In this episode, we take a look at the Songbook plugin by Chiran. This plugin creates an in-game interface that allows you to choose which song file (installed separately) you’d like to play, which part you’d like to play in the song, synchronizes group play, and includes a readycheck alias; which truly makes playing music in the game much easier!
Aside from our jokes about me being an incompetent when it comes to player music, I’ve actually dabbled in using abc files on various occasions. However, those times are few and far between; meaning that I usually don’t remember the commands to play the music let alone the abc filenames. But this plugin takes out all that work for me and it’s pretty easy to use. The only thing that makes me a bit nervous is that I have to run an external file (VBScript in .hta format) because it can be a potential security risk. Thankfully Chiran has made it easy to read so that inquiring players can look it over.
There are a ton of features in this plugin that both new and experienced players will find incredibly useful and I highly recommend that anyone who has a vague interest in playing music in LOTRO with abc files tries it out.
For more information on how to obtain and use abc’s you can find plenty of information in a post Azz made last year. I also can’t mention abc’s without mentioning Astleigh’s and Fionnuala’s my.lotro blogs which have an astounding amount of abc information including how to make them from scratch!
Resources Used in this Episode:
About Running the HTA:
Not being that well-versed in VBScript, I submitted the .hta file to VirusTotal.com so that I could get a better perspective on whether or not this was a malicious file. Only McAfee’s GW-Edition returned a red flag of “Heuristic.BehavesLike.HTML.Suspicious.H” while the 42 other engines (including McAfee’s core scanner) passed the file with no issues; which to me makes it appear to be a false positive.
Here is what Chiran had to say:
… [an] external program was required for building the music database. …[T]he plugin code is there inside it for everyone to read in plain text with comments as well… [I] suspect that the virus scanner you mentioned is suspicious because it is essentially an html file which is doing file operations, something which is not that normal. Actually, a plain VBScript might not have triggered any alarm, or a windows executable doing the same thing.
In short, what the script does is:
*It reads TurbineLauncher.xml to obtain Lotro username. This is needed because plugins can only read and write data in a folder location which is named after the account name (for example, c:Users<windowsuser>DocumentsThe Lord of the Rings OnlinePluginData<lotrouser>AllServers). I chose automatic detection because asking users to input their LOTRO username does seem to cause more suspicion, which I can totally understand.
*It creates a file list of .abc files inside your Music directory (including subdirectories)
*It reads the real song name from inside every abc file
*It writes the gathered info in a database format that the plugin can read into the above mentioned PluginData directory
In addition to my own assurances, I place part of the trust onto the community to have a look inside my code and assure others that it is legit and doing what it is supposed to be doing .