['brein-jæk]

randomized bits and well-structured thoughts

Last.fm for Artists

This plug-in is for pulling information about an artist to a sidebar widget.

Features

  • event listing
  • top track listing
  • multiple widgets the way they meant to be (add arbitrarily many widget instances to your sidebar)
  • complete customization of the list view possible via format strings and tags
  • I18n available: English, German. Add your own!
  • Powerful examples available (see below)

Change Log

0.7.1
  • [FIX] Variable substitution for GoogleMaps generated invalid markup
  • [ADD] Russian translation by “Fat Cow” (www.fatcow.com)
0.7
  • [FIX] uninstall method changed
  • [FIX] another try to avoid doubled entries
  • [FIX] hide-if-empty was broken
  • [ADD] now the plugin carries some cool ready-to-use layout variants (fully customizable, of course)
  • [CHANGE] the built-in layouts now feature robust, CSS-driven tooltips
  • [ADD] there is a new special tag for variables %VARIABLE:<name-of-variable>:<value-of-variable>% which is only useful in built-in configurations and needed for things like API keys
0.6.2
  • [FIX] Thickbox script now only in admin panel, hence avoiding the 404 when auto-loading loadingAnimation.gif in posts with permalinks enabled.
0.6.1
  • [FIX] CSS Compatibility with 2.7
  • [FIX] Plugin subtitle in widget view localized
  • [ADD] Un-Installation procedure
  • [ADD] Introducing advanced customization ;)
0.6
  • [ADD] New widget type: top tracks
    • lists your top 50 (or less)
    • comes with own set of 11 tags, including a special, if-then tag
    • I included a working example, which illustrates the power. See the examples on the documentation page for a short explanation.
  • [ADD] more clarity in widget options
0.5
0.4
  • [FIX] Widget-Options bug when adding the widget to the sidebar.
  • [FIX] Date-Tag bug
  • [ADD] Some new Meta-Tags: %NUMBER-OF-EVENTS%, %NUMBER%, %ARTIST-URL%
  • [ADD] Additional options for header and footer, allowing complete customization.
0.3
  • Completed tag support: Every delivered field may now be used.
  • Language support enabled, German and English included. You are welcome to submit your language, since the necessary files to translate are in the “lang” folder.
0.2
  • Extended tag support: Almost every field of the XML answer may now be used
  • Language support prepared.
  • more style in widget options
0.1
  • Initial Version based on Simon Wheatley Last.FM Events plug-in.

Examples

Here are some examples of the built-in layouts. Remember that this is customizable to 100%  and there is no knowledge beside some basic html/css required. Just have a look for what is hidden behind the advanced button. The built-in layouts just preload some of this options and can be used as starting points.

Simple Event List

Simple Event List

simple and informative

This is so default. There is a hidden <span> element included which is designed to be shown as tool-tip.  From from v0.7 on these tooltips are css-driven (and look slightly different).

Simple Event Map

Simple Tourmap

very fancy, uhm?

A mash-up with GoogleMaps for which you will need to register your domain with google to get a free API key. Once you have one for your domain, this one is possible for you. The markers are tool-tipped with event infos, of course.

Tour Map

a cool red tour-line

a cool red tour-line

A more sophisticated mash-up, showing the next event as a marker and connecting the following with a thin red line. As above, you’ll need a free API key for the domain you want to use it on.

Charts

Metallicas Top Ten

Metallicas Top Ten

The default charts layout. Simple and effective. If a song is full streamable, the link will not just bring you to the song page, but autostarts the song. I also included a hidden span tag, just like in the default event list, which contains the number of plays and the album cover.

Documentation

The plugin should really be self-explanatory, but for beginners, here is a how-to (based on v0.7):

  1. Install and activate the plugin either by the new WP2.7 backend or the old fashioned way:
    1. Download and unzip the plugin folder
    2. Upload the the folder to your wp-content/plugins/ directory
    3. Activate the plugin using your WordPress plugin section
  2. Navigate to the widget section in your WordPress backend
  3. Add one (ore more) “Last.fm for Artist” widgets to the sidebar of your choice
  4. Customize the options for every single widget, including:
    • Widget title – you can ommit this one, resulting in a title-less widget
    • Artist – this is mandatory, of course. No guarantees for special characters, try to use the name as shown in the Last.fm artist page url
    • Number of items – how many entries are too much for your users?
    • Widget type – which information means the most to you? Choose one! It is important that you select a layout (or write your custom one) after changing type or adding a new widget, otherwise the formatting would be uninitialized and the widget will be empty.
    • Test-drive – Show the plugin only to users which are logged in. Very useful to test custom format-strings
    • Widget Layout – Choose your preferred layout out of a few built-in examples. I recommend to jump start with one them and customize it with advanced configuration to match your theme or requirements.
    • Customize the format strings to gain full control. The tags are explained via tooltips.
  5. Reload your blog and enjoy your custom Last.fm mash-up! :)

Support

Visit the official support forums or contact me at support@brain-jek.de.

Donators

I would really like to thank all gentle donators, but up to now there wasn’t a single donation. Anyhow, every donator has the option to have his name published here.

7 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Maarten Lauwaert

     /  September 13, 2010

    Dear Brain-Jek,

    I really like your Last.FM for Artists-plugin, but i would like to recode it so it has a variable artistname in it. So, i can give an artistname in a customfield, so i can have a different artists top tracks every page.

    Do you think it is possible?

    Sincerely yours,

    Maarten

  2. Hi Maarten,

    I’m glad you like the plugin, thx for the feedback! Regarding your question there are some issues to be solved.

    Although it’s not a problem to retrieve custom fields from pages or posts, it may become a problem to detect which page the visitor is currently viewing as the plugin is designed to live within the sidebar. Maybe adding a template tag for the plugin to get rendered to be used with a page/post id within the posts loop within the template would make things easier, but then the plugin won’t live in the sidebar anymore. So I think this will become the major difficulty for your desired modifications. Adding a checkbox within the plugin admin panel to let it try to infer the artist name from a (given or predefined) custom field instead of a static one is just some work, but no real challenge. Additionally the plugin caches results from the webservice within its options, but I think this is a no-brainer due to its generic nature.

    So I encourage you to get your hands dirty and let me say that it would be a huge bonus if you’d carefully extend the plugin in such a way that I’m able to merge your changes back to the original plugin.

    So please report back on your progress,
    best regards, J.

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