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Show HN: Vuiet – a music player and explorer for Emacs (github.com/mihaiolteanu)
101 points by molteanu on March 20, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 19 comments

I've been a last.fm user for over 10 years now. My routine for listening and discovering new music has been to ask last.fm to play similar artists to some artist I already loved and liked or just let last.fm do it's job and play its suggestions for me based on my listening history.

This worked nicely for me. But as I've drifted more and more to a mousless world thanks to Emacs and StumpWM, I became more and more frustrated every time I've had to change songs, add a song to my favorites or just browse an artist page. This back and forth between the browser and Emacs got tiring after a while. Besides, a few years back, last.fm dumped its old system where it used it's own database to play songs and just played the songs directly from youtube. This got me thinking that maybe I can use last.fm's huge dataset to create my own playlists based on similarities between artists and even browse an artist page as I would do in a browser, only inside Emacs. And since youtube is available to everybody, and mpv can play youtube links and can even do searches, I've started playing with this idea.

Another pain point that I've had is lyrics. Sure, if I can get the above thing working, Emacs will know what song I'm currently playing, and fetching the lyrics and displaying them in a new buffer would be a no brainer. But, lots of times I'm having trouble finding the song FROM the lyrics and not the other way around. Especially if I'm not remembering so many words from the song. So why not keeping a local database with all the lyrics I'm interested in and do a local search, from Emacs, and not from Google. Since counsel and helm are such nice tools, I can use those to browse through the results, hit enter, and play my song. No leaving the Emacsland required.

I've tried to implement this first in Common Lisp and call it directly from the window manager (StumpWM). It worked, but it was somehow hard to use. I then tried to implement it directly in Emacs. The first package was lastfm.el with which I can have access to the whole last.fm database. All artist's songs, similarities, user top tracks, everything. With authentication, the user can also add loved tracks, scrobble tracks and all that. In short, everything you can do from the last.fm page, you can now do from Emacs. This was a nice first step. The second step was to implement the lyrics functionality. This is another package, versuri.el.

And the last step is this package, vuiet.el. It brings together lastfm.el and versuri.el with mpv.el for playing songs and some org-mode for displaying and browsing artists and genres. I've gone wild with the playlists and created more options for them than what is available by default on last.fm. I can pick a random artist from my loved songs list, for example, and then play a random song from a random artist similar to it, ad infinitum. Or, when browsing an artist page, I can do a search first and let counsel guide my way as to the exact name of the artist. Maybe I'm lazy, maybe I forget. All in all, it has been a great tool to listen and discover new music, for the lazy people.

I got mostly positive first impressions until now, and I'm sure there are more exciting features to explore with this tool which I cannot think of right now. Improvements and features are waiting to happen, in short. Some bugs are also lurking in there, for sure. But I'm using it for approximately two months already and I really like it. I'm curious how others would use it, what features do they miss, what bugs do they find, etc.

Thanks for trying it out and happy listening!

This should be a blog post, my friend.

And incidentally, things like this are one of the (many) reasons I love Emacs.

Agree, would love to see this as a blog post!

You mean, in an expanded format, with more details and more of the backstory of how this tool came to be? If that's the case, it sounds interesting, I might do it. Thanks for the suggestion!

This is really nice!

In my nonexistent free time, I'm very slowly learning Lisp. (well, mostly emacs lisp) I love seeing these sorts of Emacs projects, because I can read through the source and figure out a little bit more about this strange and wonderful language.

This brings to mind one of the reasons I love Emacs so much now. It's the editor with the smallest barrier to learning and extending it, since everything is Lisp, you configure it with Lisp, you customize it with Lisp, and packages are written in Lisp.

Anyway, a long-winded roundabout way of saying: Thank you for sharing this!

C-h f, C-h k and helpful are your friends for that sort of thing (spelunking through the Emacs source).

Thanks for trying it out! Let me know if you have any trouble using it.

Anybody: “what’s your primary OS?”

Me: “Emacs.” /s

Wanna-be hard-core Emacs user here. Tried this out today, worked beautifully. A few glitches (I’ll send a bug report if I can reproduce) but splendid by and large.

There is something to be said for using Emacs an application platform. It is the ultimate IDE, and a self-contained marvel of hackage that somehow works.

Thanks for posting this!

This is a really really cool project. Awesome that it exists.

I wish it was a general CLI, instead of relying on Emacs. Or, I wish I felt comfortable enough in Emacs to give this a shot.

I think you can turn it into that if you use Emacs as Daemon [1]. Then you would be able to call vuiet from the command line as this, for example

> emacsclient -e '(vuiet-play-artist "queen")'

You can then turn it into a full CLI tool for interacting with vuiet with some nice wrappers around the above command, and similar ones. I would be glad if someone gives it a try. I, for one, feel very comfortable inside Emacs.

Thanks for your nice words! I really appreciate it.

[1] https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/EmacsAsDaemon

This kind of stuff for some reason, tends often to exist in Emacs.

I've been using pianobar which is a Pandora CLI and has an emacs package. It's pretty neat and I have Pandora, but this really looks cool and maybe better. I'd like to give it a shot.



Let me know if you're thinking of some feature that you're missing. Feel free to open an issue, I'll gladly look over it.

Really want to give this a go but having some troubles figuring how to start it! I've installed it via melpa and then i'm trying to M-x vui[tab] but nothing's coming up?

I know it's often the most boring bit but an installation and quickstart guide on the readme would be super appreciated!

Thanks for all the work

You must of course (require 'vuiet), as any package, before using it. Similar with use-package. Or am I missing something?!

I'm not sure how it works, but definitely some packages manage to autoload.

I was pretty sure you're Romanian based on the app's name :)

Very fitting for much of today's music indeed.

saw this on reddit, still excited about it, gunna see about actually taking a minute and installing it

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