TOMAHAWK | blog

It just plays (and sometimes blogs)


Link reblogged from hatchet

hatchetis:

A lot of fans of Tomahawk have been asking, “what are you guys working on?!” for quite a while. We know it seems like we’ve been relaxing a bit since our last Tomahawk release, but we can assure you we have most certainly been hard at work - and we can finally answer that question, with…


There are few things we enjoy more than seeing seeing all of the cool stuff that people are building in, and around, Tomahawk.  Our developer community is nothing short of amazing - according to the open-source project tracking site, Ohloh, we have had over 74 contributors (and growing) to the core codebase that represents an estimated 59 person-years worth of effort.

Also, it is great seeing others leveraging the Tomahawk APIs to create a growing ecosystem of cool experiences and tools.  We’ve just updated our site with a bunch more of these (if you know of more, let us know and we’ll add them!).

Some of the newest include:

  • TomawallExtract the recently posted tracks from your timeline into a playlist that “just plays” even if you are not a Spotify or Rdio subscriber.
  • XSPF Playlist Generator (Wordpress plugin)- Create custom playlist parsers for your favorite site and automatically import and create playable Tomahawk embedded players of those playlists on your Wordpress site
  • Toma.hk Shortcodes (Wordpress plugin)- Toma.hk Shortcodes allows you to easily embed playlists, albums and single tracks from Toma.hk directly into your Wordpress site.

 

Tomahawk has been an open-source labor of love for us for the last 2.5+ years, and it’s amazing to see that others share our passion making music easier to manage, play and share.  We thank you all.


With the last release we teased you with the pending arrival of some big new things. The good news is, we’ve made huge progress on those things. The bad news is… this release is not that. Don’t get us wrong, we love 0.7 - it’s our best release yet and we think you’ll love it too.
We’ve made some substantial improvements to the way content resolvers are packaged and installed .  If you are only using the resolvers included with Tomahawk then you will likely not notice any difference, but if you are writing or installing resolvers from elsewhere (e.g. this repository) this will make your life much easier.  Over the next couple of days we will bundle up all of those resolvers and make them available that way too.
 
A packaged resolver bundle is a file with file extension .axe. It is a compressed archive with all the contents of a resolver directory. To install such a bundle (the preferred way for end users who wish to install a resolver manually), in Tomahawk’s Settings dialog click on “Install from file” and select the package file (<something>.axe).  To learn more, you can read the packaging specification.
 
 
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Tomahawk 0.7.0 Changelog:
  • JavaScript Resolvers can now expose collections.
  • Introduced bundle system for JavaScript Resolvers, called “axes”.
  • Fixed playback-loop caused by duplicate tracks in a playlist.
  • Improved peer handling and removed connection support through Twitter.
  • Taking an account offline now also disconnects associated peers.
  • Improved Spotify protocol handling.
  • Added “Append to Playlist” context menu item.
  • User-friendlier collection handling: added info-buttons for artists and albums. Double-clicking an item expands it now.
  • Charts only load on-demand now.
  • Fixed Diagnostics information not correctly updating.
  • Fixed issue with hidden sidebar and panels.
  • Fixed issues with some color schemes.
  • Fixed playing files with special characters in the filename.
  • Improved stability.
  • Added translations for Catalan, Czech, Galician, Greek, Italian and Chinese.
  • (Windows) Smoother and more responsive audio playback.
  • (Linux) Fixed grid issues with GTK-styles.

 

As you may have noticed, we have removed the ability to connect to friends directly via Twitter in this release. While the feature was pretty clever (if we do say so ourselves), it never quite worked as well as we wanted it to. It was unreliable, slow, and not very user friendly. So we are going back to the drawing board on that and will be introducing new ways to connect to your other networks in future releases.

 

We hope you all enjoy this release. As always - and thanks to our growing open-source contributor community - there is much more to come.

Download Tomahawk


We’ve just about finished our next release, but before we push 0.7 to all of you we’d love some help testing it out.

Interested?  It’s easy, just download our latest Release Candidate and use it as normal. Notice anything wonky about it, just let us know!

The rest of you just hold tight… we expect to be pushing the final 0.7 version to you soon.


Not a lot to say about this little update other than we improved stability, improved networking and cleaned up some of the design elements a little bit.  

Also, we tracked down and squashed a bug with the Spotify resolver that was affecting some Windows users.  We pushed that out to everyone (across all versions/OSes), and to get it all you need to do is restart Tomahawk.

For those that already have Tomahawk, we’ve pushed the updates already. For those that don’t:

DOWNLOAD TOMAHAWK

As a bit of a tease, we are working extremely hard on some very big, new, exciting things. Watch this space.


About a year ago we posted a tip for you Mac users about a handy global search shortcut for the awesome Alfred app.  It seems since that time there has been a big upgrade for Alfred that supports full custom workflows (in the Powerpack upgrade, ~ $20).

Given that knowledge, and a few minutes playing with it, we now have the ability to not only search from Alfred, but also return results, play, previous, next and pause directly from the Alfred interface.

It’s great, and well worth the the $20 to support the team doing amazing work on Alfred.  For those that just want the basic search as shown in the first post, that works with the free version of Alfred too.

Check them out:

of

There is more to come with this (and will post an update soon), but it’s already really fun/useful to play around with.


Updated: There was a mistake in the call to initiate a new track. It has been corrected below.

So, you want to build a cool music hack, site or app and the idea of having to interface with a bunch of different music sources keeps you awake at night? Well, we now have you covered with a really simple multi-source music API that rids you of all the music fulfillment headaches and lets you focus on building your awesome app “that just plays” for virtually all of your users regardless of who their preferred provider is.

http://toma.hk/api.html

Simply paste in a link to our js file, then you are ready to go.

To initiate a new track:

var track = window.tomahkAPI.Track(TRACK_TITLE, ARTIST_TITLE, options)

Where your options are:

  • width = width of the player (in pixels)
  • height = height of player (in pixels)
  • handlers = the event handlers for you to decide what to do and when
Note: you could just hide the Toma.hk embedded player in a <div> if you didn’t want it visible - although you should disable YouTube if you do so.

And finally, you need to render the track onto the page.

document.getElementById("parent_container”).appendChild(track.render())

Sources currently leveraged include SoundCloud, Official.fm, Last.fm, Deezer, Jamendo, YouTube, Rdio and Spotify - with more on the way. If you users have already set their source preferences and priorities on Toma.hk then those will travel with them to your apps.


Thanks to everyone that helped test the Tomahawk 0.6 beta last week.  We’ve squashed some nasty bugs - both in the app and the Spotify resolver - since then and are now pushing version 0.6 (read/see all about what’s new) to all our Windows and Mac users.


As always, the latest builds are available on our website.  We will tweet (follow @tomahawk) when there are new Linux packages available, as our packagers finish them.

Enjoy!


Uncovery is a little hack that creates and tweets Toma.hk links to critically acclaimed albums. It is about 6 months old, but has proven to be a consistently solid resource for discovery-via-curation.  

If you want a little more context, there is a snippet of the review itself posted on Uncovery’s tumblr.  You can also read more about it from Evolver.fm’s coverage of it from the summer.


Reading this post on a brand new computer, or maybe with a shiny new gift subscription to a music service you received over the holidays?  Even if you’re not, you are all in luck as we are excited to bring the beta of Tomahawk 0.6 into this world! 

As you can hopefully notice, we continue to clean up and improve performance and stability under the hood as well as the user experience.  We are also already working on some major additions for the desktop release after this one, bringing improvements and capability to Toma.hk on the web, and work is progressing very nicely on an Android app (also open-source).  In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this release as much as we are.

Changelog

  • Improved icon theme with vector graphics.
  • Higher resolution artist and album images.
  • You can now click artists, albums and tracks mentioned in artists’ biographies.
  • New AudioControl logic - only enable Prev/Skip buttons if available.
  • Added more options to right-click/context menus.
  • Make friends’ currently playing song (in sidebar) clickable.
  • Improve MusicBrainz plugin to use normalized artist names and avoid duplicate tracks.
  • Access Control queries now stay on the bottom of the job view, removing the tendency to jump away from the mouse.
  • Improved random mode, preventing songs from being played in too rapid succession.
  • You can now choose between various view modes for your playlists.
  • Support for high-resolution displays (e.g. Retina)
  • Nicer layout for the Artist, Album & Track pages.
  • Follow HTTP redirects when fetching Playlists.
  • Main menu can now be hidden and instead be shown as a toolbar button.
  • Connectivity controls in the toolbar.
  • Cleaned up settings dialog.
  • Ability to sync Spotify Starred Tracks with Tomahawk’s Loved Tracks.
  • Fixed iTunes m3u playlist support (export from iTunes, import into Tomahawk).
  • Support dropping of new Soundcloud user, track, set & likes URLs.
  • Added HotNewHipHop as available chart.
  • Add iTunes as available source for New Releases.
  • Updates and additions to translations including: Japanese, Bulgarian, Finish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Swedish and more.
  • (Linux) Allow disabling of playback notifications.
We also continue to improve and add more music sources (aka “content resolvers”).  For example, the latest Spotify resolver not only lets you sync playlists bi-directionally, but will also let you sync your Starred Tracks in Spotify and your Loved Tracks in Tomahawk (as well as optionally publish those to your Last.fm Loved Tracks).  Work is progressing on a numer of new sources/services as well - domestic and international subscription services, music lockers, public domain repositories and more (e.g. Rdio, Google Music, Qobuz, Beets, jazz-on-line).  Want to write a content resolver yourself?  It’s not that hard, learn how!  Tomahawk resolvers run locally on your computer, so you can write and run them just for yourself, add them to our gallery so others can install and use them, or even get them added to the list of server-side resolvers we use on Toma.hk.

As for this beta, we’d really appreciate bug reports… particularly from Windows users.  Also, thanks to our community we now have at least partial translations in 17 different languages. If one of languages isn’t (fully) supported you can easily contribute just by translating text strings online

We realize that this release timing continues our tradition of launching releases at the worst possible times from a PR perspective - Consumer Electronics Show, late Friday afternoons, the day of Apple’s WWDC, Christmas break - but we were excited to get this into everyone’s hands as soon as we felt it was ready.  Like it? Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your friends’ families!  Don’t like it? Tell us!

If you are on an older version of Tomahawk you can update to this beta by manually downloading/installing (don’t worry, all of your playlists and data stay intact).

After a short beta period that also gives our Linux packagers time to update (here’s the tarball), we will then automatically push this update to the rest of our existing users.
Happy new year! We think you will like what we have in store for Tomahawk this year.