are the free downloads and the tast-o-meter, but events in my humble opinion is teh shit!

Last.fm Beta

Το last.fm μπήκε σε beta φάση για το καινούργιο layout και οι subscribers είναι προσκαλεσμένοι να παίξουν μαζί του. Πρέπει να πω οτι h καινούργια έκδοση είναι εντυπωσιακή.

Μερικά απο τα καινούργια πράγματα είναι ένα Recommendations Ράδιο το οποίο φέρνει νέα ακούσματα αυτόματα ανάλογα με το τι προτιμάς να ακούς, Rolling Top Artist/Album Charts για 3, 6 ή 12 μήνες, βολικότερο layout για να βλέπεις με μια ματιά τι κάνουν οι φίλοι και γείτονες σου, ρόλους για τα γκρουπ που ανήκεις (Μουσικό ή Αναγνωστικό ωστε να μην σου στέλνει μουσικές προτάσεις απο ένα φιλοσοφικό group) και άλλα πολλά.

Μέχρι τώρα ότι έχω δει μ’αρεσει, ακόμα και ο μικρός διακόπτης φωτός στο επάνω μέρος που ουσιαστικά “κλείνει τα φώτα”, κάνοντας το Theme μάυρο (Black Metal & Goth fans rejoice).

Όλα αυτά, σε συνδυασμό με την ανάπτυξη που γίνεται στο [tag]Amarok[/tag] για την καλύτερη υποστήριξη του [tag]Last.fm[/tag], με κάνει πολύ χαρούμενο.

Ορίστε και μερικά Screenshots απο την νέα έκδοση.

DashboardLast Fm user Screen

Crappy First

Πήγαινε στο google και γράψε “Stop Crap” και δες το πρώτο link

C’est Moi!

Χα! Είμαι πρώτος σε ένα Google search εκτώς του ονόματος μου!

Που είναι οι σπονσορες να βγάλω και κάνα φράγκο; ε; Αντε σε τιμή ευκαιρίας.

Αυτό το screenshot σε περίπτωση που αλλάξει ποτε 😉
Stopping Crap at Google

Χωρίς την πλάκα, μιας και το ανέφερα. Διάβασε και το link. Είναι αρκετά ενδιαφέρον και εαν συμφωνείς, βοήθα.

website stat

Updates? What updates?

In case anyone reads this blog and may be wondering why I haven’t been updating the past few days (yeah right) the reason is that after the new Last.fm site came live, I have been busy making journals over there. They are mostly of a musical nature and I have even started my own small review chapter named R@W (Reviews at Work).

I do have some thing to write here about my recent vacations at Crabholes but I’m waiting to get my hands on the pictures in order to post things right, so hold on to yer drawers.
In the meantime, go and check amaroK! The new 1.3 version is out and it kicks some serious arse.

Super Scrobbler

Audioscrobbler has finally finished its update and it seems that the default user environment is Last.fm from now on.

The update was supposed to have finished by Monday but eventually, as these things usually do, it finished on Tuesday evening. I Managed to log in briefly at 1:30 am before going to bed and saw the page and skimmed through the new features. ‘Twas a bit slow.
Today I tried logging in again after coming to work but the site had b0rked and I kept getting errors or timeouts, probably the surge of traffic was too great (everyone logging in to see the new thing) and something crashed and burned. It came up after a few hours or so (It seems it was down for ~5 hours) and everything was running almost smoothly ever since. Even my winamp plugin, which couldn’t submit for the last week, managed to finally unload the ~400 songs it had in its cache.

The site layout looks great and is completely based on a scripting language instead of simple html which makes it look very cool. I would like some choice of themes but that can wait for now. It has many new features such as tagging, which is putting keywords on artists, albums or tracks for easy management and search and a personal journal.
The Journal is open but it is supposed to be used for music related things. Its neat feature is that it can link stuff through AS and put them as related terms in a sidebar (with thumbnails), making it easy for anyone reading it to locate them. I’ve already made two entries which you can find here if you so wish. I plan to use the journal as my personal review site so if you find my music taste to your liking you should check it out often.

Tagging is a great idea and I plan to use it heavily to make my collection easy to navigate and manage. Problem is that the profile editor is still a bit buggy and stops saving after using it for a while (it’s been trying to save a new tagset for two hours now ) but it can work in small batches. There is also another way to tag items, by using the tag button from the web page. It lets you easily tag items you are browsing.

I tried the new last.fm player as well. It seems they have turned from the web-based stream to a standalone program that you must install. It’s a nice idea because the web-based was not performing very well (at least for me) but they haven’t implemented proxy authentication which means I still cannot use it from work. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to use it afterward, since I do not know if the port it uses will be open from our firewall. An choice between the player and the web-player would be great at this point since not everyone has administrative rights to their computer (think employees in a company) or may want to use it on multiple computers where installing programs is not always an option.

There are some other nifty things I’ve found out such as a nice Similar Artists sidebar in every artist’s page (I’d like to know how they calculate that), an option to see a complete chart of your listening habits and not just the most popular, enhanced neighbor and friend page where it shows more info (such as their recent journal entries if any) and they even fixed the group charts that weren’t working before.

The forums seems to have been reduced in number now. The classic ones are still there but the plugins seem to have been merged.

All in all I find this a very exciting upgrade. Once the people learn the ropes and fill the place with tags and journals the AS experience will become unparalleled.
Amarok will have many things to implement, especially after the Audioscrobbler page (which is a developer’s repository now) comes up again.

Feeling good

Ever had one of those days where everything looks great? Well it’s such a day for me. I had a pretty nice night out yesterday, I’ve got a pretty nice day ahead of me, I feel like the king of the world! I am also without sleep and run on caffeine 🙂
So I’m at work, solving TNS listener problems, giving my debriefing, setting up Gentoo (which is currently stuck at emerge) and surfind the web. Nothing special.

I just found out that Anorimoi have a new web page. There are one of the greatest and funniest greek metal parody bands around. Manowar should phear these guys, what with albums like Farting the world 🙂
They are pretty decent music-wise as well so any metalheads should definitely check them out (and try to find a translation as well).

I still can’t make Gentoo at home to behave. amaroK keeps crashing for no obvious reason, when I use Alsa as well as OSS. Gkrellm also segfaulted constantly but it stopped doing it now, I think it may have been a specific plugin but I haven’t really changed anything. STFW didn’t help much 🙁

On the music note, it seems Audioscrobbler has stopped receiving submissions for some reason. It seems their server problems are harder than they make it seem but their front page wants to imply that there isn’t much to worry about. If anyone cared to check their status however it would seem that they don’t accept any submissions at all. Not much of a problem for me other than a bit annoying.

So, yeah I’m energetic!