You don't need to stick to , or any other cloud just to get new music suggestions and new releases delivered to your doorstep.

Spotify's discover weekly and release radar playlists are definitely a useful feature for those who want to discover new music, but replicating such features isn't rocket science.

In this article I show how to generate your own discover weekly and release radar playlists (as well as keep a local record of your listening history) using , feeds, the last.fm APIs, some scripting and a pinch of SQL.

blog.platypush.tech/article/Au

My server at matrix.platypush.tech is now stable enough to be used for day-to-day activities, and I'm proud to open it up to a wider audience.

The official channel (:matrix.platypush.tech) is open to anyone who wants to talk about self-hosted automation - it now includes a bi-directional IRC bridge to :irc.platypush.tech.

On top of that, I have added a bunch of integrations and bridges, so now you can use it as your main driver and drop other messaging apps - or, at least, that's what I've done for a a couple of months by now, and I don't feel like I'm missing Messenger or Whatsapp on my phone.

Available bridges (typing `login` on them is usually sufficient to set up a messaging bridge):

- Facebook Messenger: @facebookbot:matrix.platypush.tech

- Whatsapp: @whatsappbot:matrix.platypush.tech

- Instagram: @instagrambot:matrix.platypush.tech

- LinkedIn: @linkedinbot:matrix.platypush.tech

- Twitter: @twitterbot:matrix.platypush.tech

- Telegram: @telegrambot:matrix.platypush.tech

- Signal: @signalbot:matrix.platypush.tech

- Google Chat/Hangouts: @googlechatbot:matrix.platypush.tech

After setting everything up, I have removed all those apps from my devices, and yet I'm still able to communicate with all of my contacts. If this isn't a compelling case for joining the Matrix, I'm not sure of what can make a compelling case :)

This isn't something completely new btw. I have been using for years a self-hosted instance with several bridges that could get me all the messaging apps bridged to IRC. But IRC is notoriously a not very mobile-friendly protocol, even sending images or other media can be a pain in the ass, not to mention incompatibility issues among different clients. Matrix solved all these issues, and I don't think I'm going to look back.

I have set up a new automation flow that registers the tracks the user listens to (through , , or by fetching the scrobbles) on a local database, retrieves similar tracks through the last.fm API, and periodically creates a new discovery playlist that contains the top suggested tracks that haven't been listened/suggested yet.

The "top suggested" tracks are calculated through a simple score that takes into account both the match score between the suggested and the listened tracks, and for how many listened tracks a certain track has been reported as a suggestion.

It's a self-hosted and backend-agnostic alternative (with a transparent algorithm) to Spotify's discovery features. I have been using it for several weeks to generate my "Discovery weekly" playlists, and I've been surprised by how many new tracks I discovered - way more than through Spotify's suggestions, that were quite all over the place lately.

I may write a blog article on it, but before that I wanted to check the community's favourite ways of consuming music, so I can provide playlist generation examples that are relevant for that service.

I have been a user for more than a decade, until they recently f*cked up their developer experience for good by killing libspotify (technically they already deprecated it years ago, but in all these years they refused to provide official alternatives as well). I have moved to since then, so my code now generates new discovery playlists through the Tidal ("unofficial"/reverse engineered) web API.

Do you folks have a favourite (preferably web-based, or with a web API) alternative service that you use to discover and stream music? Fully local options also apply, but then I need to write about how to automatically search and download audio files from cloud services - and even though I have found some ways of doing it, it's obviously illegal to publish those methods :) options like may also apply, but only a small subset of the tracks that are found on last.fm are available on Bandcamp.

In other words, do you folks have any suggestions for an online music streaming service comparable to Spotify or Tidal when it comes to content availability, but with a good search, playlist management and streaming API (unlike Spotify and Tidal)?

The only reason why I'm using Tidal is that I needed an alternative to Spotify with comparable content availability, and that Tidal is (allegedly) a bit fairer to artists when it comes to remuneration. But I don't like to rely on a web API that has basically been reverse engineered, and on a music service that doesn't even provide an official Linux client.

About mobile

Yes, I do obviously hate Google from the bottom of my heart. And I do also hate it that all the notifications from and to any Android device go through their Firebase engine. So the backlash again them (as well as 's choice of flagging Firebase usage as an anti-feature) is more than welcome.

But I think that things are getting too much out of hand. Nowadays apps like K-9 Mail and Tusky almost brag about their missing support for push notifications, as if it was a feature itself rather than a missing feature. And I've seen people write things like "oh, notifications are an annoying distraction anyway, good that we don't have them", or "thanks for staying pure".

I totally disagree with this stance. The ability to get nudged when we receive an sms, an email, or somebody mentions us on a chat or a social platform, is one of the core features of any mobile platform. Sure, one should have the ability to mute or disable specific notifications if they don't want to be bothered, but not providing the feature at all means that we (as a community) are providing an incomplete mobile experience, and our apps are unlikely to get traction with anyone who isn't willing to trade usability for privacy.

So I have recently set up my servers running , and 's unified push. I have some automation routines that poll whatever I want to be notified about (emails, Mastodon activity, new content by a specific RSS feed or social profile...), and deliver them as notifications over these channels so my mobile can be up-to-date with everything.

Let's not forget that asynchronous push notifications aren't rocket science. All it takes for them to work is either a websocket or an HTTP stream endpoint - and both the technologies have been around for about two decades. And we've also got a standard () to ensure compatibility.

So I'd like to invite more developers to build apps that come with UnifiedPush support. Yes, you guys deserve to be praised for saying no to Google and Firebase, but if you don't provide any alternative then you're just shipping a half-baked product. I can patch it for now by running a polling logic on another server and delivering messages over ntfy, but people who just want to be notified when they receive an email or get mentioned on Mastodon shouldn't run their own server-side logic to get things to work.

As a user, I can follow a lot of cool people, but I can't access content that is exclusively published over Twitter.

Until recently I still opened to check for updates by profiles such as MIT Technology Review, The Gradient, The Economist, Quanta Magazine or Phys, since none of those accounts cross-posts to the Fediverse.

That's no longer the case. I decided that instead of complaining about the mountain not moving to me, I should probably take the initiative and drag it myself.

So I have created a based on (and a sprinkle of ) that subscribes to a curated list that contains my feeds and with my favourite Twitter accounts (using nitter to bridge Twitter timelines to RSS), and forwards updates to my instance: social.platypush.tech/web/@cro.

If you're into science and tech content, feel free to follow it!

And I've written a blog article that explains how to build a bot like this, together with some random thoughts on the Fediverse.

blog.platypush.tech/article/Cr

It's time!

- ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น geek in his mid-thirties, based in ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ

- ๐ŸŽ“ M.Sc in computer engineering.

- My current job is about fixing and automating global supply chains, one line of code at the time, but I have worked in a wide range of industries over the past (nearly) two decades.

- My hobbies often involve automating everything around me.

- :linux: user since 2001. My experience as a Linux admin started back in a time when I used run my IRC and Apache servers on a repurposed Pentium 1 under my bed, and it still took about 10 ๐Ÿ’พ to install a full Slackware system.

- :arch: Linux and rolling release enthusiast.

- ๐Ÿ›  Creator and main developer of (platypush.tech), an open-source (mainly :python: and :vue:), general-purpose platform/framework to automate everything - from smart devices, to cloud services, to robots, to DevOps operations, to everything in between. With hundreds of available integrations, you can think of it as IFTTT+Tasker+SmartThings on steroids, scriptable, and runnable on almost any device. Or maybe like HomeAssistant's lighter brother.

- Admin of social.platypush.tech, a Mastodon instance where I may talk a lot about Platypush, automation, programming, electronics and maths. I tend to write a lot, so if you're looking for an instance with a 10,000 characters per toot limit...

- Looking for relays with instances dedicated to similar topics. My dream would be to build an experience, when it comes to , that is akin to curated lists, where admins can create curated federated experiences for the users on their platforms, rather than the open-to-everything overwhelming stream of toots on the federated timeline that most of the relays provide nowadays.

- ๐Ÿค– Machine-learning enthusiast. I have published a book on it link.springer.com/book/10.1007, with simple computer vision exercises that can be run on a , and I did some academic research back in time where neural networks were still a green field fabiomanganiello.com/#research, and I never stop learning new stuff.

- ๐Ÿงช๏ธ Physics, chemistry, biology, maths and astronomy enthusiast.

- ๐ŸŽต Music addict, ๐ŸŽธand ๐ŸŽน player, and occasional composer/producer You can find some of my music here open.spotify.com/artist/5H6BJf and here soundcloud.com/blacklight01

- I may often write about random politics/economics/philosophy. I may sometimes be very passionate on topics such as open-source, open data, open protocols, tolerance and social inequalities. I mostly belong to the progressive/social-democratic field. You are welcome to try and change my mind, as long as you do it in a civilized and data-driven way.

- ๐Ÿ„ and ๐Ÿ›น๏ธ rider. And, as a good Dutch resident, ๐Ÿšฒ enthusiast.

- ๐Ÿ‘ช Full-time father.

๐ŸŽ‰ New article alert!

I have now put together in one single article all the steps to get you up to speed to build your open-source, self-hosted and multi-device Evernote clone. Happy hacking!

blog.platypush.tech/article/Bu

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