And sometimes, I’m not sure what’s playing from next door, but I know I like it – and it’d be good to know what it is. Fortunately, Jack mainly listens to last.fm radio (and even if it’s not radio, his iTunes would still be scrobbled).
(Somewhere near the top of my list of coding tools is Hpricot, because it’s a lovely HTML parser that you can scrape with as fast as you can think. Or, at least, as fast as you can write selectors. That was the case here.)
So: you throw in a username, and
wotlisten.rb tells you what they’re listening to. Or what they were last listening to. It doesn’t distinguish between the two – and why should it? This is Situated Software at its most useful: I assume you can hear the music that’s playing, and that you know the last.fm tag for the user playing it (and: until very recently, I assumed that person was Jack Schulze; this updated 2.0 release lets you pass in any username).
It’s unremarkable code in the extreme, but notable for the fact it took ten minutes to bang it out; it came out as fast as I could think it. I’m getting to the point where, especially with Hpricot and similar, this kind of tools is second-nature to write. It’s taken a long while to get there, though.
The script proved useful upon several occasions that day. More to the point, it paid for itself handsomely a few hours later, when we discovered that Schulze was playing Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For A Hero.