Edge Cases

Friday, 21 September 2007
by erikf
filed under Announcements and Found On Last.fm
Comments: 47

We’ve dumped millions of fingerprints into our new-and-improved sausage grinder over the past few days. We’re carefully sifting through the results, examining a lot of anomalies and edge cases. Here are some interesting ones:

But we’ve been doing more than just listening to music. In fact, we just released a new similar tracks feature on the site. Here are the similar tracks to Smog’s Our Anniversary, a recent favorite of mine.


  1. meat granger
    22 September, 00:19

    frist psot!

    lookin forwarrd to see this fixed: http://www.last.fm/music/?m=artists&q=grumh

    meat granger – 22 September, 00:19
  2. PAStheLoD
    22 September, 00:44

    Gescom , Dirtball .. WTF? :D

    PAStheLoD – 22 September, 00:44
  3. Amr Hassan
    22 September, 00:56

    i don’t understand the similar tracks feature. what exactly is it based on?

    Amr Hassan – 22 September, 00:56
  4. ventolin
    22 September, 01:12

    Similar tracks feature doesn’t work on the german version of the site (I presume it’s the same for the other translations)

    When will this feature be implemented across the board?

    (e.g. http://www.last.fm/music/Smog/_/Our+Anniversary/+similar )

    ventolin – 22 September, 01:12
  5. ventolin
    22 September, 01:13

    Err.. Excuse the doublepost.. I really meant to paste this:


    I even frowned when I spotted that I had to Preview my post here, before submitting it. How ironic. Aren’t I the eejit?

    ventolin – 22 September, 01:13
  6. Erik Frey
    22 September, 01:21

    Amr: it’s based on listening habits just like similar artists.

    ventolin: yeah, it’s a limited release, but we’ll get it out to the other sites soon.

    Erik Frey – 22 September, 01:21
  7. Kenneth
    22 September, 02:33

    Haha, “mash play” has to be a Homestar Runner/Strong Bad Email reference, right?

    Kenneth – 22 September, 02:33
  8. Andrew Clunis
    22 September, 04:03

    Hey, one corner case I thought of was that of so-called “DJ mix” tracks.

    Since the fingerprinting system will be able to recognize songs using ~10 seconds of audio data, I assume that would mean big tracks that contain excerpts of other songs might be mis-identified.

    I must admit, though, would be really cool if Last.fm would be able to actually detect and display all the constituent tracks in a mix.

    That brings me to one other question I have: will the fingerprinting data that the public has submitted to lastfm be available in kind to the public, perhaps under a Creative Commons licence?

    Andrew Clunis – 22 September, 04:03
  9. mll
    22 September, 06:53

    Oh, shame on Xymox ! :) Beware bands, there’s a music cop now, it detects all your little tricks, it’s called last.fm… ;)

    I forgive Xymox, I surely wouldn’t have forgiven some boy band. :P

    mll – 22 September, 06:53
  10. mkb
    22 September, 11:54

    I wonder if the Captain Zoom songs have the same problem as Ingrid DuMosch :)

    mkb – 22 September, 11:54
  11. zephirnl
    22 September, 16:00

    NIce new feature, this similar tracks thingy. But it would be even nicer to have a similar track radio, wouldn’t it?

    zephirnl – 22 September, 16:00
  12. Rivers85
    22 September, 16:44

    Will the fingerprinting data be used to make a tagger? Like musicbrainz picard program?

    Rivers85 – 22 September, 16:44
  13. two-d
    22 September, 17:06

    Thanks for the similar track feature.

    two-d – 22 September, 17:06
  14. Julian
    22 September, 19:19

    Damn, this similar tracks thing is awesome! I just listened to some tracks similar to One Evening by Feist and have loved two of them already! (‘Have loved’—sounds kinda weird, doesn’t it?)

    Julian – 22 September, 19:19
  15. Lovell
    23 September, 03:22

    I have to agree, looking at some of those similar tracks lists, that feature is just begging for a similar tracks radio. Seriously, it’s pleading. Here’s to hoping it gets done within the next few months. Keep up the good work!

    Lovell – 23 September, 03:22
  16. Janus Klok
    23 September, 08:28

    Hi Last.fm team
    Have you consideret making a version of the fingerprint program, that can store fingerprints locally, for later upload to the server?

    I have tried to get my music collection fingerprinted several times now, by leaving my computer running over night. Unfortanetly each time it get some hundred mp3’s fingerprinted and the stops with the “server bussy” message.
    In these cases it would be nice if the fingerprinter just keept running, and stored its data locally, and then uploadet this when the server was less bussy.

    Thanks for a great program.

    Janus Klok – 23 September, 08:28
  17. Adriaan
    23 September, 09:34

    Hey, any plans on making a radio for similar tracks? It would be kinda cool…

    Adriaan – 23 September, 09:34
  18. Ian
    23 September, 11:13

    Thank you for proving what we already knew about the Barenaked Ladies!

    Ian – 23 September, 11:13
  19. ecoice
    23 September, 16:09

    I’ve got a question about this fingerprinting thing. When you’ve fully analyzed a majority? or all? of the songs in the entire world and put them into the last.fm database to correct all the incorrect tags here, then for songs in old charts that were originally incorrectly tagged, will they be “replaced” by the correct tags?

    ecoice – 23 September, 16:09
  20. Zeta
    24 September, 05:02

    I second that question.

    Also I would like to know what will happen to track titles in japanese. It would be great if a song written in kanji or romaji could be scrobbled as the same one and shown in kanji with the regular view and in romaji when the name translation option is enabled.

    And, for the third time, will the wrong moderations (like different artist being merged) get fixed?

    Zeta – 24 September, 05:02
  21. Paul
    24 September, 05:35

    For what it’s worth, the “banter” in the BNL concerts mentioned in this post is actually a recorded clip, done with the characters from Red Vs. Blue. The team that did those shorts did an intro for each concert as well.

    The ACTUAL banter in each show is unique and is usually one of the highlights of the show. They wouldn’t have their reputation as a great live band if they did the same thing every night. :¬)

    Paul – 24 September, 05:35
  22. Andreas
    24 September, 09:20

    I vote for a “Similar Track Radio” too!!!

    This would be a very very cool feature and the next logical step for the Similar-Tracks-Tab…

    Andreas – 24 September, 09:20
  23. soadize
    24 September, 11:13

    I really like the similar track pages (radio would be very cool). Are tags also used for calculating them, or is only the listening data used?

    soadize – 24 September, 11:13
  24. Fab
    24 September, 19:16

    Is there new graphs ?

    Fab – 24 September, 19:16
  25. UW
    24 September, 21:39

    Any news on when other formats than MP3 can be fingerprinted? I’m still desperately waiting to fingerprint the 95% of my collection that is in AAC format …


    UW – 24 September, 21:39
  26. Brad
    25 September, 00:09

    I was wondering what the plans for the fingerprinting is.

    Hopefully it will be able to tag files, and correct mistakes in tags.

    Also, will you be producing a music regonition service like shazam?

    Brad – 25 September, 00:09
  27. Laurie
    25 September, 09:33

    Fab: The graph will be coming back soon. We’re currently busily importing all of your fingerprints onto our shiny new dedicated cluster. Watch this space! ;)

    Laurie – 25 September, 09:33
  28. Mr
    25 September, 15:07

    Seconding Zeta’s suggestion for the kanji/romaji tracks. It would be great if that could be implemented.

    Mr – 25 September, 15:07
  29. TulsaMJ
    25 September, 15:31

    The fingerprinting tool doesn’t work for me. It crashes with an unfriendly “Last.fm Fingerprinter has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience” almost before it has a chance to display the main screen.

    TulsaMJ – 25 September, 15:31
  30. Clarence
    26 September, 23:53

    That made me laugh so hard! LOL @ 4’33!

    Clarence – 26 September, 23:53
  31. adamgp2005
    27 September, 18:22

    ST Radio would be cool.

    adamgp2005 – 27 September, 18:22
  32. Jester-NL
    27 September, 20:32

    I wonder… you are now able to distinguise the same track between tons of others, differing in name…
    How about the other way round? Will you now be able to see the differences between my 14 versions of Coil’s “Amethyst Deceivers” or the 3’42” version and the 26’46” version of Thighpaulsandra’s “Michel Publicity Window”? Because up to now that is impossible without screwing my tags big time…

    Jester-NL – 27 September, 20:32
  33. Interneci
    27 September, 20:59

    I’m also eagerly waiting for support for other compression formats than MP3, most of my (very well-tagged, I think / hope ;) music collection are Ogg Vorbis files which are currently just ignored by the fingerprinter…

    Interneci – 27 September, 20:59
  34. mattgcn
    28 September, 04:12

    Damn, I adore this system so far. Can’t wait to see tags being fixed. And to know how many bad tags I have!

    mattgcn – 28 September, 04:12
  35. Alainn
    28 September, 12:01

    Since news from Last.fm is a bit slow how about we put up some stats ourselves?

    Currently fingerprinting 18080 files from 35511.
    Average time per track: 12.3 seconds
    About 58 hours to go.

    I haven’t added my audiobooks folder ‘cause the fingerprinter seems to have issues with really long files. It could be an issue with the older version so maybe I’ll try again later.

    Alainn – 28 September, 12:01
  36. mitya
    29 September, 03:34

    fingerprinting is great, but I really hope that whenever you put some kind of moderation system in place it will also let us fix all the incorrect artists and track names on files that have been uploaded for streaming to last.fm (see the “last fm mistake”) tag.

    it’s one thing to fix our mistakes, but it would be better if you don’t make them yourself. ;)

    mitya – 29 September, 03:34
  37. Jonty
    29 September, 13:39

    @Jester-NL: Basically, yes :)

    Jonty – 29 September, 13:39
  38. Jester-NL
    29 September, 22:45

    Well, cool!! … but now for the tricky question ;)

    Will that reflect in my scrobbling? I doubt it will split my top-track in 14 corretct portions, but will these tracks eventually be counted seperate?

    Jester-NL – 29 September, 22:45
  39. AdriaNnLA
    30 September, 05:28

    yep, last fm mistake, & last-fm fubared track titles

    AdriaNnLA – 30 September, 05:28
  40. Erik Frey
    30 September, 21:39

    Kenneth: maybe !

    Jester-NL: it depends on how different the 14 tracks are. if they’re the same recording with 14 slightly different production effects, it may lump them together. but don’t worry, we’ll continue to tune and tweak the knobs until it’s working well.

    mitya: of course, that’s one of our goals!

    Erik Frey – 30 September, 21:39
  41. Jester-NL
    2 October, 20:50

    Sounds good, given that I have a ;ot of tracks that are titled “Untitled” and about six albums counted I to XII (or something), and that at least 10 of the mentioned 14 are tracks from different live performances, my charts might one day be rather dull… or interresting (depending on your view ;))

    I am looking forward to that moment.

    Jester-NL – 2 October, 20:50
  42. Endre
    4 October, 16:01

    Get this into the standalone player, NOW!

    With this, and the possibility to define more than one “My Radion Station”, I could finally let the memory of Pandora go..

    PLEASE PLEASE please please pleeeaassss….

    PS: The more than one “personal station” is really a big deal to me: Sometimes I need some heavy “upping”, and sometimes I need something mellow.. Maybe one could use ones’ tags, and collect a set of tags into a personal station? Let me toggle whether I want each tag “expanded” using the similarity alorithm.

    PPS: Buy, or be bought by, allmusic.com. Their “genre” “styles” and in particular “moods” things are awesome!

    Endre – 4 October, 16:01
  43. [A]
    9 October, 15:37

    Nothing ever gave such headaches as this little fingerprinter-prick

    [A] – 9 October, 15:37
  44. Jonty
    9 October, 17:19

    @Endre: Sounds like you want tag radio… we already have that, but it’s a subscriber only feature.

    Jonty – 9 October, 17:19
  45. DRXV
    13 October, 05:17

    DVDs scrobble sometimes.

    DRXV – 13 October, 05:17
  46. AdriaNnLA
    17 October, 04:48

    .@Jonty: yeah, but Endre also mentioned collect a set of tags into a personal station which I think is something akin to an idea I proffered some time ago; that is to allow for logic-gating the tags in the player.


    Something such as:

    play me

    • ambient chill
    • and ambient trip
    • and not ambient noise
    • nor ambient dub


    so that anything tagged ‘ambient chill’ or ‘ambient trip’ is a potential for playback except that any item meeting at least one of the first two criteria would then have to not be also tagged neither ‘ambient noise’ nor ‘ambient dub’ in order to make the final set.

    …which should definitely be a subscriber only feature…

    AdriaNnLA – 17 October, 04:48
  47. UW
    30 October, 22:54

    Dear last.fm,

    what’s the latest news on the fingerprinting front??? It’s been quite a while since the last update on the process …. :-(((((

    UW – 30 October, 22:54

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