Musical social networking (slight return)

 by Martin Belam, 20 June 2007

Finally at the weekend my personal weekly chart on was updated - for the first time since December 2005, when I was last a regular scrobbler.


That rather eclectic mix, featuring such obscurities as TOT and iLiKETRAiNS was replaced by a chart which looks rather more like my staple musical fare.


Having got enough cable to finally hook up my main PC to the internet via the phone socket for the first time in 18 months, I've also downloaded the iSproggler plugin to update my profile, and, via the Plus application, my Facebook profile.

The advantage iSproggler has over the offical software is that it also collates what has been played on your iPod when you are away from your computer.

It collects the data in a bit of a hacky way to be honest - it keeps a snapshot of your dynamic 'Recently Played' list, and when the iPod has been synched it checks the list to see if anything has been added since the last time it looked.

This means that it is possible to lose some of the data in a few circumstances, if for example you play a few tracks on both the iPod and iTunes between synchs. However, despite that slight oddity, since the iPod is my main means of listening to music, it seemed to make sense to use iSproggler though.

It took a little while to settle in, and caused me to have to upgrade my version of iTunes. All of the software on my PC is now at least a year-and-a-half out of date, so I am expecting a long and painful round of updates over the next few weeks.

And some of my music has given it a few problems as well - does not seem to like the fact that the debut Happy Mondays album is in my iTunes library under its ridiculous full name of "Squirrel And G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out)".

The upgrade to iTunes 7.2 didn't go so smoothly either to be honest.

It took iTunes about an hour to re-asses all the tracks in my library for potential 'gapless' playback, and it then wiped half of them off the iPod. Re-synching the iPod then took another two hours as it kept stumbling to a stop with read/write errors.

And now everytime I start it up it causes Windows to grumble that there isn't a disk in the drive if the iPod is not attached.


I also get a bit aggravated that everytime I close iTunes it generates a warning message that a program (iSproggler) is still using the iTunes scripting interface. This is another clear case for including a "Never show me this warning again" check-box within the interface.


Not quite the user experience that Apple is famous for - although I'm sure Mac fans would blame my choice of OS!

Anyway, if you are a user yourself, and are interested in linking to me as a friend on the service, I can be found, naturally, as currybet.


In case you didn't know, the latest version (in beta) of the client supports Ipod scrobbling as well.

It works seamlessly, except for the times it doesn't work and just ignores the Ipod, but I put that down to the fact the often feels like it is constantly in beta.

One "nice" feature I don't know if the others do, is it logs the actual time, however many hours, days ago it was, that you listened to the track.

Thanks for that William, I didn't know. I might give the beta a spin and see how I get on with it instead.

Keep up to date on my new blog