VLC Starts Scrobbling

Tuesday, 16 September 2008
by Max Howell
filed under Stuff Other People Made
Comments: 34

The bagel was delicious. Lightly smeared with all-American cream cheese. I was so enamored with this treat that I almost missed Sam’s parting words as he wandered off to the iPhone expert lab. Sam is our iPhone developer, and this was July. We were attending the Apple Wordwide Developer Conference, just before the launch of iPhone 3G.

That was all very exciting. The iPhone stuff. But I had more important things to attend to. The Last.fm Scrobbler wasn’t working great with OS X 10.3. I made my way over to the compatibility lab, licking the breadcrumbs from my fingertips.

Sadly, the lab was less useful than I had hoped. As I turned to leave, the gangly technician mentioned that two French chaps had just been there before me with the same problem.

“They were the VLC guys”

“Oh neat,” I said, trying not to look too excited, “did you see where they went?”

He hadn’t. But I decided I had to find them and meet them and get pictures taken with them. My geek-cred really needed the boost. However there were five thousand delegates at WWDC that year, and I didn’t have time to go round them all listening for French accents. And anyway, I had a session on Core Animation in 40 minutes. As usual, in such seemingly hopeless situations, IRC came to the rescue. #videolan on irc.freenode.net.

At a conference for computery types, it was almost certain they would be logged onto their chat channel 24 hours a day. And I wasn’t wrong. After virtual introductions, we made arrangements to meet somewhere physical and were amused when it turned out we were already sitting at adjacent tables.

VLC is amazingly well known media player, probably somewhat because they have solved the, “what media player can I use to play this file?” question by providing a simple three syllable retort; “VLC”. And somewhat due to its amazing modularity and clean design which appeals to geeks. But mostly I think its popularity is because it is so clearly awesome. And there’s nothing like over 100 million downloads to confirm that kind of sentiment.

It was great to meet the VLC team and learn about the problems they face working on such a high profile open source project. The fruits of our meeting were scrobbling support in VLC 0.9.2. You can scrobble VLC via the official Last.fm Scrobbler, if you have it installed, or directly with VLC, if that’s what rocks your boat.

At Last.fm we don’t believe in closed technologies. We believe in open ones. That way, everyone benefits.

Comments

  1. Soeverein
    16 September, 17:34

    I don’t use VLC myself, however I think it’s great that you guys add support for yet another OpenSource player. :)

    Awesome!

    Soeverein – 16 September, 17:34
  2. Alex Muller
    16 September, 17:36

    Brilliantly written :)

    Alex Muller – 16 September, 17:36
  3. George of the Jungle
    16 September, 18:56

    “At Last.fm we don’t believe in closed technologies. We believe in open ones. That way, everyone benefits.”

    Can I download my scrobbling statistics?

    George of the Jungle – 16 September, 18:56
  4. g s
    16 September, 19:23

    “At Last.fm we don’t believe in closed technologies. We believe in open ones. That way, everyone benefits.”

    Yeah….luv that good old “This video is not currently available in your location.”

    g s – 16 September, 19:23
  5. Matt
    16 September, 20:16

    “Yeah….luv that good old “This video is not currently available in your location.””

    That isn’t something that Last.fm has control over. Talk to the record companies about that. I’m sure last.fm would preffer everyone to have access to it.

    Matt – 16 September, 20:16
  6. Max Howell
    16 September, 20:44

    We don’t offer your scrobble data in a single webservice for technical reasons. But you can access all your data with multiple queries. Several third party services already make use of this and generate pretty visualisations based on your full scrobble history.

    And yes video/music localisation decisions are not up to us.

    Max Howell – 16 September, 20:44
  7. Last.fm fan
    16 September, 20:53

    @ Matt : Last.fm has control over what they show. It was there choice to make it only available for parts of the digital world and with that action support it. So I agree on ‘g s’ statement.

    @ Last.fm : Nice seeing this development. Hope to see internet music/video scrobble soon. Twones already done it (!!), I hope you can beat them with releasing it before they go out of beta :)

    Last.fm fan – 16 September, 20:53
  8. framed
    16 September, 22:43

    Anyone out there have any luck getting VLC 0.9.2 to scrobble anything? I simply can’t get it to work. I plug in my last.fm details under Preferences/Audio, but nothing get’s scrobbled.

    framed – 16 September, 22:43
  9. Redmond
    17 September, 05:27

    I don’t suppose theres an easy way to disable this as needed? VLC happens to be my go to for videos of “an adult nature” and I’d prefer that Debbie Does Dallas doesn’t show up on my scrobbled list…

    Redmond – 17 September, 05:27
  10. 3xM
    17 September, 08:05

    framed, apart from entering my login details, I also had to switch to “all” settings (in the bottom) under preferences, then go to Interface > Control interfaces, and then check the “Submission of played songs to last.fm” checkbox.

    3xM – 17 September, 08:05
  11. jacobbrett
    17 September, 12:21

    It scrobbles, but: You have to enter your username/password, then check enable scrobbling, click ‘save’, then close and restart VLC.

    It doesn’t seem to scrobble live (straight away), but I’ve noticed tracks I played on it 15 minutes ago have finally shown up on my profile…

    jacobbrett – 17 September, 12:21
  12. Jonty
    17 September, 13:31

    @George of the Jungle: Soon… :)

    Jonty – 17 September, 13:31
  13. Jalokim5
    17 September, 13:34

    I use VLC to watch movies … i hope last.fm doesn’t start scrobbling my movies or I’ll have to forget about watching XXX movies … hehehheh … nice.
    I bet those that like VLC as a music player will enjoy this

    Jalokim5 – 17 September, 13:34
  14. Jonas
    18 September, 00:02

    You sure know how to handle that pen and got me smile.

    Jonas – 18 September, 00:02
  15. Ceballut
    18 September, 10:49

    Max Howell said
    “You can scrobble VLC via the official Last.fm Scrobbler, if you have it installed, or directly with VLC

    Is there a plugin? Where?

    jacobbrett said:
    “It scrobbles, but: You have to enter your username/password, then check enable scrobbling, click ‘save’, then close and restart VLC.”

    But, what about if there are several users using it?

    —-
    Can we use BBcode here?

    Ceballut – 18 September, 10:49
  16. Michael Saunders
    18 September, 13:36

    I can get it to scrobble, but not through the official Last.fm scrobbler as Max says. Maybe this is something planned for a future release of the scrobbler?

    Michael Saunders – 18 September, 13:36
  17. realitybiter
    18 September, 16:19

    If you love “open” technologies then why spend so much effort adding support for and plugging Apple’s phone: one of the most closed and restrictive locked-in platforms to come along in the past couple of decades. Where is the Windows Mobile/CE client, or an up-to-date Symbian one? What is the news on an Adroid port? You know, those platforms that are now, despite their monopolist parent companies, ironically far more open to development and customisation than Apple’s. Also, those platforms that, outside the US and anglophile countries. account for the overwhelming majority of smartphone users and installed base.

    realitybiter – 18 September, 16:19
  18. gwalla
    18 September, 17:32

    @realitybiter: Maybe because it’s ridiculously popular?

    gwalla – 18 September, 17:32
  19. Society
    19 September, 04:12

    I can get it to scrobble. Beautifully done! Thanks very much.

    Society – 19 September, 04:12
  20. Max Howell
    19 September, 09:14

    @realitybiter, please assume the worst possible explanation, that must be true.

    @Caballut, download the new version of VLC, 0.9.2

    @Michael Saunders, it will scrobble through the official client, just make sure the client loads first

    Max Howell – 19 September, 09:14
  21. Alexander
    21 September, 23:32

    cool. i don’t use it but it will be cool for those who use it :)

    Alexander – 21 September, 23:32
  22. John Arnor G. Lom
    22 September, 17:54

    I hate repeating what others have already said: but really well written!

    Now, over to the blog to subscribe!

    John Arnor G. Lom – 22 September, 17:54
  23. John O'Donnell
    24 September, 04:18

    open source proceed!!!!!

    www.marist.org

    07002

    John O'Donnell – 24 September, 04:18
  24. Peter
    24 September, 17:00

    Hey guys,

    I just noticed that the Adobe CS4 “Shortcut to Brilliant” mark looks like it borrowed the “as” from your mark. Just figured I’d mention it if you didn’t already know :]

    http://butimawizard.blogspot.com/2008/09/designpolice-adobe-cs4-vs-lastfm.html

    Keep up the good work.

    Peter

    Peter – 24 September, 17:00
  25. Maribela
    25 September, 02:07

    Nice one!

    Maribela – 25 September, 02:07
  26. ben
    25 September, 17:00

    Nice!

    Thanks alot

    ben – 25 September, 17:00
  27. empsy
    25 September, 18:52

    Last.fm multitag search.. aint working..

    When you put artist search.. nothing apears :S
    What’s happening?

    empsy – 25 September, 18:52
  28. Lyricist
    26 September, 07:44

    that’s great!

    Lyricist – 26 September, 07:44
  29. mp3 toplist
    26 September, 15:38

    nice program!!

    mp3 toplist – 26 September, 15:38
  30. Denney
    1 October, 11:53

    All well and good but it only worked for a few days… hasn’t worked for the last 5 though… Keeps getting the following error:

    Authentication failed, handshaking again (HTTP/1.0 503 Service Unavailable

    And no, it’s not a problem with my configuration because I haven’t touched it and it worked previously.

    Denney – 1 October, 11:53
  31. Federico Pistono
    2 October, 08:25

    >> At Last.fm we don’t believe in closed technologies. We believe in open ones. That way, everyone benefits.

    I love the way you think. _

    Federico Pistono – 2 October, 08:25
  32. power
    7 October, 00:46

    That isn’t something that Last.fm has control over. Talk to the record companies about that. I’m sure last.fm would preffer everyone to have access to it.

    power – 7 October, 00:46
  33. DjMuz
    8 October, 07:47

    >> At Last.fm we don’t believe in closed technologies. We believe in open ones. That way, everyone benefits.

    Fully agree! If the technology is open, it is much faster acquired popularity among developers. Himself to be very hard.

    DjMuz – 8 October, 07:47
  34. EyesOfARaven
    8 October, 17:00

    VLC’s scrobbler won’t work for me, .9.4 client, and Last.FM client doesn’t even support VLC the other way around as this article seems to insinuate.

    EyesOfARaven – 8 October, 17:00

Comments are closed for this entry.