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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Using Last.fm tags to play my mp3s on SqueezeCenter

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 00:54:21 -0300

I just published a small set of scripts I've hacked together over the last
week or two called Uykfe.  They let me listen to music on my SqueezeCenter
(Squeezebox Boom and Duet / hifi).

The advantages are:

  * I get to explore my music in a meaningful way.  I have music from artists
    that I hardly know.  By playing "random" tracks that have a common theme,
    music from new artists is placed in the context of music I recognise.

  * I get themed "radio station" music, even though I have mp3s that cover a
    pretty wide range of styles.  This is often preferable to "random shuffle"
    which can be playing Bach one minute and NoMeansNo the next.

  * I can generate playlists to load dmusic on to my portable mp3 player.

  * It naturally interoperates with the SqueezeCenter playlist.

The last point is particularly cool.  The program monitors the current
playlist and whenever that reaches the "last track" it adds a new, related
piece.  Also, if no music is present at all, it provides a random starting
point.

This lets me skip tracks I don't like, do a "random jump" by clearing the
playlist (good when I get bored), and even lets me set a context (so I
manually select a track by someone in the style I want to hear and then Uykfe
"takes over").

It requires Python 3.2 and there are full instructions here -
http://code.google.com/p/uykfe/

Andrew

(It's fun, although perhaps not too meaningful, to compare this to Uykfd,
which did a similar job in Scala.  That took much, much longer to write, runs
more slowly, is harder to understand, and has more lines of code ;o)

More Info on Last.fm Tags

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 00:57:30 -0300

I just read the above and realised I didn't explain how it actually worked!

The program scans my own mp3s then uses Last.fm's API to tag my music (by
artist).  Using the tags it works out which artists are related and plays
their music together.

Everything is stored in a SQLite database.  The initial download of data from
Last.fm takes several hours, but once that is complete calculating the "next
track" is instantaneuous.

Andrew

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