Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Now Playing Gadget

The now playing gadget is definitely one of my favourites and one of my most popular gadgets. It basically shows you what you're listening to in almost any media player but has tonnes of features for a gadget including fetching album art and lyrics; see below.

It has compatibility with almost all media players, displaying the current playing track and album art. It has some cool features that compensate for issues such as having no album art or having no album name by looking on various databases for the required info. It also checks a lyrics database for the song lyrics and shows them on a flyout.

Download Here

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Below is a feature list with what I can remember

  • Compatible with Windows Media Player, Winamp, MediaMonkey, iTunes, foobar, QMP, QCD, J. River Media Center etc via the AudioScrobbler plug-in

  • Fetches lyrics automatically

  • Play/Pause, Next track, previous track buttons

  • Multiple layouts and skins with many customisation options

  • Fetches album art from Amazon, google, local album art from the folder or from the player or even from ID3 tags (X86 only)

  • Auto-save album art

  • Set and view track ratings

  • If no album name is available, it will search for one

  • Provides a link to the album on Amazon localised to your country

  • Change volume with mouse scroll, click the bottom of the gadget when it is at full size to highlight it, then use scroll wheel to set volume


Anonymous said...

Hey Lawrence, kudos to you making such a great gadget for Vista sidebar. You did sumthing I think a lot off ppl would hav wanted as a sidebar feature. I hav one problem though, the sidebar only seems to work under full privilege accounts and not under restricted user accounts (it closes itself from the sidebar after a few seconds). I'd really really appreciate it if this could b fixed in the next version. A super gadget, nevertheless.

Law James said...

Sadly, I would guess that's something that probably can't be fixed - or at least i don't know how to fix. If the user doesn't have permission to install the plug-ins the gadget needs then there's not really anything i can do i don't think.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a cool gadget.

Can in the next edition you include an option to imbed the album art into the file itself rather than just saving it in the folder. it would be really useful for people who use itunes etc.

Janky said...

Hi there. I'm a big fan of your gadget. It is definitely my favorite gadget. period. And I love how you even include Mediamonkey.
But one problem I have is that when a song isn't playing, then the gadget collapses into a small icon of your media player. It would be awesome if you could have an option for the gadget to stay the same size no matter what so it doesnt distort the layout of the sidebar. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite gadget but it seems to be having some problems. When i close winamp the gadget opens it again. What could be the problem?

Law James said...

You need to click the close button within the gadget on the top right

Cory said...

Seriously, this is the best gadget of all time, I love it.

Obligatory feature request: Is it possible to make the gadget pull its artwork from the ID3s of the file that's currently playing, and only resort to a web search when there is no artwork already available in the file?

I think you already do this when the file is available locally--but what would be really spiffy is if you could make it do this when the file is streamed in from a remote source, like an iTunes daap music share! My music server at home streams songs to me at work--and many of those songs already have embedded artwork...but Now Playing currently ignores that art.

Thanks again for your work on this project! :)

Law James said...

Xanatos, unfortunately that's not possible, if it's over an iTunes share than NP has no access to the actual file, therefore it can't read the ID3 tags from it. It would work over a normal network share with read access though.

Anonymous said...

Please allow me to disable auto-update!!!!!

Law James said...


Anonymous said...

Great gadget. Is there anyway you could make it support Vista Media Center?

Anonymous said...

I really liked the gadget, but had to remove it because the sidebar would eat up RAM. After about 5 hours of listening music, the sidebar took up around 300mb RAM, after 7 hours, around 500mb. I googled it and found that the nowplaying gadget caused this, so I removed it.

Is this a familiar problem? Is it something I can solve, or is it a problem in the code?

If this problem could be solved, the gadget shall quickly return to my sidebar

Law James said...

Anon: Fortunately this just isn't the case, the gadget does not eat up ram. It does not store images in ram, all arrays have limited lengths, all timers replace each other. I suggest you check your other gadgets. If you have lots of ram superfetch might also do this.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I tried switching off other gadgets, and it seems it was another gadget. Perhaps it was the combination that skyrocketed the RAM usage.
I guess not everything you read on the internet is correct heh

Gadget is back, thanks for the heads up

Anonymous said...

First things first, love the gadget, it's functional, it's got everything I could have wanted and it's efficient so doesn't eat up resources (like alot of gadgets out there)

However I have today come accross a problem, the system generally started locking up and failing and soon Avast! piped up that malware had been detected, on a deep further scan the problem was shown to be the now playing gadget, with what was listed as an "exploit" being used.

I'm guessing this has nothing to do with you however it seems there are some security issues that have allowed someone to exploit the gadget's internet access perhaps? I'm afraid I don't have any useful info as to what triggered this as I go through a lot of media files, but I wanted to give a heads up

Law James said...


It looks like Avast did an update yesterday which flags up the gadget as being malware. It's because Avast doesn't know the different between a gadget and a website so it think an evil website is trying to control your media player but infact it's my gadget which is allowed to access your media player.

There's nothing wrong with the gadget, Avast is just confused as gadgets look like websites and it doesn't know what a gadget is.

I hope this reassures you.

Anonymous said...

i have a small problem...
when i open itunes the first time with the gadget, every thing works normal. but when i close itunes with the gadget, the nest time i run it again , it doest change anymore, i get to see the first song i choose, and it stays on that... the image, info about artist and all doenst changes... When i open options, and close options, it changes 1 time, and then nothing again...
i have to quit the gadget to get it working again, for 1 time ...
please help ???

Anonymous said...

Hey i love your gadget, I've used it since you first made it. One little thing tho is when docked the album art will lose quality and pixelate a little every time it changes track and you have to hover over the gadget with the cursor to restore it, I mean its barely that noticable, I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and if there is a fix?

Anonymous said...

actually it happens undocked aswell

Law James said...

Hey Dave,

Unfortunately that's just a problem with the sidebar, nothing I can do about it with my gadget.

Unknown said...

Hi, Law!
Thanks for cool gadget!
But I have the trouble. With Winamp 5.54 under Vista x64 your gadget says "Error Downloading plugin"; Winamp starts, but gadget dont't working. With Windows Media Player on the same system gadget working perfectly.
Can you help me?