After upgrading Winamp to its latest version (5.57), the Now Playing v2.1.2 plug-in I was using would cause Winamp to crash every time I closed Winamp which caused none of its settings to be saved. After some googling around I came across Brandon Fuller’s Now Playing: A Winamp Plugin which seemed to do what I needed. It would allow me to FTP a XML file containing information about the last X number of songs I played and would also let me send a HTTP post request to run a PHP script with the current song’s information contained within the $_POST variable. It calls this HTTP request a “ping”.
When this “ping” is sent, my PHP script parses the newly uploaded XML file to create the now playing images and song history (as seen on my Entertainment page), as well as a prepared Twitter message in a separate file should I choose to send a tweet out.
You can also send Twitter and Facebook updates using this plug-in. I’ve only tested it with Twitter and it seems to work; however, I use a separate PHP script to manually Tweet the song I’m currently listening to so I don’t fill my Twitter stream with song spam.
This plug-in does lack a couple things that the older one would do:
- Send an album cover image along with the rest of the song’s information in a $_POST variable such as a folder.jpg located in the same directory as the song; however, it will send a link to an Amazon album image if the information matches (sometimes it doesn’t match correctly or just can’t find one). I am working on a mechanism to get around some of these pitfalls by uploading album images and having my script check for the existence of the local album image first.
- Work with Shoutcast streams to extract out song information.
Even so, I will continue to use this plug-in for its compatibility and continuing support by the developer. It also seems to be a bit more reliable and stable than what I was using. Yes, I did purchase a license key.
This is just a short note to mention that I have come across the Selective Twitter Facebook Application which allows me to update my Facebook status with any Twitter client by simply putting #fb at the end of a tweet. I think this is the best approach to using Twitter to update both when I see fit but keep the rest of my Twitter spam from going to Facebook. If my friends really want to follow my twittering, then they can just follow me on Twitter as well. I think that’s for the best.
Well, I’ve finally decided to create a Facebook page and have been in the process of learning what I can and can’t do with it. As you might have noticed if you looked at the link, I created a sub-domain called facebook.markheadrick.com to make it easier to link to. It’s just a redirection to the actual Facebook page. I think I’ve found most of my friends already so they already know I have it.
Initially I had installed the Twitter Facebook application to let Twitter update my Facebook status at the same time; however, I soon realized that I might annoy friends on Facebook with the amount of tweets I make, especially during the NASCAR races. However, the latest beta version of TweetDeck integrates with Facebook itself and gives you a choice where to send your updates: Twitter, Facebook, or both. (Update: Using the Selective Twitter Facebook application to update Facebook)
Using Facebook’s blog import feature of its Notes application, I was able to import my blog here. This way, any posts I make here automatically show-up on Facebook allowing my friends to comment on them easier. I wonder if there’s some way of adding their comments on Facebook to here as well? I’ll have to check into that but I’m not sure that’s possible. In any event, just being able to import my blog here makes it better than what’s possible with MySpace.
I like the Links feature of Facebook. I think I may use that to add links to new photos that I add to my gallery. According to this article, Facebook is redesigning its recent redesign so I’ll reserve final judgement until after this takes place.