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 (site gone) 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. 🙂