One area that I am constantly trying to improve on this site is the Recent Playlist functionality. For a while now I have utilized the Do Something plugin by Oddsock to ping a script on my site whenever Winamp changes songs. But it has had one major flaw: it only reads information from the ID3V1 Tag instead of the information contained in the ID3v2 tag. While that might sound like a bunch of gibberish, it boils down to a couple of major differences. The updated tag (ID3v2) has more fields for information, and more importantly, doesn’t have the character limits assigned to the old tag.
Using the limited confines of ID3v1 causes a lot of albums to not appear as their names would be cut off. For example, the Duke Ellington disk “The Duke Ellington Carnegie Hall Concerts January 1943 (Disc 2)” would be cut to “The Duke Ellington Carnegie Ha”. Not very helpful for people reading it, is it? It is even worse as Amazon (which provides the album covers) wouldn’t understand it either, and thus would not return the proper (or any) album cover.
Now that I have rambled on, explaining the nuances of the issue, I will introduce the solution to the problem: Now Playing, a great Winamp 5 plugin that pulls the information from the ID3v2 and sends it to the PHP script on my site exactly as I want it to.
Now, all I need to do isi eliminate the disc number (typically “(Disc 2)”) from the query sent to Amazon, and we should see vast improvements in the Recent Playlist area!
Update: I have packaged and released my code as SilverSpider Play List.