Weekend Follies

Friday, 22 June 2007
by flaneur
filed under Announcements
Comments: 34

It’s Friday at Last.fm, which means most of the gang are already at The Prince Arthur enjoying their luke-warm pints of Kent’s Best.

As per company tradition, we also snuck a few little features out the door in flagrant violation of the “No Releases On Friday, Jerks!” rule. We wouldn’t want you to have a boring weekend.

Get Your Ritter On

Julian was first out the gate, experimenting with some cool new group page customization options while simultaneously showcasing his slightly disturbing love for chocolate. (Fear not group leaders, this and a whole host of cool new group features will see a full release this summer.)

Top Video Charts

Steve wasn’t to be outdone, however. It’s Friday — make a bowl of popcorn, curl up on the sofa, and enjoy the top music videos on Last.fm.

Lots more goodies coming your way in the next few weeks, as well as a new rack of webservers to help alleviate some of our recent slowness. From all of us in London: turn up the music and have a great weekend!

Attention Analysis: Ranking Artists by Listen Duration

Friday, 22 June 2007
by martind
filed under Stuff Other People Made
Comments: 23

Found this one in the stats group: Matt Perdeaux created Last.fm Normaliser, a web application that orders your top 50 artists relative to their average song length. His observation:

The album “Geogaddi“ by Boards of Canada lasts one hour and contains 22 tracks, whereas “Young Team“ by Mogwai also lasts one hour but only has 10 tracks. This means I can listen to Mogwai twice as much, and Boards of Canada would still beat them in my rankings. “Lift your skinny fists..“ by Godspeed You! Black Emperor only has four tracks but goes on for more than an hour. Those guys aren’t going to trouble the scorers at all, even though I listen to them a lot.

I suppose a more representative ranking of my musical tastes would be based on the actual time spent listening to an artist, rather than by number of tracks, but I can see that collecting this data would be a much more bandwidth-heavy exercise. It is clearly the easiest data to collect but to measure my attention in discrete tracks isn’t giving a true representation of things.

Matt is using MusicBrainz web services to determine an average song length for your top artists, which means his reweighting approach is not necessarily representative for the songs you actually listened to, but it’s a cool demonstration of his idea nevertheless.

Update — From the comments: it turns out back in January 2006 Andrew Conkling founded a group to lobby that idea, called Users for Last.fm song length tracking. Check it out, it has some interesting discussions!