Last.fm Now-Playing information radiator

This is a litte project I started a while back but only finished/cleaned up recently. It’s a simple information radiator that shows you what a Last.fm user is listening to right now.

Now playing screen

It was designed to let one (or many people) know what’s playing at a glance. I’ve been using it while listening to Last.fm radio while getting ready for work, shared office playback (it works really well here) and even on top of Spotify playlists at parties. You can stalk along to someone else’s listening too, for the curious.

Dev/ops have made heavy use of radiators/glanceables for a while (that’s a whole ‘nothing post), but it’s nice to see more social and experimental uses being applied. With "second screens" getting more popular I’m excited to see what else will get made soon.

Try the hosted demo version or fork the project on Github.

Responsiveness

DSCF0009

It’s not strictly a responsive-design (no media queries in sight) but it does work really well across multiple devices. Only needing some font size adjustments on larger screens. Matthew Sheret has been running this on an old iPod touch sat on his desk for a few weeks, quite happily.

How it works

There’s no server-side requirement, everything is HTML/CSS/JS, no PHP or Python dependency, which means it’s super easy to use locally. You can clone it from Github and use it immediately, no configuration. It includes a tiny Last.fm API client written in Javascript

Now-playing is part Last.fm scrobbling API, supported by most clients it’s sent at the begining of a track rather than at the end (like scrobbling). Becuase there’s no realtime API i’m polling on a with a tiny Javascript API client. By default it polls on a 5 second interval, which feels pretty snappy and sit well within the TOS (~1 req/sec max).

Checkout the source, on Github and have a play.