Who cares what music I listen to anyway?

Or: How To Stop Spamming Twitter With Your Playlist.

Although the NowPlayingTweet script / Twidge / Amarok combo basically works well enough, there are a couple of issues that mean I’m leaving it off just now, namely the…

Easy Technical Issue

There are a couple of glitches that mean the odd tweet is duplicated, appears blank etc. Scanning the code snippet I pinched, this just looks like the way a change in status (i.e. track changing) is detected fires too often. This manifests itself as duplicate tweets, the occasional contentless tweet etc.

This is readily addressed by brushing up on me Bash scripting and sorting it out and is of no further concern here.

However that still leaves the…

Slightly Harder Social Issue

If I sit and listen to music all day (which I often do) that’s around 15 songs an hour, for a total of around 120 tweets per day.

This seems like a lot to me, in fact a potentially very irritating number for anyone following. Hard to know. So I want to strike a balance between spamming twitter with junk and tweeting the odd message that might have someone say “Ah! I could stand a bit of Burt Bacharach myself” or “He’ll be cutting his wrists if he’s not careful”

The two ways I thought this could be achieved are:

Tweet on change of Album or Artist (or either or both)

I listen to a lot of complete albums, particularly as an aid to concentration when I work. This would mean one tweet every 30 mins or so which seems reasonable.

The downsides to this are that it squashes a bit of the serendipity of seeing a song-title you’ve long forgotten or are intrigued by and, if you change on Artist, compilation albums still produce a flurry of tweets (a chorus?)

Tweet every N minutes

So take an interval of, say, 10 / 15 minutes and tweet all of the Artist / Album / Track info. This seems like a better option, if a bit more complicated to script. The number of tweets comes down to something passable, but you still get the serendipitous effect that tweeting on change of Album lacks.

The second gets my vote – and my time when it’s available – unless any other inspiration strikes.

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