ArtistDataPress Expiration

In case you haven’t heard, ArtistData is shutting down. Since AritstDataPress merely re-displays the feed from ArtistData, the plugin will also be shutting down. The final date is October 14.

I recommend checking out either BandsInTown or GigPress. BandsInTown covers the online service bit; GigPress keeps everything on your site. I’ve seen good results from both, so you can’t lose.

ArtistDataPress updated to v0.72!

Its been a long year. I’ve been trying to get back to ArtistDataPress and finally had a break in the schedule. So I resolved the larger issues people have brought up on the WordPress support forums. First off, if anyone feels I abandoned the plugin, please forgive me. Paid gigs come before free plugins. However, my schedule has freed up quite a bit now, so I should be able to make regular updates.

Version 0.72 brings the following changes:

  • BUG FIX: Resolved the “undefined function get_example_data()” error
  • BUG FIX: Removed the transient caching – causing too many errors and complaints
  • Removed “Custom” template option; added custom template explanation instead.
  • Changed Twitter account info
  • Added plugin icon to assets

ArtistDataPress is also compatible with the current version of WordPress, so there’s also that. Happy updating!

ArtistDataPress version 0.6 released!

I’ve added some really cool stuff in this release and I’m proud to announce its officially out!

First off, I’ve added feed caching. Let me ‘splain. Before, ADP would go ask ArtistData’s servers for your info every time you reloaded the page. You may have noticed how slow that was. Fortunately, WordPress has a way that I could save the feed data when I fetch it from ArtistData and it makes everything much, much faster! The one trade-off is you’ll need to wait about an hour for new events to show up on your site. If that needs to be changed, please let me know and I’ll alter the timing based on your feedback. But I figure an hour is short enough.

Second, all the layouts, including widgets, are now responsive, which means they look good on mobile and tablets, as well as your laptop. This is just the way things are going in the web development world and I’m still surprised I hadn’t already built this in before.

The rest of the changes are fairly minor. I altered the way some layouts were done in the CSS to name things more consistently, and make them easier to read. I also lightened up the code a bunch by getting rid of stuff I didn’t need.

Hope you all enjoy the update, let me know of any bugs and/or suggestions.

Introducing ArtistDataPress 0.5!

Its been a while since ADP was updated and I know lots of people haven’t cared for the previous update that, in some cases, took away their ability to view their plugin settings. That should be resolved with this 0.5 update.

Previously, ADP was using a PHP library called cURL to fetch the XML feed (the raw shows data) from ArtistData. Fortunately, there’s a nice built-in WordPress function called wp_remote_get that uses HTTP’s GET method to fetch an external URL. This means, your server settings really shouldn’t matter because every server supports HTTP. Hopefully, that’s the last we hear of issues getting the XML feed. 🙂

I also perused the support forums on WP.org and found several requests for features. I’ve added some great new features that have been highly requested:

You can now have multiple instances of ADP by using the [artistdatapress] shortcode to specify how many show you want to display and from which url. Use it like this:

[php]

[artistdatapress maxshows=20 feedurl=http://feeds.artistdata.com/xml.shows/artist/AR-8FAD4948ACC579CB/xml/future]

[/php]

The values in the shortcode will override the plugin settings.

I also added the iCal layout for the widget and you choose that on the widget’s settings.

Overall, I streamlined the code and improved the logic and a bunch of other stuff under the hood that should make it easier to update later. Hope you enjoy!

ArtistDataPress Version 0.4 released!

Version 0.4 brings major changes to ArtistDataPress.  Most noticeably, you’ll see tabs on the options page now, with one dedicated to your choice for how your show listings appear on the page.

ArtistDataPress Layout Settings page
ArtistDataPress Layout Settings page

 

I’ve added a second layout option there and you should also notice the preview uses your actual data!  FYI, if your feed is empty or you don’t have a feed entered, I’ve got some example data in there to show you what it would look like with data.  Underneath, I’ve built a templating system, which will make it easier to add new layouts for both the page/post version and the widgets.  Version 0.4 includes two layouts for the page, Classic and iCal, and one for the widget, Classic.  I’ll be adding new layouts from now on, hopefully adding some cool options that will make displaying your show listings much more visually interesting.  Or at least different.

ArtistDataPress "Classic" Layout
ArtistDataPress “Classic” Layout
ArtistDataPress "iCal" Layout
ArtistDataPress “iCal” Layout

On a related note, if you’ve customized the CSS for your shows page, it will need to be updated.  I changed the CSS naming scheme for ADP to make it easier to add more layouts in the future.  The scheme for IDs and classes for all ADP properties is now: slushman_adp_(layout name)_(property name).  For example, the div containing the date and time on the Classic layout  for the Classic layout would be: slushman_adp_classic_date_time.  For the iCal layout, it would be: slushman_adp_ical_date_time.  Make sense?

I also fixed a bug relating to the Google micro-formatting I added a few updates ago.  Google can look at your page and, based on the formatting and meta data, can display your events in search results.  Part of that micro-formatting requires knowing the zip code where the event takes place.  Some artists use their “past” feed instead of the “future” feed, which causes an error with the zip code because ArtistData only started adding the zip code to shows in February of 2010.  Meaning any shows before then would throw an error.  Now, it simply comes back blank and no zip code is provided.  Which shouldn’t be a big deal since we’re talking about shows that have already happened. 🙂

So there you have it, ArtistDataPress 0.4.  Oh yeah, I also added some support links and a Paypal button on the General Settings page, in case you’re feeling generous.  It’s been a long two weeks and I know my wife will be happy to have me working on something else (or not working at all after hours).  Happy updating!

Announcing the ArtistDataPress plugin for WordPress

ArtistDataPress shows your shows calendar on your WordPress blog and automatically matches your theme!

If you’ve been using ArtistData and didn’t care for their iFrame calendar widget, I’ve got the solution for you: ArtistDataPress!  I wanted a way to display my band’s calendar on their site and on mine, but the AD iframe widget could only be styled once, which left my site with a calendar that didn’t match the rest of my theme.  ArtistDataPress takes the raw XML shows feed and makes it into an easy to style calendar for any page or post.  There’s even a sidebar widget!  You can choose what parts of the show information you want people to see through both the page and widget options.  You can download it from the WordPress Plugin Directory. You can read up on the plugin, it’s features, and get the FAQ on the plugin’s page.

Sonicbids buys ArtistData!

Sonicbids, the company that helps you get gigs, has acquired ArtistData, the company that helps you promote gigs. Read on to find out why this is a good thing.

Sonicbids, the company that helps you get gigs, has acquired ArtistData, the company that helps you promote gigs.  Brendan Mulligan, CEO of ArtistData, published a letter to ArtistData users talking about the transition and what it means.  When I first read the news, I have to say I was pretty pissed.  I have a Sonicbids membership and while they have some good exclusive gigs, parts of their system desperately need improvement.  My fear was that Sonicbids would screw up ArtistData and/or lock it up for members only.

Fortunately, Brendan relieved these fears.  Part of the acquisition deal was a free option for ArtistData’s services.  The paid parts of ArtistData would become standard issue for Sonicbids members (yea for me!).  He also said he’d be helping improve the Sonicbids system.  If the amazing work he’s done with ArtistData is any indication, we can all look forward to a vastly improved Sonicbids!  I’m very happy about the change in this case.

What does this mean for you?  Since there will still be a free option, we can still publish our gigs through ArtistData for no cost.  If you have a Sonicbids membership as well, like I do, it will mean getting the extra features for free.  I think the biggest thing will be having Brendan and his team working with Sonicbids.  I sincerely hope they are able to help Sonicbids improve their system.

Here are some suggestions for Brendan as he helps improve their system at Sonicbids:

More granular options for gig listings.  Nashville is only a four-hour drive from Cincinnati, so I have to include Ohio in my options for gig listings to see shows there.  Unfortunately, Ohio is lumped in with Michigan and Pennsylvania, so I see tons of gigs that too far away for me to consider.  Not to mention seeing gigs for Cleveland which also too far away.  It would be nice if you could select not only which states you’d like to see, but which parts of states like southern Illinois vs northern Illinois or eastern, middle, or western Tennessee.  Or maybe by city.  I know several musicians who fly back and forth from Nashville and Los Angeles, so it would benefit them to see gig listings from those cities, but not every city & state in between.

Improved email notifications.  I’ve changed my email preferences several times and I still get daily emails with gig listings (I’ve asked for a weekly digest instead).  For the last three weeks, these daily emails have included all the same gigs.  While I understand why you’d relist the same upcoming deadline, if you’re going to send a daily “new listings” email, it should only include actual new listings.  Not listings from two weeks ago that  you’ve already either submitted to or decided to ignore.  Same thing for deadlines.  Maybe try sending a third email when a listing is half way over to remind people about it.

What about listing venues, period?  There’s a site called indieonthemove.com that lists venues and allows bands to give their feedback about the place and their experiences there.  Sonicbids could allow members to submit venues and their contact info, which could then be verified and listed in the Sonicbids database.  As part of the verification process, SB could contact these venues about possibly accepting peformance offers from their members.  Keeping in regular contact with venues would also give SB the most current, up-to-date venue listings around; that alone would be worth the SB membership fees!  I do the booking for my band and I can’t tell you how many closed venues still have sites up with no news about them closing.

AD improvement:

Have a form to submit media.  I have a habit of picking up out of town newspapers and periodicals and such, but there’s no easy way for me to submit them to your database.  Crowdsource this part of the process to make your life easier!