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Chipmunk – Sweet little GTK Last.FM Player

Last.fm lovers addicted to music streaming service should cancel their therapy and check out the following shiny new application named ‘Chipmunk’.

Created by Arch Linux user Andy Kluger, who has a self-confessed dependency on Last.fm, the tiny application provides everything a last.fm user could need – it can stream music based on your own scrobbles, that of tags, artist or recommendations, love tracks, ban tracks and scrobble tracks. 

You can even ‘stalk’ the tastes of people near by using the ‘neighbourhood’ feature.

On development Andy told us: -

It takes the highly functional and lightweight Shell.FM client and the library pyLast and wraps them up in a gtk suit I find useful.”

Performance & issues
It’s not a lie in saying that Chipmunk is as light. On my set-up it never used above 15MiB of RAM and didn’t so much as tickle the CPU.

The ability to hide the menu bar is welcome as are the contextual info ‘tabs’ providing data from Last.FM – very useful when in ‘Discovery mode’ and listening to something you want to learn more on.

Other than that my only concerns were in the lack of a volume button (not a major issue per se) and no application icon (at least in Ubuntu). Logging in to my Last.FM account ofter resulted in the application ‘greying out’ for a few seconds.

Installation
Somewhere in the over-worded paragraphs above I mentioned that Andy is an Arch Linux user. For this reason Chipmunk is sat in the Arch user repository but there is no .deb for it – but installation on Ubuntu is pretty painless.

“To automate installation for my friends on Linux Mint/Ubuntu I’ve created a python script that installs everything” Andy said in his e-mail to us. “I realize that’s a large barrier to usage on Debian systems, but it’s not that complex to run the script in a terminal, and it gets around the problems of missing and broken official packages.” 


Automated installer for Ubuntu

  • Download this script, saving to your home folder: 
  • Give permissions to execute:
    • Right click > permissions > Execute
  • Open a terminal and run:
    • ./chipmunk_installer.py

Finally…
Last.fm users – and those who just like to whinge – leave your comments below or check out the discussion thread over on the Arch forums.