Onlineish music notes

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These are primarily notes
It won't be complete in any sense.
It exists to contain fragments of useful information.


Spotify

Web player

https://play.spotify.com/


It also allows links to playlists and such, though since it requires login, you may prefer links that open your player.


Favorites

The old model was "star a track, then it's in your Starred playlist"


The new design is the "Your music" section, which seems to be:

  • Songs is basically how Starred worked - using the "+" next to tracks saves the track here
  • Albums is a collection of your local albums, plus saved ones (the latter can fall away if you have local stuff)
  • Artists - same as for albums

The starred playlist is still there, and right now it is still a permanent playlist. It will probably be possible to remove it later.


Reading playlist track status

Grayed out - Unplayable. Typically because it was local-only (not linked), but not present on this computer.

Grayed out album/artist - playable local file, unknown to spotify.


No icon - track can be streamed (from the given album)

Chain - track cannot be streamed off specified album, but can be played from another. It may well be a variation.

Note in a rectangle - can be played from local file

Red broken rectangle - local file is unplayable (missing or DRMed). Whether this playlist entry plays still depends on whether it is linked, which is not indicated(verify)

May be fixed when your local files are next rescanned (which is when? controllable?)


If a file you added locally is linked, this means spotify has found a streamable version in its catalogue, is using the catalogue metadata (assumed to be cleaner) and online content.

This is primarily useful to know the track will play when you log in elsewhere.


Unlinking means "I want my own music and metadata". only be done on local files, and means the the local music and metadata is used instead. This can be nice if you have well curated data and one main computer you play music from.

Be careful unlinking grayed-out items, because you're basically saying "no local file and forget the catalogue entry", i.e. "remove this playlist entry"


It happens that some playlist entries don't play while linked, and do once unlinked. This seems to be because only the linked version cannot play (e.g. present in catalogue, but no license for your country), and it doesn't try the local one (which, yes, is a bit stupid).

Note that album availability is effectively controlled by record labels, so can change over time. I'm guessing that's one reason some playlist entries can go dead.


http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/descriptions-and-meanings-of-spotify-icons.html



URLs

Social features

Without facebook

I don't like linking this to facebook, so I haven't.

That means I have no idea what social features I'm missing. Presumably most, because I've seen few and they are hard to use.


If you have a friend who you know is on spotify, there seems no simple way to find them. Ask them for their username, then use Spotify's shell integration:

spotify:user:USERNAME


Facebook-only (apparently and/or for now)

  • collaborative playlists

Playlist backup

I like to log in elsewhere and play music. People may muck up my playlists. I don't mind, but like to the idea of having a backup.

Spotify does not really provide for this


Yes, you can drag and drop a playlist out of spotify and get a storable and reusable list of spotify links.

But I've got ~40 playlists.


Options:

Semi-sorted

I was missing Discover. I seem to recall it was a heading under Main, It's a tab under Browse now.


To log out all sessions elsewhere, there's a button for that at https://www.spotify.com/account/overview/


Last.fm

This hasn't been updated for a while, so could be outdated (particularly if it's about something that evolves constantly, such as software).

lastfm:// urls

This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)
  • lastfm://user/username (user's library)
  • lastfm://user/username/personal (user's library)
  • lastfm://user/username/neighbours
  • lastfm://user/username/recommended


  • lastfm://artist/artistname
  • lastfm://artist/artistname/similarartists
  • lastfm://artist/artistname/fans


  • lastfm://globaltags/tag


  • lastfm://group/groupname


  • lastfm://rql/rql_as_base64 (see below)


No longer allowed:

  • lastfm://user/username/loved - no longer allowed
  • lastfm://usertags/username/tag - no longer allowed (player will go to global tags?)

Apparently not:(verify)

lastfm://user/username/playlistname
lastfm://genre/genrename



RQL

RQL is a simple domain-specific query language used by last.fm. They work the same way as the above URLs.


Operators:

  • and
  • not - meaning 'and not'
  • or

I'm not sure whether you can combine or meaningfully with the other two operators, and (relatedly) whether you can use brackets.


Query elements:

  • tag:tagname
  • user:username
  • library:username
  • rec:username - recommendations for the user
  • neigh:username - neighbourhood
  • adv:username - mix radio
  • simart:"artist name" - similar artists
  • group:"group name" or group:[groupid]
  • Not available anymore: ptag, playlist, loved (verify)

Doublequotes should be used for any string that contains spaces.


Options (apparently should just be be appended; don't use and)

  • opt:rep|0.5 - how quick a track is allowed to be played again
  • opt:mainstr|0.5 - favour obscure or popular? (apparently adjusted for the (first bunch of) songs that will be played)
  • opt:discovery|true - enable or disable discovery mode


Examples:

  • lastfm://rql/dGFnOnBvcCBvcHQ6bWFpbnN0cnwwLjk=
    , meaning
    tag:pop opt:mainstr|0.9
    , common pop
  • lastfm://rql/dGFnOnBvcCBvcHQ6bWFpbnN0cnwwLjA=
    , meaning
    tag:pop opt:mainstr|0.0
    , less common pop
  • lastfm://rql/YWR2Omxhc3QuaHEgb3B0OmRpc2NvdmVyeXx0cnVl
    , meaning
    adv:last.hq opt:discovery|true
    , discovery mode mix radio for user last.hq
  • lastfm://rql/dGFnOmJhZ3BpcGUgYW5kIHRhZzptZXRhbA==
    , meaning
    tag:bagpipe and tag:metal
  • lastfm://rql/dGFnOmNvd2JlbGwgYW5kIHRhZzpyb2NrIG9wdDpyZXB8MC4y
    , meaning
    tag:cowbell and tag:rock opt:rep|0.2

I've made a tool to make that easier:

Notes:

  • I've has some specific requests not to work very well.
  • I've had varying results to ordering the query elements in different ways (I could be thinking that up)



See also:

Running the Last.fm player from your browser

This hasn't been updated for a while, so could be outdated (particularly if it's about something that evolves constantly, such as software).
This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)

That is, telling it how to handle lastfm:// links.

Depending on your OS (and window manager), you can rely on some lower-level protocol registration instead.


Most of this ought to be outdated, because the installer is a little more thorough now.


Note that you can usually drag the lastfm:// links from the browser to the player; there is no need to type the addresses or rely on the system's protocol registration.


Firefox (linux, windows)

Basically:

  • Surf to about:config (these are your firefox settings) and search (filter) for a key named network.protocol-handler.app.lastfm.
  • If it doesn't yet exist, create it: Right-click anywhere in the config list, choose 'New' , the 'String' type, with network.protocol-handler.app.lastfm as the preference name.
  • Its value should be the path to your player executable, eg. ~/Last.fm/player or /home/username/Last.fm/player.


You just created a handler for the lastfm:// protocol in firefox, which (re-)launches the executable with each lastfm:// URL.

The first time you use a link like this, firefox will ask you "this is an external program, do you want me to keep on warning you about this?". It's safe enough to turn the warning off, at least in non-evil environments (technically, trusting an application is bad security when that executable can be replaced with something bad).


In windows, the player's installer sets up what you need. If it didn't work, or more likely, if you downloaded the .zip because you have a low-permission work setup, follow the above instructions, but use a windows-style path, like "C:\Program Files\Last.fm Player\player.exe".


KDE protocol handler

You can register the protocol in KDE, which makes it usable from most places, including Konqueror and the run dialog. this link in the Last.fm forums suggests creating a lastfm.protocol file in the relevant KDE directory.

Apparently this is /usr/kde/3.4/share/services/lastfm.protocol for me and for KDE version 3.4.

To be sure for your setup, do a
locate '.protocol' | grep kde
and check the KDE version you are running ('About KDE' on any KDE window).

Put the following in the file (or copy from another and alter):

[Protocol]
exec=/path/to/Last.fm/player %u
protocol=lastfm
input=none
output=none
helper=true
listing=
reading=false
writing=false
makedir=false
deleting=false

Of course changing the path to a real one.


GNOME protocol handler

You can do something similar in GNOME. The settings would be visibile in the Configuration Editor (System Tools) but you cannot add a protocol in the GUI, so you need to do it from the command line:

gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/lastfm/enabled --type bool true
gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/lastfm/command --type string "/path/to/Last.fm/player %s"
gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/lastfm/needs_terminal --type bool false

(It is possible that you need to run gconftool instead of gconftool-2, this is some version deal. I don't know, I rarely use GNOME) Things like Galeon, Epiphany and other GNOME apps should be able to handle lastfm:// links now.


Other

Beats me what, but feel free to add. Probably some less usual browsers can still be added, or fixing a broken windows setup.