We started watching Season 4 of the excellent Peaky Blinders [Netflix] the other day. The seasons opens with a dramatic and visually stunning prison scene, where the Shelby’s are on their way to the gallows. Shazam couldn’t figure out the accompanying music so I did a little digging.
I discovered AWOLNATION — Run today.
I know I’m late to the game.
Don’t judge me.
If you’re not looking for Siri or don’t use HomeKit, there’s a vast array of speakers, which support AirPlay, that could can purchase, from the likes of Devialet, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Bang & Olufsen, and more. We’ll need to wait for AirPlay 2 support from competing products (the HomePod doesn’t have it either at the moment), but for people who don’t need a digital assistant and want more versatility (e.g. Spotify), there are many interesting options out there that range from 100 to many thousands of dollars.
I’m mentioning this because ‘everyone’ keeps on saying how the HomePod doesn’t really compete with Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, but they fail to include any comparisons or even acknowledge the existence of more traditional solutions to listening to music or audio.
Sometimes, once every few weeks, when night falls and the world goes to sleep, I love to put my headphones on, select a few great songs, and get transported to another dimension.
Tonight, one of those songs is Clubbed to Death.
I used to have an app named CoverSutra running on my desktop. Not only did it display iTunes artwork in a visually pleasing way, but it also updated my Last.fm account with what I was listening to in iTunes. Unfortunately, Sophie Teutschler stopped development, and found a job at Apple. CoverSutra no longer works properly under OS X El Capitan, and while it ‘kinda works’ with iTunes, it doesn’t support Apple Music at all.
Polish developer Adam Różyński has the answer to my problems. His NepTunes is a simple app1 which lives in the OS X menu bar. All it does is report back to our Last.fm account2, correctly scrobbling the music we are listening to. Although it is not as nice graphically3 as CoverSutra, it gets the job done. The preferences panel also allows the app to integrate with iTunes. This allows to ‘star’ songs with ‘hearts’ on both Apple Music and Last.fm with one keyboard shortcut (which can be customised).
Simple, but it gets the job done. That’s usually enough for me.