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How is it possible to scrobble on Last.fm from VLC on a Mac?

Answer by Andrew Maiman:

In the current version (2.0.7) of VLC for Mac, the option for scrobbling has been moved into the ‘Advanced’ preferences panel.  To access it, select ‘VLC -> Preferences’ and then click the ‘Show All’ button in the bottom-left corner.  Next, select ‘Interface -> Control Interfaces -> Audioscrobbler’ and enter your Last.fm username and password.  Leave the ‘Scrobbler URL’ as the default of post.audioscrobbler.com.

Next, select ‘Control Interfaces’ and check the ‘Submission of played songs to last.fm’ checkbox.

Click ‘Save’ and then quit and re-launch VLC.  Your played tracks will now be scrobbled to Last.fm.  Note that it does not submit the track until is has completely finished playing (unlike other scrobbler apps that will send it after 50% of the playback.)

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How to easily switch audio languages in XBMC

March 17th, 2012 3 comments

Japanese anime with English subtitleIf you use XBMC for watching media content from your PC on your TV, you may have noticed that there is no hotkey for switching audio languages. This is particularly annoying if you’re trying to watch anime, as it will typically default to the English audio track instead of the Japanese (which usually has better voice acting.) It’s also a problem if your native language isn’t English.

Here’s how to fix it. Create a new Keyboard.xml file. It should be located at C:\Users\[yourusername]\AppData\Roaming\XBMC\userdata\keymaps\Keyboard.xml (on Windows) or at /Users/[yourusername]/Library/Application Support/XBMC/userdata/keymaps/Keyboard.xml (on MacOSX).

Add the following lines:

<keymap>
  <global>
    <keyboard>
      <k>audionextlanguage</k>
    </keyboard>
  </global>
</keymap>

(If you already have a Keyboard.xml file, you’ll probably just need to add the <k>audionextlanguage</k> line to the <keyboard> section.)

This will map the ‘K’ key (not used for anything by default) to ‘Switch audio languages.’ I picked ‘K’ since it’s next to ‘L’, which is the default hotkey to enable subtitles. (No, I don’t speak Japanese.)

Additional information about XBMC keymaps is available here: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Keymap.xml

 
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Remove the Ping buttons and sidebar from iTunes 10.0.1 on Windows

October 2nd, 2010 3 comments

If you recently updated to the latest version of iTunes, you probably noticed Apple’s latest force-feeding of their new Ping service.  When you run iTunes for the first time after upgrading, you’ll have a giant Ping sidebar on the right side of your screen as well as icons next to each song.  You can close the sidebar, but there’s no option in the UI for turning off the (in my opinion, annoying) icons next to the song titles.

iTunes screenshot showing Ping icons and sidebar

Here’s how to get rid of them (thanks goes to OS X Daily for pointing me in the right direction, the majority of sites are only giving the Mac method for fixing this which doesn’t work on Windows.  I’ve added a fix for their typo and how to execute the command correctly on a 64-bit system which wasn’t mentioned in their original post):

1) Close iTunes if it’s running.
2) Open a command prompt window.  (Start -> Run -> cmd)

3) Enter the following commands:
"C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt hide-ping-dropdown 1
"C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt disablePingSidebar 1

If you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows, you’ll need to use the following commands instead:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt hide-ping-dropdown 1
"C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt disablePingSidebar 1

It appears that the button for the Ping sidebar will not go away if you have ever activated it. Just close the sidebar once after running the commands above, they will prevent the Ping sidebar from automatically re-opening.

Back to normal:

iTunes screenshot - Ping icons and sidebar removed

 
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