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Topic ClosedQuickly Gathering Info on New Music

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wiz_d_kidd View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Quickly Gathering Info on New Music
    Posted: February 14 2018 at 11:08
I'm continually seeking out new prog bands to listen to.  I monitor a number of websites, such as this one, to read reviews and look for new releases.  When I run across a listing that pique's my interest, my first inclination is to search for some music samples, and get more information on the band.  I would search PA, BandCamp, Amazon, SoundCloud, MySpace, and several others.  It gets quite tedious opening new tabs, navigating to the website, finding their search box, and manually entering the search terms -- over, and over, and over.

So I created a script for AutoHotKey to do this for me.  I press "Windows-M", a GUI pops up, I enter the search term once (which I usually just cut & paste from the source), then hit CR.  The script automatically goes to each of the listed websites and does the search and posts the results in your web browser -- one tab for each site.  All I have to do is click on the tab to see what, if anything, was found.



If you're not familiar with AutoHotKey, it is a program which allows you to run scripts in Windows.  The scripts are terminate-and-stay-resident programs that are invoked by pressing some unique keyboard sequence, Windows-M in my case.  AutoHotKey is free, trustworthy, well documented, and well supported.  You can download it here:  https://autohotkey.com/

I can't embed the source code because PA blocks it.  If you are interested, contact me and I will email it to you.  It's just an ASCII text file which you can easily read in NotePad.


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The Dark Elf View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2018 at 18:07
Something about downloading dubious programs which allow you to run scripts in windows does not sound very wholesome to me. That PA blocks the source code is reason enough to be concerned.

Sorry, sounds absolutely Bot-ish to me.
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Vompatti View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2018 at 22:41
I'm not that familiar with Windows, but couldn't you make it pick up the search term from the clipboard? That way you could just select whatever bandname you've come across in the browser and hit the keybinding, no need for typing or a separate GUI. And if you ever needed to type it in you could do that in any text editor.
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wiz_d_kidd View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2018 at 07:00
You still have to open a new tab, navigate to a new website, paste the search term into the search box, and click search.  That's 4 operations.  Do that for 8 different websites, it becomes 32 operations.  The script allows me to do it in 3 (invoke gui, paste, click search). What can I say... I'm lazy.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2018 at 07:10
I meant in your script, isn't the whole GUI thing just unnecessary extra steps?
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wiz_d_kidd View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2018 at 07:36
The GUI allows me to select which sites to search using checkboxes, provides an input field for the search term, and allows me to save the selections as the default for future searches.  Below is a screen capture.  Assuming I've copied the search term into the clipboard, the search sequence boils down to:  Win-M, Ctrl-V, CR.  Up to 8 sites are searched, and the results displayed in 8 different tabs in the default web browser.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2018 at 10:30
I tested AutoHotKey maybe five years ago as a possible replacement for a macro creation program called Macro Express at the place I work. We were concerned with some interface challenges of a new version of integrated library system client software we might use, but that change never occurred, so the exploration was dropped (though I still keep this one in the back of my mind). Anyway, I was impressed with its capabilities. I did not know it had GUI capabilities. That's a nice feature.

It's interesting that AutoHotKey's history is sort of a spin-off of AutoIt, which is a scripting language I've been using on and off for years at work (even sometimes at home).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2018 at 07:45
I had never heard of AutoIt until you mentioned it.  It looks pretty powerful.  The main difference I see is that all AutoHotKey scripts are invoked with a user-defined keyboard sequence (e.g. ctrl-P, alt-ctrl-X, win-M, etc), whereas AutoIt has more of the standard command-line interface. The two evolved from very different needs -- AutoHotKey for quick keyboard macros, AutoIt for executing installation/configuration scripts that are more powerful than a DOS .BAT file.  Thanks for the heads up!
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