Saturday, 29 March 2008

Now Playing 3.9993 (Beta)


If nobody has any bugs to report on this I'll release it as an automatic update soon. The skin system has been tested on many systems and should now be fine.

  • Skin system hopefully now fixed

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Now Playing 3.9992 (Beta)


The version numbers are getting a little silly now. The changes I made were quite fundamental to the way the gadget works and they also rely on filesystem stuff so people using XP or non English systems have had issues. Hopefully the gadget will soon be bug free and I can release a much improved 4.0 to the masses.

  • Skin system improved for XP and Different locales
  • Amazon locale system now compatible with XP
  • Quit button removed for Winamp

Now Playing 3.998 (Beta)


Same as before, if you can, please try this out and let me know if you have any problems.

  • Bug fix: New skin system now compatible with other non-english locales
  • Google album art tweaked
  • Track editing tweaked for when there are no track details

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Now Playing 3.996 (Beta)


Same as before, if you can, please try this out and let me know if you have any problems.

  • Bug fix: Gadget now detects when player is closed and reacts accordingly
  • Bug fix: Winamp will not reopen when closed manually, the user no longer has to use close button in the gadget
  • Bug fix: Font settings now work correctly
  • New: Skin picker now has categories and 10 new larger skins. The process for adding new skins is improved, you just drop them into a folder in the skins folder.

Monday, 24 March 2008

My Vista Macbook Sidebar

I thought you guys might like some new recommendations for gadgets that i think every person should at least try out. The last time I did this it was quite popular and is still getting views off Google, so I though I'd give it a try again.  sidebar

Surprisingly despite it being a year since I last did this I'm still using 3 of the same gadgets as I did before, but I'm now running much fewer


Twenty Four Clock - I'm not especially a fan of the TV show 24 which this gadget takes it's design cues from, but I am a fan of it's looks. I've kept it on my sidebar for over a year mainly because it's easy to read but also because I think it looks good and it takes up barely any space.


Network Utilisation - This very handy gadget gives you a graph showing how much data you're downloading or uploading on any of your network cards. On my macbook I've also modified it so I can click to flick through through my wireless card and the inbuilt LAN.


Computer Status - This is a gadget I put together myself by combining lots of other gadgets I've previously used from different authors into one "super" gadget. It shows CPU usage, RAM usage, HDD usage, WIFI strength (with a flyout showing more details), battery level, recycle bin status, radio with multiple presets, and the date. Unfortunately though as this uses the code from 4 different authors I can't release it. If there's interest in this though I will attempt to contact them and see if they will allow me to release it.





Now Playing Gadget - Like I said last time, chances are if you're on this blog you know what this gadget does. If you don't, seriously, try it now! It shows you details about your currently playing song and retrieves album art and lyrics for them automatically. It has lots of customisation options, loads of functions and is compatible with many popular media player such as WMP, iTunes, Winamp etc.



The Hobby Lounge - This gadget shows you the latest posts from The Hobby Lounge forums and also notifies you of any new PM's via a visual and audio notification. It's a really well thought out gadget with functions like being able to view all the posts in a flyout with links to reply etc. If you want somewhere to talk about gadgets, THL is probably the best (if not the only) place to do so. Also due to the Live Gallery being a bit developer unfriendly, some developers only release their gadgets on THL so THL is a good place to look for new gadgets.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Now Playing 3.99 (Beta)


If any of you guys use WMP, iTunes, Winamp or Foobar could you please try this out and let me know if you have any problems. If everything goes well i'll release this as 4.0 as an automatic update in a few days with a few more skins from THL.

  • Major: Delay between switching songs on WMP, iTunes, Winamp or Foobar and it updating within the gadget has been minimized, it is now normally under a second. This has also led to reduced resources usage.
  • Localised amazon search results for UK, US, CA, FR, DE, JP
  • Amazon album art tweaked
  • Media Monkey album art support, art is now taken straight from MM
  • Media Monkey track editing (double click on track data when gadget is undocked)
  • Media Monkey play/pause fixed
  • New skins provided by

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Now Playing 3.97

I've made some changes to the Amazon album art fetching, the links should now be localised so if you click on the image you'll get the correct store for your country.

This isn't yet an automatic update as it needs to be tested before I can distribute it, if you don't mind please download below. Once I've confirmed everythings okay hopefully this will be the last update for now. Once again I'm sorry for the flurry of updates.


Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Now Playing 3.96


Unfortunately a user identified an issue where the changes to the ID3 system could cause the gadget to not update when a track is changed so I've had to release another update. Sorry to the few thousand who have to update twice.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Now Playing 3.95


Now Playing has now been out for over a year so I thought it'd be a good time to look at the stats and post an update. First i did some calculations based on the amount of hits the update file for NP gets and it works out that Now Playing has approximately 15,000 users! (Assuming each user has NP active for between 6 and 12 hours a day). So as a thanks to all you guys for using my gadget here's another update with some little tweaks.


  • When player is closed, clicking the gadget will open the player (YAY!)
  • Track details for iTunes radio stations are now shown
  • Options in the settings panel have been made more obvious
  • Foobar install process improved
  • New MediaMonkey icons
  • MediaMonkey compatibility improved where exe name is mediam~2.exe
  • ID3 Art reading for X64 disabled as it's not compatible

Monday, 17 March 2008


I normally talk about gadget related stuff but today I'd like to mention a great piece of software called SugarSync. It's main purpose is to keep all your important files in sync between your computer, laptop, and phone. You get provided with 10GB of storage when you sign up which you can use to automatically sync up anything including your documents, pictures, or gadgets. Once they're synced up they can then be accessible from the web which is great if you need a file and you don't have your laptop around and you've forgotten to sync your memory stick. I've been using the beta for about a month now to keep my gadget files in sync between my main computer and my laptop and also to sync up my camera phone and it's been great.

It's now out of beta and there is a 45 day free trial with 10GB of storage. and if you sign up before April 15th it costs $25/£12.50 a year saving you 50%.

Try it out here:

P.S. I'm not making any commission from this I just think it's a great product.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Eve Online API down again

EDIT: API is now back up and the gadget works again. Look forward to an update soon with some more tweaks, support for a proxy, offline support, and hopefully some new skins.


After the recent EVE Online boost update (080312) the API server has temporarily been taken down again. This means the gadget and any other programs you have that rely on the API won't work again until it comes back up.

See here for more details:

Hopefully as soon as it comes back up the gadget will continue to work

Thanks to all the people who reported this, Law

Monday, 3 March 2008

Server Ping Japanese

One of the users of Server Ping (Taku) has very kindly translated the gadget into Japanese and made some very nice tweaks to the graphics.

You can get the updated multi-language version with improved graphics here

Or you can download there Japanese version here

There's also more info in Japanese on Taku's blog