Monday, June 23, 2008

Solution for FriendFeeders who don't want to view my recently played tracks

FriendFeed supports input of various feeds, including a feed of the items that you have "loved" in While I initially incorporated those into my FriendFeed account, it became rather time-consuming to go and click a song every time that I loved it.

So, because FriendFeed allows you to incorporate any RSS feed into your page, I grabbed the Audioscrobbler feed for my recently played tracks and set it up as a "blog" feed.

The benefit of this was that I didn't have to do anything to have songs show up in - they'd just appear there as I played them.

The drawback was that everyone would have to read them - and if they didn't want to read all of my recently played tracks, they'd have to hide ALL my my blog posts, including posts from this wonderful mrontemp blog. You see, FriendFeed doesn't allow you to selectively hide some user blogs and not hide other blogs from the same user.

As early as April 2, Andy C was noting the problem:

OK so I can 'Hide Ontario Emperor's Blog entries' but OE has 3 blogs and I am interested in 2 but not his musical tastes. What to do ?

As it turns out, Andy later changed his mind and liked to read the names of the songs that I was hearing. But that didn't remove the basic problem. Benjamin Golub:

Not trying to be rude; but is there a way for me to just hide entries on this blog? I don't want to hide all of your blog entries; just your recently played tracks.

See my May 29 blog post and my FriendFeed request regarding selective blog hiding. But while waiting for that to happen, another solution was necessary.

So, after some thought, I decided that I would create a room and stick my "recently played tracks" feed in that room. That way, people who weren't interested in this wouldn't be bothered, and those who did want to comment could join the room and comment away.

So I went ahead and created - and immediately thought of another potential problem.

Part of my plan was to start the feed in the room, then stop the feed on my main page. But what of the existing comments? I vaguely half remembered some Scoble rant about someone who deleted his/her FriendFeed account, but also deleted all of the comments. If I deleted 2 1/2 months of "ontarioemperor's Recently Played Tracks" from my main page, how would people feel who had commented on all of those songs?

It turned out my fears were groundless. Mark Trapp posted this comment:

Can't you just delete the feed, and not check "Also delete imported entries?" So, at least from this point on, it'll go into the new room, but all the old stuff stays in your main feed?

Mark was right. I did this late this afternoon, so now all of my recently played tracks should be appearing in my lastfmfeeds room, and my lastfmfeeds room only.

So, if you want to see the songs that I'm listening to, go ahead and subscribe to lastfmfeeds.


...note I called the room lastfmfeeds, not oelastfmfeeds. And note that the title of the room reads

"Recently played tracks" for various users.

Yep...not just my feed. Feeds from anyone who wants to participate. I figure this could be a place for music lovers to share their likes, and comment on the likes of others.

If you would like your "recently played tracks" to show up in the room, then leave a comment in the room with your user name, and I'll go ahead and add the RSS feed associated with your room.

I've decided to do this as opt-in only, rather than just grabbing feeds on my own. Why? Because of Benjamin Golub's RSSmeme experience. So it's probably best to check before I grab someone's feed for FriendFeed commenting fun.

Hope to hear from you.

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