Pianobar – An open source Pandora client

I’ve been using pianobar for about two weeks now and have yet to experience any crashes that plagued my usage previously. It is by far the most efficient, stable way to use Pandora. In Ubuntu, you can install it from the software center or via “apt-get install pianobar”. I also recommend installing libnotify-bin if you want to use notifications on song changes (instructions below).

Once installed, you can either run it straight away by opening a terminal and typing “pianobar”, or you can set up some configurations first to enhance your experience. I use a shell script to catch events from the player and display notifications with the song artist and title.

For configuration, edit ~/.config/pianobar/config in your favorite editor. Here is my configuration (note that I pay for Pandora One, if you do not, you can’t specify mp3-hifi as your audio_format):

event_command = /home/myuser/bin/pianobar-notify
user = user@domain.com
password = yourpassword
audio_format = mp3-hifi

The script at /home/myuser/bin/pianobar-notify will be called any time an “event” is sent. See the man page for details on how you can extend this. Below is the pianobar-notify script I use (don’t forget to chmod +x):

#!/bin/bash
# create variables
while read L; do
k="`echo "$L" | cut -d '=' -f 1`"
v="`echo "$L" | cut -d '=' -f 2`"
export "$k=$v"
done < <(grep -e '^\(title\|artist\|album\|stationName\|pRet\|pRetStr\|wRet\|wRetStr\|songDuration\|songPlayed\|rating\|coverArt\)=' /dev/stdin) # don't overwrite $1...

case "$1" in
songstart)
# echo 'naughty.notify({title = "pianobar", text = "Now playing: ' "$title" ' by ' "$artist" '"})' | awesome-client -
# echo "$title -- $artist" > $HOME/.config/pianobar/nowplaying
# # or whatever you like...
notify-send "Pianobar - $stationName" "Now Playing: $artist - $title"
;;

# songfinish)
# # scrobble if 75% of song have been played, but only if the song hasn't
# # been banned
# if [ -n "$songDuration" ] &&
# [ $(echo "scale=4; ($songPlayed/$songDuration*100)>50" | bc) -eq 1 ] &&
# [ "$rating" -ne 2 ]; then
# # scrobbler-helper is part of the Audio::Scrobble package at cpan
# # "pia" is the last.fm client identifier of "pianobar", don't use
# # it for anything else, please
# scrobbler-helper -P pia -V 1.0 "$title" "$artist" "$album" "" "" "" "$((songDuration/1000))" &
# fi
# ;;

*)
if [ "$pRet" -ne 1 ]; then
notify-send "Pianobar - ERROR" "$1 failed: $pRetStr"
elif [ "$wRet" -ne 1 ]; then
notify-send "Pianobar - ERROR" "$1 failed: $wRetStr"
fi
;;
esac

Have fun enjoying your music without a web browser!

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