Okay, Last.fm, I give in. I’m scrobbling again… to The Muppets. Blogging muse must be fed.

I’ve given in to Last.fm, as I found that it was easy to add a widget to scrobble tracks I’ve listened to on iTunes or via Last.fm (it’s not working for the internet radio stations I listen to on Winamp). So far, I’ve listened to random things, and something I created called “The Muppets Radio.” It’s made for some interesting audio moments, which eventually led to Monty Python and something wacky called Moxy Fruvious. It’s high time I opened up to new music… I’m hoping it’ll help me dare to be a bit more productive and creative around here.

If you stumble across the blog after a long time away, you’ll see there’ve been a lot of changes. I’m giving a more modern WordPress theme a try… flirted with WooThemes, but found that their otherwise nifty WooTumblog plugin, paired with the Express for WordPress app for the iPhone really only works with Woothemes – all other themes require some modifications. The default Twenty Ten theme was the only example given for how to get it working; I had it working for a while with my previous theme, Amazing Grace, but it stopped working after the most recent WordPress version came out.

So, I decided to try the latest default theme, called Twenty Eleven. However, it was completely different from the previous default theme, and the instructions for getting WooTumblog configured were nowhere to be found. In fact, there was some indication on the support forums for WooTumblog that the latest version of WordPress kind of indicated that it would be harder and harder to integrate it into any non-Woothemes template.

Meh, I had played around with it from the iPhone, but it didn’t really make my blogging any easier from there. So I bailed on it (especially when an adjustment I tried to make to get it working totally broke my website. Buh-bye).

That said, I went all in with the new default theme, but still wanted a three column layout.

Enter NomNom Twenty Eleven child theme by Zeaks.

  • 8 premade color schemes
  • 6 new layouts including 3 different 3 column layouts
  • Nivo Slider added to header with several options to control the look
  • Option to resize the header
  • Support for excerpts with post thumbnails
  • Second menu above the header
  • Sidebar on post pages
  • Area to add your own custom CSS that will not be overwritten with an upgrade
  • Google Font selector for most areas
  • Built in related posts under each post with on/off option
  • Superfish dropdown menu effects
  • Custom Twitter, Flickr, Author Biography widgets
  • Plain text to URL support(just type a url in a post, no need to create a link)
  • WPPageNavi template and style support
  • Color options for all menu areas
  • All code is well commented

I didn’t really start working with it until yesterday, but it has plenty of flexibility for the kinds of color, graphic, and font tweaks that you might make to adapt a default theme. I’ve already added my normal CSS drop shadows – nice not to have to add it to the stylesheet, this theme has a custom CSS box where you can add it and it supposedly won’t get messed up in an upgrade. I’ve also added about a dozen custom banners that are taken from my own pictures – easy as pie, much simpler and more striking than the way I was doing it before. I may still fool with the Flickr badge in the right column.

There’s still some things to tweak but this is a pretty good start. And it’s been pleasant to listen to Last.fm come up with variations on “The Muppets” as a radio station, and see the music get added to my left side bar. I’ve also been listening to Radio Riel, my standby, which WON’T scrobble from what I can tell – via Winamp and http://www.radioriel.org.

More later, headed out to see “White Christmas” at the Marriott Lincolnshire.

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2 thoughts on “Okay, Last.fm, I give in. I’m scrobbling again… to The Muppets. Blogging muse must be fed.

  1. Hi there!
    Could you tell me which Last FM plugin you are using?
    Trying to find one that shows the album cover and the title,etc.

    Thanks!
    Scott

  2. Sorry for the late delay, Scott, it’s WPLast.fm – and I wish I could figure out how to get Winamp to update streaming music to the blog as well. This plugin detects iTunes with no problem, but I usually listen to streaming Internet radio.

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