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THE Lowly Peon


visual music history 
09 December 2008, 7:02am

after a very excited pair of responses from Poppy and Saulemander, i decided to post a quick blog about lastgraph, a very neato tool for visualizing your last.fm data. for those of you who aren't familiar with last.fm, it's essentially a huge database that stores every song you listen to. you install a simple piece of software on your music listening machine (usually your computer, or whatever hosts iTunes), and it "scrobbles" the listen to the database. it's a very very useful tool to figure out what you listen to a lot, what other music you might like, what you no longer listen to, etc. i tried doing it before, but it really is a hell of a lot easier when someone else does. anyway, there are a few problems with last.fm. the big one for me is that it doesn't store the album of the song you're listening to. so, for example, my 226th most listened to song is watching the wheels by john lennon. i absolutely love this song on the album "acoustic", released by yoko not too long ago. but i really don't like the overpolished version of this song that is generally the only known one. but last.fm doesn't record this. another issue, probably the one most people mention, is its general lack of pretty visuals. everything is stored as text. sure it has photos of the artist, but i want pretty graphs and visuals to show me what i listen to. enter lastgraph. lastgraph is a free service that takes your last.fm data and puts it into a neato visualizer. for any period of time, it'll show you, graphically, what you listen to the most, and how it changed over time. lastgraph!

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comments

Benji!

[09 December 2008]

Do the times with the most music correspond to when you have been programming lots?

And what happened in August?

 

THE Lowly Peon

[09 December 2008]

august was when i was with you, of course!

and actually, yeah, those times probably are when i'm programming! or when the weather's bad and i can't ride my bike. one thing that's difficult for me to accept is that the size of the sections is related to the number of times a track is played, not the time spent listening. that would be much more interesting, i think.

 

Kate

[09 December 2008]

Does last fm know if you skip past a song when it comes on? Or will it tell you that you listened to it, even if it only played for three seconds?

 

THE Lowly Peon

[09 December 2008]

it depends on the "Scrobbler" app you're using. i have it set to scrobble only if i play 70% of a song (if i'm listening on my computer). i think some scrobblers only scrobble if you play the first instant and the last instant of a song.

since i play mostly on my iphone, ipod, or apple tv, and itunes only registers a "play" if you listened to 100% of the song, most of these are 100%.

 

holly

[15 December 2008]

nice choice during beginning-mid october!