Client 1.4 Released, Fingerprinting Begins

Friday, 7 December 2007
by Toby Padilla
filed under Announcements and About Us
Comments: 71

Today we are releasing a sparkling new version (1.4) of our client software. In addition to a general cleaning up of functionality and bug fixes, this is the first client with audio fingerprinting built in. You can read about fingerprinting in earlier blog posts, but essentially we are going to start analyzing the way your music sounds to better identify and scrobble what you listen to.

The implications to this are vast. Not only will we be able to build you a more accurate profile but recommendations and overall stats will improve. Of course, for this to work we need to gather a significant amount of data. With that in mind, this is simply a data collection release of fingerprinting. The new client will be sending us the fingerprints but we don’t have much functionality exposed around the data yet. Expect us to roll out more user facing features in the next client release after we’ve gathered enough data to ensure excellence.

If you’d rather not have your tracks fingerprinted, this can be disabled in the Scrobbling section of the Preferences.

We hope you enjoy the new version and look forward to more client growth in the near future.

Download it here.

Comments

  1. j0an
    7 December, 18:34

    downloading and tryin’

    j0an – 7 December, 18:34
  2. Guillermo79
    7 December, 18:51

    what are the side effects, I mean, why someone would chose not to enable this feature?

    Guillermo79 – 7 December, 18:51
  3. mkb
    7 December, 18:59

    I guess there is some privacy concern on fingerprinting? My only concern is my lack of CPU power. Otherwise I would be very glad to have both Last.fm AND MusicBrainz fixing my tags!

    mkb – 7 December, 18:59
  4. Bjoern
    7 December, 19:29

    Well,

    I don’t see the Privacy issues. I mean, the whole point of last.fm is to announce your music taste publicly. Fingerprinting allows you to do that better/more precise.

    Best, Bjoern

    Bjoern – 7 December, 19:29
  5. diode
    7 December, 19:40

    Is the download link hidden somewhere or am I just blind? :)

    diode – 7 December, 19:40
  6. UW
    7 December, 20:13

    Can’t see any download link either. :-(

    Anyway I’m using iScrobbler … ;-)

    UW – 7 December, 20:13
  7. Samuel Walker
    7 December, 20:15

    After I updated, I just get a transparent window where the actual GUI should be.

    Is this just a bug, or is it my machine?

    Samuel Walker – 7 December, 20:15
  8. Adriaan
    7 December, 21:19

    So will this one fingerprint automatically? Without us having to tirelessly click “try again” when the server overloads? Lol, that would be great… how much data is sent per fingerprint? I have bandwidth limit of 2 gigabytes.

    Note: To download the app, simply restart Last.fm (end the process with CTRL + ALT + DEL to make sure. Also lastfmhelper.exe, just for in case). I actually just restarted my PC, without intention of downloading Last.fm. So I dun really know. I don’t really know much of computers ok!

    Adriaan – 7 December, 21:19
  9. Mike B.
    7 December, 22:12

    I’m puzzled about your new system of analyzing the sound. IF you plan on doing what Pandora does, with music analysts and such, that would be terrible. When I used pandora I’d end up with a motley of music with certain characteristics like mine, and I didn’t like it. I very much prefer the current recomendations system, because it shows me music based on related related genres/ cultures etc. A sound based mullato would dull any eclecticity a person could hope for. Pizza is great, so is cake, but together theyre garbage. This idea sounds good on paper, but isn’t for everybody in reality. IF you were to implement this system I would be back to square one, finding recomendations elsewhere and all last.fm would be to me is a list of things I listen to. Please allow people to choose their recomendation system at least.

    Mike B. – 7 December, 22:12
  10. Anders P.
    7 December, 23:04

    How do I do fingerprint tracks manually now without using the Last.fm client? I use the standalone Winamp plugin to scrobble tracks.

    Anders P. – 7 December, 23:04
  11. Fred
    7 December, 23:37

    Great work! I hope this is going to me a major improvement and the quality of data submitted to last.fm will improve! Only one question: if I have one track with the incorrect mp3 tags you guys detect with the fingerprinting the right ones, or at least the most popular ones. is in some way possible in the future to correct my mp3 tags?

    Fred – 7 December, 23:37
  12. Rui
    8 December, 00:20

    Hi, nice job! FYI, the source tarball url is a 404 as I post this.

    Rui – 8 December, 00:20
  13. Jelle
    8 December, 00:24

    Response to Mike B.:
    Luckily you misunderstood the point of fingerprinting. The idea is not to analyze your song in terms of genres or other specific properties of the music, but simply to look at the raw data of it (bits and bytes). Basically, it looks at the file your song is made of and then adds it to the last.fm database, tagged the way you tagged it.
    One of the possibilities when data like this is collected is, for example, to join differently spelled artist and track names. For example, if one was to scrobble The Knife’s “Silent shout” tagged as “Knife – Silent shout”, and someone else as “Knife, The – Silent shout”, it could be regarded as the same song in all charts – and thus in all recommendations and the rest of the neat stuff.

    Jelle – 8 December, 00:24
  14. uzi
    8 December, 00:27

    Where’s the DL Link??

    uzi – 8 December, 00:27
  15. UW
    8 December, 01:26

    Oh, by the way: Is this version still only fingerprinting MP3 tracks?? Or does it support other file formats (especially AAC) as well? That would be neat! :-)

    UW – 8 December, 01:26
  16. Mark
    8 December, 03:03

    Will this affect those who choose to use plugins?

    Mark – 8 December, 03:03
  17. Stu
    8 December, 09:15

    LastFMHelper.exe STILL brings my CPU to 100%!!!
    Thanks last.fm for doing something about it with this release. Nicely done.

    Stu – 8 December, 09:15
  18. Claudia
    8 December, 09:51

    WONDERFUL! I LOVE the new tagging feature in the client! THANK YOU! :-D

    And great job about the fingerprinting. I’m looking forward to the improvements that this feature will bring in the future…

    Claudia – 8 December, 09:51
  19. Toby Padilla
    8 December, 10:33

    Thanks for all the great questions everyone.

    Fingerprinting does use some additional cpu resources, so if you are on an older machine that is struggling with the app you may want to disable it.

    As far as privacy, the fingerprint identifies the song but nothing else. It’s just like sending the artist/album/song name from the player only it’s an id number so we can better handle misspellings…

    As Jelle mentions, this is about identification and better scrobbling but has nothing to do with the recommendations. Our recommendations are still generated by the community and social data ;)

    For now fingerprinting only works on mp3s. Support for aac is being discussed but is obviously attractive.

    This has no effect on people using plugins. The old method will continue to work.

    Right now we are just collecting data. Once we have enough data then we will start looking into ways to fix your tags and other neat features. There are a lot of cool ideas floating around.

    If anyone is having bugs or whatnot, please go here:

    http://www.last.fm/forum/34905/

    Our engineers will take a look at your issue.

    Toby Padilla – 8 December, 10:33
  20. Mattias S
    8 December, 10:33

    Will this effect stats retroactively?

    Mattias S – 8 December, 10:33
  21. Toby Padilla
    8 December, 10:44

    Mattias S – Nope, this is just to build up the fingerprinting data. We are still using the old method to scrobble.

    Toby Padilla – 8 December, 10:44
  22. Mattias S
    8 December, 11:40

    Yeah I got that.
    But later on.

    Will old scrobbled tracks that are wrongfully tagged be merged with the ones that are rightfully tagged?

    Or is it just going to effect future scrobbling?

    I think it would be absolutely awesome if you used this information to merge badly tagged submissions with the good ones.

    Mattias S – 8 December, 11:40
  23. Norman
    8 December, 12:27

    @Mattias S: When we are 100% sure than some metadata always maps to the correct one (i.e. Beatles -> The Beatles), we will correct it retroactively.

    Norman – 8 December, 12:27
  24. ManxStef
    8 December, 15:39

    Does it fingerprint (non-DRM) AAC yet? Practically my entire library is in this format, along with what I’d imagine to be a high percentage of all iPod owners’ libraries, too, given that it’s the iTunes default ripping format.

    ManxStef – 8 December, 15:39
  25. Mattias S
    8 December, 16:53

    @Norman: Awesome. :)

    Mattias S – 8 December, 16:53
  26. Adriaan
    8 December, 20:05

    ManxStef, I changed my iTunes settings to rip everything in MP3, simply because I thought iPod wouldn’t support AAC! (It is an MP3 plauyer after all…). I know I’m just stupid or whatever. But isn’t MP3 better than AAC anyway? Or not?

    Adriaan – 8 December, 20:05
  27. lism.
    8 December, 22:18

    Could anybody tell me if this new client scrobbles tracks listened to on an iPod Touch? I’ve been using an unofficial client of late, but will reinstall if the official one now supports Touch.

    lism. – 8 December, 22:18
  28. Mal
    8 December, 22:27

    @Adriaan AAC is like a next generation format when compared to MP3. It offers a better sound quality and smaller file size, with less patent problems. MP3’s main advantage is that, it is the de facto audio format for portable audio devices. So, if you decide to go with AAC and you ever leave Apple’s universe in the future, then you better make sure your chosen iPod replacement supports AAC.

    Personally, I would stick with MP3 unless you have a good reason to change.

    Mal – 8 December, 22:27
  29. Dan
    8 December, 22:27

    Will there be any kind of API for us to play around with once enough data is accumulated?

    Dan – 8 December, 22:27
  30. Stephen
    9 December, 00:15

    Yay! Dock icon hiding works in Leopard now! :D

    Stephen – 9 December, 00:15
  31. Lovell
    9 December, 06:17

    Quick question: When you do get enough to get the moderation going, will it be only for artists, or will it be able to work on a track level (i.e. combining all of the plays of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” into one play count)?

    Lovell – 9 December, 06:17
  32. m
    9 December, 09:45

    i dont get it, is this fingerprinting available for iscrobbler users or not?

    m – 9 December, 09:45
  33. Corbs
    9 December, 11:06

    Good release, and I’m impressed with how last.fm is progressing. :)

    However, there’s still an outstanding issue with scrobbling streamed tracks. See http://www.last.fm/forum/34905/_/332788/ for more info.

    Corbs – 9 December, 11:06
  34. Rico
    9 December, 12:53

    I don’t get it.. Where’s the download link? The download site still says Version 1.3. !

    Rico – 9 December, 12:53
  35. heavyraptor
    9 December, 13:39

    If you consider “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, “Knockin´ On Heaven´s Door” and “Knockin On Heavens Door” as the same songs, which song title are you going to display on the users’ profiles and the artists’ sites?

    heavyraptor – 9 December, 13:39
  36. Tecfan
    9 December, 14:34

    heavyraptor: The correct one ;-)

    (data from MusicBrainz)

    Tecfan – 9 December, 14:34
  37. Tummblr
    9 December, 16:53

    Is there a way to fingerprint songs without actually playing them? I’d like to fingerprint large batches of songs while I’m away from the computer. If that’s not possible, should I continue using the previous Fingerprinter that worked that way?

    http://blog.last.fm/2007/08/29/audio-fingerprinting-for-clean-metadata

    Tummblr – 9 December, 16:53
  38. Tony
    10 December, 00:58

    @Rico:

    Are you looking at an i18n version of the site? If so, it takes a week for releases of last.fm to be translated and put online, so you’ll need to head over to http://last.fm/download to grab the latest release.

    Tony – 10 December, 00:58
  39. heavyraptor
    10 December, 07:36

    Thanks for your answer Tecfan.
    By the way, when are we going to see the fingerprint result on last.fm? Is there any specific date?

    heavyraptor – 10 December, 07:36
  40. Berk
    10 December, 09:32

    New bugs :(

    Berk – 10 December, 09:32
  41. Rico
    10 December, 20:02

    yeah, thanks tony. the swedish site doesnt supply it yet :)
    by the way: it’s great to see “defendin’ disco dancin’” by saalschutz in the screenshot on the DL-site.

    Rico – 10 December, 20:02
  42. Norman
    10 December, 20:41

    @Tummblr: if you can, use the client. There were several bugfixes since the original fingerprinter.
    If you feel hacky, you might wanna try our command line client. If you run it with -nometadata, it will just fingerprint the song and send it to us!

    Norman – 10 December, 20:41
  43. Eric
    10 December, 22:59

    @Toby

    The “LastFMHelper.exe brings my CPU to 100%!!!” is in the forum already. Have a look at it.

    Eric – 10 December, 22:59
  44. Jeremy
    11 December, 07:00

    Ok, now I can’t scrobble tracks at all. The client says track scrobbled, but they don’t appear in my profile and haven’t done since installing the new version – over a day ago.

    Any ideas?

    Jeremy – 11 December, 07:00
  45. Justin
    11 December, 08:12

    “Yay! Dock icon hiding works in Leopard now! :D”

    Stephen, I came here to cheer about the same thing. Haha.

    About AAC vs. MP3 — just rip your MP3’s with variable bitrate at the highest setting (v0), they’ll sound fine. There’s less concern about saving disk space nowadays… Although yes, we will probably move to a better format some day.

    Justin – 11 December, 08:12
  46. miss Nomer
    11 December, 17:23

    I wanna se a fingerprinter plugin for gstreamer :D

    Nice work guys!

    miss Nomer – 11 December, 17:23
  47. badbask
    12 December, 17:09

    I still can only see version 1.3.2. I use last.fm in polish version. Is this normal? I have no chances to download version 1.4, even in english language. This should be changed, I’d like to test 1.4 too, even in english version but I can only download polish 1.3.2

    badbask – 12 December, 17:09
  48. Marcus
    13 December, 02:14

    The ipod support on linux works very smoothly

    but I take it you will have to use the fingerprinting client since the last.fm client isn’t connected to any media player?

    Marcus – 13 December, 02:14
  49. Toby Padilla
    13 December, 11:46

    badbask, it’s almost here. We’re still translating but should be done soon.

    Toby Padilla – 13 December, 11:46
  50. badbask
    13 December, 14:35

    That’s great Toby. But there is one thing could be better. I should be allowed to download english version if I want. Now, can only find polish 1.3.2. I should have choice – english 1.4 or polish 1.3.2. I know, that this is not a big problem, but I think that there are few noneglish users, who would like to test new features at the same moment, not week or two weeks later :)

    badbask – 13 December, 14:35
  51. chris
    13 December, 15:12

    Keep up the good work! Looking forward to the more accurate charts this fingerprinting should be able to produce.

    chris – 13 December, 15:12
  52. Toby Padilla
    13 December, 17:09

    badbask, your post inspired some conversation. We’ll see what we can do in the next release.

    Toby Padilla – 13 December, 17:09
  53. gwalla
    14 December, 07:27

    So should I replace iscrobbler with this? Will it scrobble the stuff I’ve played on my iPod when I sync it with iTunes?

    gwalla – 14 December, 07:27
  54. badbask
    14 December, 14:33

    Toby, it can be done in very easy way. When I reach http://www.last.fm/download page, I should see something like this: “Download now, version 1.3.2 polish. If you want to download other language version click here”. Like at adobe.com when donwloadin adobe reader for example. Page sugest version for me, but there is step 2 with all the versions, if I am not interest in sugested version

    badbask – 14 December, 14:33
  55. Blujuice
    14 December, 20:15

    Toby, are there any plans for supporting FLAC as well? Seems to be the most popular lossless format.

    Blujuice – 14 December, 20:15
  56. Toby Padilla
    15 December, 14:26

    badbask, that’s pretty much what we were thinking too. Probably try to get it in after the holidays.

    Blujuice, priority would be on AAC but FLAC may make sense at some point as well.

    Toby Padilla – 15 December, 14:26
  57. Lars
    16 December, 14:17

    This is great news.

    When will the data be synced with MB? My MB-tagged music is still “corrected” by last.fm to old data from MB with typos which have been corrected a looong time ago.

    Lars – 16 December, 14:17
  58. luke
    19 December, 11:15

    Am I right in thinking that by using fingerprinting you have the ability to ascertain where our tracks originated from?; i.e. whether the file is a bought mp3 from itunes (etc..), a ripped cd, or an album downloaded on soulseek.

    I imagine that this data is pretty valuable to the music distribution sector in these ‘uncertain’ times.

    luke – 19 December, 11:15
  59. Toby Padilla
    19 December, 14:13

    luke, we can only tell what artist/album/song is playing and not where you obtained it from (not that we would want to know that anyway).

    Toby Padilla – 19 December, 14:13
  60. Rob Szarka
    20 December, 15:41

    Hmm.. Looks like it’s time to give this client a try instead of the Winamp plug-in.

    About fingerprinting and file formats, please consider this a reminder that some of us actually prefer open file formats like FLAC and OGG. (Well, OK, I hardly ever use OGG these days, but a growing fraction of my collection is in FLAC.) I realize that last.fm is a business and has to support popular formats, but please do your part to encourage open formats, too.

    Rob Szarka – 20 December, 15:41
  61. Rob Szarka
    20 December, 22:11

    I can’t tell whether this thing is fingerprinting and all (not without sniffing a port, anyway, and I’m feeling too lazy), but the transition from the old winamp plugin to the new client software was easy and smooth. Pretty slick and well worth installing. :)

    Rob Szarka – 20 December, 22:11
  62. Amber
    21 December, 04:04

    You know what would be really handy – and to my knowledge it’s not possible? Being able to manually fix our own data.

    For example, about a year ago someone sent me a song by The Fray, incorrectly named. I’m apparently not the only one with the screwed up name version of the track. In any case, when I bought the album, I realized the error. The problem is, playing it with the right name is affecting my stats and since this song is in my top ten tracks or thereabouts, I care that new plays continue to add up because I am anal retentive and like accuracy. My iTunes count is fine because I deleted the misnamed Mp3 then pointed the lost file in the direction of the new correctly tagged mp3 and iTunes kept the count while autocorrecting the track’s tags in iTunes. But last.fm won’t let me fix it myself.

    Amber – 21 December, 04:04
  63. mattgcn
    21 December, 04:45

    Damn, I like the sound of retroactive track fixing… the horror that is my profile would almost make me get a new account to bootstrap to if it were not for my radio plays, friends and the like.

    mattgcn – 21 December, 04:45
  64. Rob Szarka
    23 December, 04:06

    mattgcn – Not sure whether you realize it, but you can clear the stats for your profile at any time.

    Rob Szarka – 23 December, 04:06
  65. mattgcn
    23 December, 05:59

    Yeah, but I wouldn’t want to just CLEAR the stats unless I could bring them all back accurately. I’d rather have a bunch of mostly accurate stats than none at all for my last….

    Holy crap I’ve been on last.fm exactly a year as of today. Par-TAY!

    mattgcn – 23 December, 05:59
  66. Rob Szarka
    23 December, 08:13

    Ugh. Linda Lyndell’s “What a Man” just got scrobbled as if it were by some group called “Sisters Love”. AFAIK, this is totally inappropriate. And it never happened with the old Winamp plugin. Is this a result of the fingerprint, perhaps? Or is the last.fm client just wonky? I’ve also seen it serve up the wrong artist pictures and links even when it was scrobbling correctly… sigh

    I’m with mattgcn. I want a way to clean my data, if last.fm is gonna trash my beautiful, clean metadata…

    Rob Szarka – 23 December, 08:13
  67. Rob Szarka
    23 December, 08:34

    Bizarre. I tried again a few songs later and it scrobbled Linda Lyndell properly. I did have a track by Sisters Love in the playlist while I was playing the Lyndell track, but that glitch is still mighty weird…

    Rob Szarka – 23 December, 08:34
  68. Toby Padilla
    23 December, 13:03

    Rob Szarka: if you can get the bug to reproduce please post about it here:

    http://www.last.fm/forum/34905/

    Toby Padilla – 23 December, 13:03
  69. Rob Szarka
    27 December, 16:24

    It happened again and I posted about it here:

    http://www.last.fm/forum/34905/_/362778

    Rob Szarka – 27 December, 16:24
  70. gyula csocsan
    6 January, 01:29

    the next step will be the face recognition

    gyula csocsan – 6 January, 01:29
  71. kooolman
    11 January, 08:01

    http://www.kooolman.net/blog/index.php/2008/01/11/65695-lastfmfr-vs-deezercom

    kooolman – 11 January, 08:01

Comments are closed for this entry.