The Lumber Room

"Consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them"

Pidgin “now playing” plugins: updating status messages to song being played

with 59 comments

Plugins for Pidgin (the IM client formerly known as Gaim) that update the status message to show the currently playing track, somehow getting it from your music player. Found so far, in what I think is the descending order of something no particular order:
[Note: Before you install any of these, you should be aware that most of them have been known to crash Pidgin rather frequently, and ask yourself whether it is worth it. Your friends really don’t care what you’re listening to. Really.]

  • D-Bus script by Pidgin developer: works with Rhythmbox and Quod Libet. Will almost certainly not cause a crash. If you are on a Unix system and using one of these two music players, just run “python [name of script]” while Pidgin is running. If you’re on Windows… it’s not so easy. (And you’re probably using different music players anyway.)
  • musictracker

    MusicTracker is a plugin for Pidgin (previously known as Gaim) which displays the music track currently playing in the status message of various accounts such as AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Gtalk (Jabber), etc., i.e. any protocol Pidgin supports custom statuses on. Support for a wide range of audio players on both Windows and Linux platforms is planned. Currently supported players: Amarok, Rhythmbox, Audacious, XMMS, MPC/MPD, Exaile, Banshee, Quod Libet on Linux. Winamp, Windows Media Player (9+), iTunes, Foobar2000 (incomplete support) on Windows.

    Is apparently the best option, but also a very frequent cause of crashes.

  • Pidgin-currenttrack

    Current Track plugin will update your Gaim/Pidgin user info, available message or away message, and buddy icon from iTunes, Winamp, RealPlayer, WMP, Musicmatch, MediaMonkey, XMPlay, Yahoo! & Foobar2000 in Windows and XMMS, Rhythmbox, & Amarok in Linux.

    Has been known to crash Pidgin. I’ve heard it has a feature where you can type “/currentrack” in a conversation window to send your current track, which is pretty cool. Not very useful if it crashes Pidgin though, is it?

  • Pidgin Now Playing

    This plugin will replace %now-playing in your status message with metadata from the currently playing song in a MPRIS compatible media player (currently including BMPx 0.4, VLC SVN trunk, Audacious 1.4.0 devel), if any.

    It appears that MPRIS is an informal standard for music players to support a common interface. In an ideal world, all music players would support this standard, and in the real world, this may or may not happen. Amarok is also probably supported already.

  • MusicInfo

    MusicInfo is a plugin for the Pidgin instant messaging client. It lets you display the music that you are listening to in your away message, available message, and profile.

    For Winamp, and some players that have a Winamp emulation mode.

  • Autoprofile

    AutoProfile is an extension to Gaim that allows users to create customized away messages and profiles using dynamic “components” that automatically update on a regular basis. Generated text can include song names from XMMS/Winamp/iTunes, fortune quotes, computer uptime, the contents of a Web page or a text file, the output of a program, and timestamps.

    Is for Gaim 2.0.0beta3, not updated for Pidgin as of 2007-11-11 (last updated 2006-04-05, so don’t hold your breath).

  • AmarokPidgin

    A plugin for Amarok that updates your Pidgin status message with what you are currently listening too.[sic]

    Is for Amarok only.

  • Pidgin-Rhythmbox

    The Pidgin-Rhythmbox plugin will automatically update your Pidgin user info and status message with the currently playing music in Rhythmbox. If the artist and title are known, it will also attempt to create a link to the song’s lyrics by using Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature. Pidgin-Rhythmbox will replace %rb in your user info and status message with the song information.

    Is for Rhythmbox only.

  • Write your own script. You can set status from the command line with purple-remote "setstatus?status=whatever&message=whatever". For example, purple-remote "setstatus?status=available&message=" will clear the status message. You can also use D-Bus. There is a very good introduction to D-Bus here, and Ars Technica has some examples of using Pidgin’s D-Bus interface. This is essentially what many of the above plugins do (those that don’t crash your Pidgin). Assuming that you have a way of getting the song (or whatever string you want in your status message) somehow (through D-Bus, maybe) in a script, this is certainly the most flexible option, as you can do exactly what you want with the status message (append to it v/s replace it, add the current time, artist but not title, whatever). You can also look at D-Bus Howto for Pidgin (who wrote that? :), but the harder part is getting the current song from your music player.

Note: While MusicTracker seems to be the plugin that the maximum number of people have been successful in using, it appears that it sometimes crashes Pidgin as well (especially on non-ASCII characters in the title/artist). Evidently, no plugin is perfect (except one that you write yourself :P) and you should take a moment to consider whether you really need a plugin of this sort. I know it seems cool and several IM clients provide a feature like this, but is it really necessary? Do your friends really care what music you’re listening to?

Written by S

Sun, 2007-05-20 at 21:19:06

59 Responses

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  1. just what i was looking for =P, thanks a bunch


    Tue, 2007-05-22 at 23:59:24

  2. Heh, you’re welcome :)


    Wed, 2007-05-23 at 00:39:43

  3. very useful post… u rock


    Fri, 2007-05-25 at 18:48:36

  4. Kickass.. just the thing i was looking for.. ;)


    Wed, 2007-06-06 at 17:42:36

  5. Thnkxs!!!


    Sun, 2007-06-10 at 06:37:14

  6. I’m using MusicInfo for now, because MusicTracker cannot put it in your profile and requires the default foobar2000 titlebar formatting, and CurrentTrack won’t allow you to display the text as a link (and just plain doesn’t work with my foobar2000). MusicInfo doesn’t detect paused tracks for now, which is a limitation, but that’s just a harm I’ll have to bite for now.


    Sat, 2007-06-16 at 08:27:42

  7. There’s also pidgin-rhythmbox, if you use rhythmbox.


    Fri, 2007-07-20 at 19:02:30

  8. how can volume level can be displayed in status message.
    i m using amarokpidgin plugin


    Mon, 2007-08-06 at 21:24:21

  9. Tried MusicTracker. Installed well but does not seem to work. There’s no change in the status message.

    Tried CurrentTrack. Installed well but kept crashing pidgin (2.1.0).

    End of experiments I think.

    Rajib Ghosh

    Sat, 2007-08-18 at 17:05:12

  10. <shameless plug>
    for MPRIS-compatible players (BMPx 0.4, VLC SVN trunk, Audacious devel, maybe others to come), there is also Pidgin Now Playing
    </shameless plug>


    Fri, 2007-08-24 at 18:14:04

  11. Thanx :D


    Fri, 2007-09-07 at 19:06:02

  12. Tried Musictracker, installed, enabled, and configured. But my status message does not change. What am I doing wrong? :[


    Mon, 2007-09-10 at 01:44:55

  13. thanks for this post! you saved me a bunch of time trying to find one that works.


    Wed, 2007-10-17 at 19:15:11

  14. umm tried the (waht looks like an awesome plugin) currenttrack.

    crashes windows pidgn when you enable the plugin via plugins config.


    Sat, 2007-10-27 at 14:14:15

  15. also the auto profile plugin require you to :

    download the source for the plugin,
    download the source for gaim(isnt it now called pidgn? if is this the rights ource…will i be able to use plugin with pidgn after compiling against gaim? i doubt it)

    then you have to compile gaim and the plugin, so that means grabbing all the required extras….le sigh

    ps i hate typing….and having fingers tha split apart into fifty fingers are still not good enough….my brain operates at much high bus speeds that the reflex/flex rate of my muscles.


    Sat, 2007-10-27 at 14:20:31

  16. GReat musictracker!!!!


    Wed, 2007-10-31 at 12:43:49

  17. Tried using musictracker on WinXP_SP2+Pidgin_2.2.2. When iTunes gets enabled, Pidgin crashed. Same using Pidgin+Winamp+musictracker. Anyone got the same prob.? Looks like a msvcrt.dll problem. Not sure.


    Wed, 2007-11-07 at 11:38:55

  18. Finally! I’ve been looking all over for this. :) Thanks you.


    Wed, 2007-11-07 at 18:11:56

  19. @all those saying thanks: You’re welcome.
    @all those saying things didn’t work: Aw, too bad, my sympathies.
    @m0n5t3r, jon: Thanks for the plugs, included them.


    Mon, 2007-11-12 at 01:22:24

  20. I was looking for something that would work with a windows port of mplayer… any suggestions or assist would be great!


    Mon, 2007-11-19 at 08:08:48

  21. […] Linux and Windows. I tried currentrack before, but it caused my Pidgin to crash, unfortunately . Found it over here, so thanks to the guy who owns that […]

  22. thanks bro. very useful post, just what i needed.


    Mon, 2007-12-10 at 20:56:06

  23. This is wery helpfull. Thank you.


    Thu, 2007-12-13 at 21:43:52

  24. Using musictracker with MediaMonkey in Pidgin v 2.3.1 and it works great. Had crashing issues with currenttrack.


    Fri, 2007-12-14 at 16:00:49

  25. Hey, awesome post. Found it on google searching for “xmms pidgin plugin,” was just what I was searching for.

    Get the pidgin guys to link to you!



    Sat, 2008-01-12 at 02:17:58

  26. With MusicTracker, if your song has accented characters, pidgin crashes and deletes all of your accounts!


    Thu, 2008-01-24 at 04:40:19

  27. thanks for this post. using musictracker 0.4.1 with Pidgin 2.3.1 on windows xp. no problems so far.


    Thu, 2008-01-24 at 17:52:07

  28. Hi, i’m using windows media player and in gtalk i tried using “set current music track as ur status” but it isnt working. please guide me what should i do. i even tried this plugin but its of no use

    lakshmi krishna

    Fri, 2008-02-08 at 11:14:40

  29. Thanks a ton mate. This was of immense use.


    Fri, 2008-02-08 at 11:53:32

  30. tried, musicinfo, i have do as the instruction said at their website, but nothing happen. current track crash. any suggest?


    Fri, 2008-02-08 at 15:15:37

  31. Not working w/Media Player 11, Vista 64bit, and Pidgin 2.3.1


    Sat, 2008-02-16 at 02:27:12

  32. Development of MusicTracker seems to have stalled (last change was May, 2007). No one is fixing the serious crashing problem with accented and other special characters.


    Fri, 2008-02-29 at 21:44:32

  33. MusicInfo works fine now, after some problems. Didnt know that i had to manually give instructions in the status message. Thanks for the compilation of the plugins :)

    Ananth Acharya

    Sun, 2008-03-23 at 07:33:23

  34. Thanks guys
    But it does not work on WMP 11 and also it changes the status at the other party’s screen but mine is not changed


    Tue, 2008-03-25 at 11:03:05

  35. Does anyone know of a plugin similar to this that will just rotate your status message on some frequency basis to a predefined set of values? I want to rotate through different quotes and don’t want to have to think about it.


    Thu, 2008-03-27 at 19:44:50

  36. […] Pidgin “now playing” — updating status messages to song being played « The Lumber Room […]

  37. […] Pidgin “now playing” plugins: updating status messages to song being played « The Lumber Room (tags: pidgin plugin) […]

  38. Hey, thanks for this list, musictracker works like a charm!


    Sat, 2008-05-03 at 19:27:58

  39. […] Pidgin “now playing” plugins: updating status messages to song being played « The Lumber Room Plugins for Pidgin (the IM client formerly known as Gaim) that update the status message to show the currently playing track, somehow getting it from your music player (tags: amarok howto linux mp3 plugin music list pidgin gaim messenger plugins) […]

  40. hey there, thanks for this fine plugin!

    it works with all my icq and yahoo contacts in pidgin…but on with the msn buddies..

    any suggestions about what i can do??

    thanks again


    Sun, 2008-06-08 at 14:36:06

  41. coolies!!!


    Tue, 2008-06-10 at 12:27:31

  42. MusicTracker works great. Thanks for this great list!


    Thu, 2008-08-07 at 16:38:31

  43. I tried MusicTracker… it works great but it changes my screen name in MSN, I want it to change my personal message such as it works in WLM!


    Fri, 2008-08-22 at 23:21:39

  44. […] odtwarzanym przeze mnie utworze. Kiedyś wpadłem na jeden z wpisów Shreevatsy, mianowicie Pidgin “now playing” plugins: updating status messages to song being played. Tam wpadłem na wtyczkę musictracker i używałem jej aż do czasu sformatowania […]

  45. Cool article, very usefull. Thank you!


    Sun, 2008-10-26 at 21:31:51

  46. I’ve just submitted a package review for Fedora, including a .spec file for building on Red Hat / Fedora platforms (I only tested on Fedora 10.) You can grab the spec or the .src.rpm files from the following links:


    Jon Hermansen

    Wed, 2008-10-29 at 21:31:51

    is a fork of original musictracker( which is maintained anymore btw :))

    Felician Moldovan

    Thu, 2008-10-30 at 22:19:12

  48. This is great ;) Although Exaile has “IM Status” plugin, one of these could come in handy ;) tnx

    Nokia Pictures

    Sat, 2008-12-06 at 15:50:55

  49. Sorry you dont have any friends shreevatsa :(


    Fri, 2009-03-13 at 18:46:31

  50. 1Excellent information!!!1


    Mon, 2009-03-30 at 10:28:17

  51. Somebody knows any that works with the spotify player? Spotify works very well with Live MSN but not with pidgin.



    Thu, 2009-04-30 at 07:48:53

  52. MUSICTRACKER is very great!!!

    But I found a mistake: Maybe anyone can contact the programmer about MUSICTRACKER. When I use %n for showing the tracknumber, the tracknumber won’t be showing, but the icq-number. That’s crazy. Does anybody know this problem and can solve it?

    Btw: Sorry for my bad english.. :)


    Mon, 2009-06-15 at 09:31:54

  53. xmms plugin “songchange” command :

    purple-remote “setstatus?message=Now playing %s”


    Sun, 2009-06-28 at 04:29:22

  54. In my experience, the python script updates the “now listening” status faster than musictracker.

    musictracker has an issue when turning the plugin off: it updates the status (not the “now listening”) and quits. When running, it shows the actual “now listening” status.

    the script has an issue when closing it (not its fault). You need to stop your music, THEN quit the script.. or else your buddies will think you listen to just one song 24/7. (happened to me)

    But I’ll be using musictracker for its convenience! thanks!


    Tue, 2009-07-28 at 14:31:25

  55. Thanks for the really helpful post.
    You R0cK!!

    Varun Sharma

    Sat, 2009-11-28 at 09:09:00

  56. Just testing everything out!

    gMorgan SLOAN

    Tue, 2010-05-18 at 15:59:39

  57. I use Pidgin and AIMP, what plugin should I use ?


    Tue, 2013-05-28 at 02:24:56

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