onAirNow – A “Now Playing” Plugin for WordPress
onAirNow displays your currently playing iTunes, Winamp, etc. song on your blog while being simple and functional.
The plugin reads information about your currently playing track from a file uploaded via FTP and displays it on your blog. It includes an options page and template files for your theme.
The reason I’ve created it is that I couldn’t find a plugin which fitted my needs. I’d be happy if you try it out and provide me with some feedback on my blog: cinnamonthoughts.org
I’ve been using CG-WhatTunes (part of the CG-PowerPack: http://www.chait.net/index.php?p=238 ) for quite a while now. It’s very nice.
Basically, it provides a URL that you “ping” with the song title, artist name, album, etc. This causes it to add that song info to a list of songs. Then you can display the latest song added, the last N songs, etc. It also integrates with the CG-Amazon plugin to retrieve album art and create links to Amazon for people to buy that album and such.
This sort of URL “ping” is supported by many different programs and is the more or less defacto approach for now playing type blog plugins. Some players have built in support for it, like musikCube has a function called “Tunage” which can do this. If you use iTunes, there’s a program called “iTunesBlogger” which does the same thing and pings a URL when it sees that your track has changed. Winamp has several different plugins that can do this, and there’s some for Windows Media Player as well.
You can look at the right hand side of my (currently rather “busy”) blog to see an example of the plugin in action. It shows the latest song I played along with the previous 5 songs below that. All of them link to Amazon.
I thought about supportinf an URL “ping” update and maybe will in the future. Many programs also support a file upload so this is no problem for a lot of people (like me). A side effect is that the file is written to my local hard drive by Recent Tunes (Mac program) and so I can test my plugin offline and my blog is also updated. Maybe this was the reason why I chose FTP over URL update. But I honestly can’t remember 😉 (The latter would have been even easier to implement.)
Last night I wrote a short AppleScript to update my playing song whenever I want (via a key combo and thanks to Quicksilver). If anybody is interested… Kinda changes the name from “onAirNow” to “onAirSomewhereInThePast” 😉
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