Friday, 28 December 2007

A major milestone

I failed to notice, but I seem to have passed the 100 posts point on this blog with my last entry. Wow, can't believe I only started blogging in August. But then, nearly half of those posts have been in the past month - December has seen 44 posts prior to this one, whereas the next highest (November) saw a mere 22 posts. I seem to have really hit my stride lately, although I have been putting more articles from Digg on here, as well as a couple of photos now that I'm on Flickr.

Anyway, I recently heard that the BBC's labs had come out with a couple of widgets that enabled you to listen to BBC Radio 1, 2, 1Xtra or 6Music and scrobble the tracks played to your Last.FM profile, so naturally I had to give them a try. There were two available, one for the Mac and one for Yahoo! Widgets. So I had to install Yahoo! Widgets on my Vista laptop.

The widget is good, when it works, but it is somethat unreliable - it often doesn't pick up the changes in songs, so you won't get one scrobbled. The idea is certainly good, but I do think it needs more work if it will succeed. And it's very nice to be able to listen to internet radio and scrobble my listens. (Incidentally, I was able to compare my musical tastes with 6Music and got 89.23% compatibility. As long as it's not with Radio 1!)

However, I have issues with Yahoo! Widgets. I use it instead of the Microsoft one (which was rubbish so I turned it off anyway), but I'd much rather use Google Desktop. Unfortunately, Google Desktop doesn't seem to work well on Vista (apparently Microsoft took steps to make it NOT work, and Google hauled them through the courts over it, so once Vista SP1 is released that will resolve the issue).

But, the main reason I'd rather use Google Desktop than Yahoo! Widgets is simple. Google support Linux, and open-source in general pretty well - most of their stuff is available for Linux even if it doesn't necessarily have the same functionality as its Windows counterpart. Yahoo, by comparison, do nothing to support it as far as I can see. I have yet to see a single application of theirs which is available for Linux.

But, maybe the BBC will make another version of this widget for Google Desktop (and yes, I know the Linux version of Google Desktop doesn't yet support widgets), or someone else will get a copy of the source code and make a Google Desktop version. And, if I'm really lucky, someone will make a KDE4 version, since that will support widgets too, so when I upgrade to Kubuntu Hardy with KDE4, I can listen to 6Music and scrobble away! I can but dream...

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