In the gutter

I’ve been messing around on the right side of the blog alot lately. Here’s what’s new.

I’ve felt the need for some way to post blurbs that either have no relevant link or don’t warrant the focus of the main flow. Thus, the micropost. Right now it is updated manually, but I am looking to automate. Gotta be an MT sideblog plugin or something, right?

The marginalia section is a link farm. I’m not quite done tagging the links themselves, but when I am that’ll start all kinds of fun. Like this.

Recently played tunes comes courtesy of the excellent Audioscrobbler service. If you have not checked this out yet, do. Basically, you install plugins for your audio programs (iTunes, etc.) and everything you listen to is logged at Audioscrobbler. Over time the site develops a very nuanced profile of your musical tastes. But the real value is in the social functions. You develop musical “neighbors” and can track musical “friends”. Best of all your profile powers a customized radio stream called Personalization and social computing done so right.

Two sidenotes on this section. First, like the marginalia, the recently played list is just an RSS feed formatted and served by RSS Digest, which I recommend. But the shortest refresh period is 30 minutes for RSS Digest and this really is not quick enough for the playlog feed. So I am exploring the MTRSSfeed plugin to take one step out of the process. Anyone had any luck with this?

Second, while Audioscrobbler has plugins for iTunes and syncs up with the recently played tracks on your iPod there was no “plugin” for the Audiotron networked audio device, the component that supplies music to the rest of my house. Not tracking the Audiotron would have meant radically skewing my listening profile since the genres I listen to throughout the house differ substantially from what I listen to in front of my computer. But, as happens so often on the web, as soon as you need something, it appears. Kelly Felkins posted a Perl script called Atronscrobbler for doing precisely what I needed. Not only that, but he was kind enough to make code revisions on-the-fly to get it to work for me. The script runs on a computer and just polls the Audiotron and pushes updates to Audioscrobbler. Now, with the exception of the kids’ music that is skewing my profile, I am completely covered. Anyone else have the Audiotron-Audioscrobbler combo going? If so, there’s a group devoted to it now.

The recommended music section is mostly the same, except that links to the iTunes Music Store now contain my affiliate code. If you don’t want Apple to make a micropayment to me for the referral then you can skip this. But why would you deprive me of these penny fractions? Note that, where possible, album info links to Also, I will link to un-DRM’ed files, if they exist, rather than to iTMS.

The outbound links section is redone and powered by Blogrolling. I’m not sure it is working entirely properly yet.

Lastly, the GeoURL badge links to this blog’s neighbors in meatspace.

There are other minor updates, but that’s the bulk of ’em. Thanks for reading.

See also: Marginalia

5 Responses to “In the gutter”

  1. Craig says :

    I’d like to see Audioscriobbler develop a plug in that would update your profile with the recently played tracks on your iPod. Since the iPod software keeps timestamps for all of your music, all it would need to do it automatically update each time you plug in…

  2. John says :

    I’m pretty sure this exists, Craig. The Mac iTunes plugin (iScrobbler) has a menu option for Update iPod. I think you click that after docking your iPod and before playing any music out of iTunes. Also, your iPod has to be set to auto-synch its recently played playlist. See for a bit more.

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  4. Dennis Scanland says :

    Any advice on how to make this work? I’ve got the Enable iPod Submissions checked with Recently Played playlist chosen. Recently Played is a smart playlist too. Is this how others have gotten it to work? I’ve also read places that if you have your iPod enabled for disk use that it may not work. True?

  5. John says :

    Dennis, I am pretty sure you need to have iTunes and the iPod automatically updating rather than manually updating. I prefer manual updating so I don’t actually get this feature with Audioscrobbler. When you are using the iPod in disk mode it does update to Audioscrobbler.