Friday, 11 April 2008

Indexer Status Sidebar Gadget

Brandon Paddock, who works on the Windows Shell Team at Microsoft, wrote cool gadget that shows you the status of your Windows Search Indexer. It lets you know how many items you have indexed, how many are left to be indexed and you can stop and start the indexer right from the gadget.


Download here.

Is Microsoft serious about gadgets?

Consider the following:

  1. Many groups within Microsoft have blogs where they talk about what's going on in the group, give advise on programming, etc, but some groups are more involved with their readers that others. The last post to the Windows Vista Sidebar Blog is dated July 31, 2007 and the Windows Live Gadget Blog is dated June 27, 2006.
  2. Most of the top players in Microsoft's group (the innovators of web gadgets) have either left the company or moved on to other groups within Microsoft.
  3. At Microsoft's MIX08 conference in Las Vegas, I did not hear the word "gadget" uttered once by any panel member or during the keynote.
  4. Code Focus magazine that came in the MIX08 goodie bag focused on Windows Live. There were articles on Live Search, Live ID and Live Writer but nothing on or web gadgets.
  5. Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 was released not long ago at MIX08 in Las Vegas. During one of the IE8 sessions I asked Chris Wilson, Platform Architect and long time IE team veteran how the new features of IE8 would effect Vista Sidebar. He didn't really have a good answer for me. I also asked him if the Windows Vista Sidebar team still exists. His response was "I'm not sure" which prompted several chuckles from the audience. Some have stated online that the Sidebar team has in fact been disbanded.
  6. Over the past year, Google has announced support for Open Social Gadgets and Google Gadgets Ads. During the same period of time, Microsoft's gadget innovations include (insert sound of crickets chirping here).
  7. And what may be the most telling... there are currently 53 Windows Vista Sidebar bugs listed on Jon Abbott's unofficial Windows Vista Sidebar bug list. Windows Vista SP1 was released to manufacturing and not one of these bugs has been resolved.


See the full post by Donavon West at Here

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Now Playing 4.03 (Beta)


This version fixes the issue where the gadget would not detect when a track had changed in Foobar after the player had been reopened. It also supports editing of lyrics with non-standard characters in the track names.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Now Playing 4.01 (Beta)


This version contains a possible fix for the issues with foobar. The problem is everytime you change track, Foobar stops the current track and then half a second later starts the next track, so it tells the gadget it's changed track twice (in very short succession) which confuses it a bit, hopefully this version fixes that.

Let me know what happens

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Now Playing 4.0


Now Playing 4.0 is now complete, hopefully I can now leave the gadget for a few more months and I hope you guys are happy with the new tweaks.

  • 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.
  • Major: Revamped skin system with 10 new large skins and 4 new skins provided by
  • Added "Tips and Tricks" page to settings
  • 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
  • Font size settings fixed
  • You can now close Winamp normally, the quit button has been removed from the player
  • Lots of tweaks, bug fixes and code improvements across the whole gadget


If you get a "Not a valid gadget package" error, delete all downloaded copies of the gadget and try again, this error means something went wrong when downloading the gadget.

If the track doesn't change when you change it manually in your media player: uninstall all copies of NP and reinstall 4.0 from the link above. This problem is related to still having the beta installed.