Introducing: Our robots
On Shuffler we have some processes that run without any human control. They are periodical tasks that do all sorts of magic. We call them shuffler robots.
If you are a blogger and want that all the tracks you post end up on your channel and on the genre channels you might be interested on how they work. This is what this page is about.
A couple of times a day we'll parse your blogs feed looking for new posts. If we find a new post we save it and move to the next step.
We'll get the music from your blog faster if it supports PubSubHubbub. Blogs hosted on blogger.com, tumblr.com and wordpress.com have it enabled by default and if you host your own wordpress blog take a look at the PuSHPress plugin.
Looking for music
Once we know you posted something new we ask another robot to look for music on that page. This robot is not very smart. It only *understands* some types of music. Here they are:
- MP3s (via links and HTML5 audio-tags)
- YouTube embeds
- Soundcloud embeds
- Old Official.fm embeds
- New Official.fm embeds (Experimental)
- Tumblr embeds
- WordPress Audio Player
- Vimeo (Experimental)
- Bandcamp (Experimental)
It's important to note that those mp3s are not protected by referer. Some bloggers do this to prevent deep-linking from other blogs. But Shuffler needs it in order to play the files on its player.
If you do this you can white-list shuffler by adding this to the .htaccess, just before the RewriteRule line if you use Apache.
A word about auto playing music
If our robots find one auto playing music on one page they will discard that song and all the others on that page. We do that because our player plays music and opens your pages at the same time. If you page also plays music then we'll have 2 songs playing at the same time! Not nice.
ID3 tags, artist names, Last.fm tags and genre channels
Once we have the address of the mp3 we download it and try to read its ID3 tags. From it we get the artist name and ask http://last.fm for tags for that artist. And file the track on the genre channels accordingly.
So its in your interest to put nice ID3 tags on your mp3s. Because then they will get into the genre channel and you will get more visits.
If you have the feeling Shuffler is having problems fetching your feed but you don't know why, don't hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org