Scraping and grabbing Now! albums

Published: Dec 4, 2018
Reading time: 2 min
Tags: Guides Linux Lists Music Servers Snippets Software 

Recently a collegue at work came to me to download them an album from online, unfortunately as it was a compilation album and the individual tracks had been released a million times already this wasn’t to be released through the usual channels.

No matter though, vague scripting to the rescue! The tracklist that I was after was available on the now website which had no issues being scraped.

source=$(wget https://www.nowmusic.com/album/now-rock-n-roll/ -qO-)
artists=$(printf "$source" | grep artist | sed 's/^.*>\([^<]*\)<.*$/\1/')
titles=$(printf "$source" | grep \"title\" | sed 's/^.*>\([^<]*\)<.*$/\1/')
paste <(printf "$artists") <(printf "$titles") | sed -e 's/\t/ - /g' > parse_list.txt

Now we have all 73 tracks in a single text file, no fuss, no muss.

All of these tracks are incredibly likely to be uploaded to youtube, so we can grab them using the ever-excellent youtube-dl

To manage this, we’ll run a youtube search on every entry, and grab the resulting output, converting it to mp3 along the way.

while read line; do youtube-dl -x --audio-format=mp3 ytsearch:"$line lyrics"; done < parse_list.txt

Please note, I append a " lyrics" in the search string to avoid too obvious music videos that sometimes have

With this, we have 73 mp3 files dumped into our working directory with messy filenames. I usually throw these into beets in singleton mode via docker to improve the quality of the filenames/tags.

docker run -it -v $(pwd):/music linuxserver/beets bash
beet im -s /music

This will take some time, and will need a lot of nannying as there are no existing tags to work with initially. After the process however you’ll be rewarded with tagged files ready to (rock ‘n) roll.