The Racks and Tags blog

New features, announcements, and weekly tips

Tip #2: How to populate Played tab

There was some confusion and misunderstanding about Played tab in user profile pages. For some users, it is filled with fine albums – mostly new, some old – and it gets updated every hour. For other users, it is forever empty.

It all depends on how you play your music. Technically speaking, Played tab contains albums that Racks and Tags knows you played recently, in reversed chronological order – starting from the most recent. The content of the list is determined by Last Played field in OrangeCD Catalog’s album properties, which gets filled automatically with current date every time you play the album from OrangeCD interface. There are several ways to play albums in OrangeCD – for example, by selecting a menu option, by clicking Play link in album display, or by using a shortcut key – but whatever method you prefer, the date and time of playback is always remembered in Last Played field.

There is even an option that allows OrangeCD to update your online profile in real time. You can find this option in View Preferences, Racks and Tags tab, where it’s called “Publish new album ratings and playbacks automatically”. If the option is enabled, OrangeCD will update your profile with most recent playback as soon as the album starts playing. However, if the option is unchecked¸ your album playbacks will still appear in your profile, but only after you manually update your online collection using ToolsPublish on Racks and Tags.

Does it all mean that only CDs or media files can be added to the Played tab? What about my LPs, SACDs, any archival media?

Fortunately, there is a solution for the rest of us, who does not rely on PCs to play wonderful music. There is a simple plugin that you can obtain here [direct download link, 4 KB]. Unpack contents of the archive into the plugin installation directory, which is typically C:\Program Files\OrangeCD\Plugins. If OrangeCD Catalog is running, close it and start again. Right-click any album and you should see the new item in the command menu that says “I am playing this now!

If you click “I am playing this now!”, OrangeCD will record current time in that album’s Last Played field and, if live publishing option is enabled, update your online profile, letting your friends know that you are playing this album now. The beauty of it is that it works for any music albums in your database, not just digital media. LPs, SACDs, even old tapes playing in your car or home stereo can be “now playing” and therefore populate your profile’s Played tab.

Apology and announcement: there was unexpected service outage yesterday, for which we deeply apologize. The problem was caused by improperly configured server software which led to server overload, and it took a couple of hours to diagnose and fix. To prevent this happening in future, we are installing server health monitoring tools which may require short downtimes in next 72 hours (less than 15 minutes each).

2 responses to “Tip #2: How to populate Played tab”

  1. I am intrigued by the fact that vynils can be catalogued! Besides downloading the plugin, I take it that you have to have a vynil player nearby? Do you then transfer the music onto the pc, or how does it receive the tracks?
    I do not need a long technical explanation – which maybe beyond me – but just how you set about it to do the cataloging.
    Looking forward to your reply
    Regards
    Vee Barlow

  2. I think the only way to catalogue vynil albums is by manual input.
    You have to ‘tell’ OrangeCD everything about your vinyl: title, artist, number of songs, songtitles, duration of each song … everything.

    It’s more work than having CDs or mp3′s read automatically but it does make your catalogue more complete.

    Snark

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