How To: Listen to Imeem Music, Accountless

If you have ever searched for that new song you can't get enough of on Google, you'll have noticed that often times imeem, a social music community, will be among the first results. You can generally find full-length songs on imeem, which is great for hearing an entire track before purchasing it somewhere like iTunes that has paltry 30-second song previews. However, recently imeem has made it necessary to have an imeem account to listen to music. The last thing I want is to sign up for yet another website. Fortunately there is a small work around if you have a bit of patience.

imeem login
imeem wants you to login

To take you through the process of this how to I'm going to need an example song. I'll use the Red Hot Chilipeppers' Snow track as the example. When you're searching for songs on Google you can narrow your scope to only imeem by using "site:imeem.com" in your query. In a nutshell, we're just going to be looking at the source for the flash player embed code.

After the page loads, imeem pages initiate some JavaScript to display a forced login overlay. There are two ways to proceed. Either we can trick the page into not running the JavaScript by clicking the stop loading button in the browser or we can find the flash embed code that the JavaScript writes to the page, in the page source. Both ways are equally simple.

I'll start with the first method. Open up the page for the song you want to play and immediately after something is displayed on the page hit the stop button. You might have to play with this a few times to get to the point where the JavaScript doesn't kick in. Now, open up FireBug and click the inspect button. Hover the mouse over the area where the player should be and click.

imeem firebug

With that selected, click on Edit in Firebug. This will give you the proper code.

imeem firebug

Paste that code in an html file and open it in your browser. You might get a popup about flash permissions - accept. Now you can play the song as many times as you want without having an imeem account. If anyone from imeem is reading this, you can prevent this from working by checking referrers and only playing when the file is loaded from an imeem page... but then again imeem allows users to embed songs (albeit with a slightly different flash player).

The second method is even easier. Looking at the page source (you don't have to kill the page load this time), search for "function setEmbedURL()".

method 2

Now take the first value, stick it in an html file and open it up in your browser like last time.

method 2
flash player
The finished product.

Wrapping Up

I know what you're thinking - this is entirely too much trouble for just one song. You're right. I was just taking a break from writing extra credit cases for my SmallTalk coding class, whose final will own me this Friday at 8am. If I had a few minutes of free time I could easily make a site where users could search for a song (behind the scenes it would just be googling your song query + site:imeem.com), and play the song after having scraped the page via PHP cURL and found the appropriate flash embed code. Then again, I hear lawsuits aren't exactly a walk in the park.

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"How To: Listen to Imeem Music, Accountless" by @Stammy

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