BBC on Last.fm
April 28, 2006 8:25 AM   Subscribe

Last.fm isn't just for humans. Matt Biddulph, a systems architect for the BBC, rigged a homemade plug-in for Last.fm (Previously on MeFi) that, over the course of a year, transmitted over 50,000 songs played on BBC 6Music to a Last.fm account named Sekrit. (Oh, and wondering what MetaFilter users listen to?) (via waxy)
posted by Robot Johnny (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Totally sweet.
posted by grouse at 8:34 AM on April 28, 2006


That's awesome! Internally, I wonder if stations will start to use this data to detect DJ payola... add historical music choices, phone and email logs and cross reference with current play choices and boom!
posted by VulcanMike at 8:38 AM on April 28, 2006


Does that make Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) the MeFi theme song?
posted by hypocritical ross at 8:41 AM on April 28, 2006


Does that make Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) the MeFi theme song?

I guess at least for the last week... looks like Last.fm only has weekly charts for groups.
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:47 AM on April 28, 2006


Funny, MeFi likes the music I do.
posted by hupp at 9:03 AM on April 28, 2006


I didn't know there was a MeFi audioscrobbler/last.fm group... must join up!

Very cool post RJ
posted by stumcg at 9:05 AM on April 28, 2006


I wonder if stations will start to use this data to detect DJ payola

Very interesting! I was expecting some kind of inverse power law distribution - see music sales for instance - but it seems to be more linear, with some bumps mixed in. Don't know what to make of that.
posted by carter at 9:28 AM on April 28, 2006


Very cool post RJ

Either this is a very carefully disguised self-post or a somewhat amusing coincidence.
posted by public at 9:47 AM on April 28, 2006


Either this is a very carefully disguised self-post or a somewhat amusing coincidence.

Nope -- my last.fm account name is far more obvious.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:55 AM on April 28, 2006


Heh - 6Music is the only music radio station I listen to and I've occasionally wished that I had a last.fm chip in my head so that music I hear on the radio would be recorded to my profile. I'd never noticed they played that much U2 though.
posted by featherboa at 10:19 AM on April 28, 2006


Not being very familiar with last.fm, I'm not exactly sure what this acomplished. They told last.fm every song played on the radio station, and built a behavioral model based on what the station played?
posted by delmoi at 11:48 AM on April 28, 2006


I'm a total Last.fm scrobbler addict. I setup my Squeezebox to send everything to my Last.fm account, as well as everything that I play at my computer on Amarok. If you haven't registered a free account on Last.fm, you should. One of the cooler things on the net, IMO.

On the sekrit user that tracks BBC6 playlists-- how cool is it that Pixies - Debaser is a top#5 track? That song is 16 years old and STILL rules!
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:54 AM on April 28, 2006


The above-mentioned RJ sent this note to my Last.fm account:
hey dude, nice mefi post :) There are also 3 other bbc stations that currently scrobble. I'll dig out the names and post about them next week
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:11 PM on April 28, 2006


My guess as to the other BBC stations, based on Sekrit's "friends" are: 1ekrit, 2ekrit, and xekrit.
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:14 PM on April 28, 2006


This is fantastic - great post. No surprises that the Arcade Fire are a MeFi favorite...
posted by greycap at 12:15 PM on April 28, 2006


Audioscrobbler (the previous incarnation of last.fm) actually used to register tracks you listened to from MP3 streams that sent the proper information. This functionality was taken out of later plugins, apparently on purpose; the idea was that Audioscrobbler was supposed to keep track of what you chose to listen to, not what you just happened to hear while the radio was on.

I don't know how much effort people put into choosing music when they cue up a random playlist of all their songs in Winamp/iTunes, though. Seemed a bit arbitrary at the time.
posted by chrominance at 12:21 PM on April 28, 2006


I didn't know there was a MeFi last.fm group!
posted by easternblot at 12:22 PM on April 28, 2006


(I'd join, but I forgot my password and I don't want to reset it because I'm logged in at home)
posted by easternblot at 12:24 PM on April 28, 2006


Do people have a preference as between Last.fm and Pandora? If so, why? Should this be an AskMe? Should that? Should this all be in MeTa?
posted by The Bellman at 12:31 PM on April 28, 2006


I don't know how much effort people put into choosing music when they cue up a random playlist of all their songs in Winamp/iTunes, though. Seemed a bit arbitrary at the time.

Presumably they put some thought into it when they chose the music in the first place, though. You might not get songs right next to each other that have any relationship but over time you should get a fairly random sense of the person's taste.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:15 PM on April 28, 2006


Last.fm the personalized radio station (which is like Pandora) was merged with Audioscrobbler the song tracker a while back, under the last.fm name. In this case, we're really talking about the song tracker bit, so Pandora isn't really relevant.
posted by smackfu at 1:31 PM on April 28, 2006


Yeah, I really just like to see what I've been listening to week after week. I get better recommendations looking at my neighbors' list and signing up to groups. I don't think Pandora is particularly effective at guessing my tastes.
posted by lunalaguna at 1:34 PM on April 28, 2006


I don't know how much effort people put into choosing music when they cue up a random playlist of all their songs in Winamp/iTunes, though.

Is that a normal usage pattern? I've been listening to MP3s for years and it never occured to me to do that. I just pick an album I want to hear and play it. When it's done, I pick another one. If I get bored I pick an MP3 "radio" stream.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:47 PM on April 28, 2006


Is that a normal usage pattern?

Unless I'm trying to get into a new album, my normal listening habit is to listen to music on random/shuffle, but using a playlist built on a series of nested smart playlists that ensures I'm listening to the proper mix of new music, old favourites, and a random sloshing of stuff I haven't heard in a while.
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:52 PM on April 28, 2006


Is that a normal usage pattern?

Surprisingly so. I know people who drag their whole MP3 dir into the winamp list, and then hit random. That's a little extreme. I do it like Robot Johnny, with iTunes and a bunch of smart playlists. Like a customized radio station that plays only my music.
posted by smackfu at 3:56 PM on April 28, 2006


sweet. I just started an account at last.fm the other day, and I'm astounded I never bothered in the past. it's six kinds of awesome. I got to wondering what it would be like to fit out the college radio station I worked at with an Audioscrobbler plugin.

ps. joined the mefi audioscrobbler group. whee!

pps. just out of curiosity Robot Johnny and smackfu, what are your configurations for those nested smart playlists?
posted by carsonb at 4:37 PM on April 28, 2006


Is that a normal usage pattern?

I've been alternating between rating my randomized 'unrated' playlist and enjoying my randomized 'top rated' playlist in iTunes as long as I've had it. like Robot Johnny said, unless I'm wearing in a new album I'm listening to a random mp3 stream.
posted by carsonb at 4:40 PM on April 28, 2006


wow awesome! i'm especially lovin the mefi last.fm group. i totally joined (diff name though).

thanks Robot!
posted by freudianslipper at 4:52 PM on April 28, 2006


just out of curiosity Robot Johnny and smackfu, what are your configurations for those nested smart playlists?

It's a bit anal, but here's my system...

I make the following smart playlists:
- Newest (300 most recently added tracks)
- Rare Favourites (300 tracks rated >4, haven't listened to in the last month)
- Rare Random (300 tracks, same as above, but no limit to rating)
- All Highest Rated (self-explanatory)
- Most Played (100 most played tracks)

Combined, that's about 5500 songs in my library out of 25000. So I make a playlist that combines all of them, but I limit it to 140 songs, selected by random, and only songs that haven't been played in the last week. I call this Radio A

I create a second smart playlist, Radio B that references the above-mentioned "Newest 300" playlist, but limits it to 60 tracks that haven't been played in the last week.

Finally, I create my Radio smart playlist which combines Radio A and Radio B, and because those two playlists are limited to songs not played in the last week, I include a third playlist of my "50 newest tracks rated >4".

This gives me a ~250-track playlist, which is, to me, the perfect mix of new stuff and old stuff, and one that is heavily-weighted to higher-rated songs and favourites, but not exclusively. And because I limit the base playlists to songs not played in the last 7 days (with the exception of the 50 newest favourites), the whole thing is always updating on the fly, and is my personal radio station.
posted by Robot Johnny at 5:08 PM on April 28, 2006 [2 favorites]


Oh, and you'll obviously want to adjust the numbers to suit the size of your library...
posted by Robot Johnny at 5:13 PM on April 28, 2006


I'm on last.fm now. Thanks for this Mefi post!

One question. I'd love to run the last.fm stream ripper I found on cpan.org (my car needs mp3's) Would you trust this program?
posted by surplus at 7:10 AM on April 29, 2006


just out of curiosity Robot Johnny and smackfu, what are your configurations for those nested smart playlists?

Mine is similar to RJ's. I have a Radio folder, that has 5 Smart Playlists in it:

1) 3-star Radio (3 stars and not played in 10 weeks)
2) 4-star Radio (4 stars and not played in 4 weeks)
3) 5-star Radio (5 stars and not played in 2 weeks)
4) Recent (200 songs by recently added, not played in 2 weeks)
5) Unrated (less than 1 star and not played in 3 months)

Then I point Party Shuffle to my Radio folder.
posted by smackfu at 9:04 AM on April 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


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