By popular demand

Friday, 8 January 2010
by pichenettes
filed under Announcements and Design
Comments: 30

When we released Tube Tags to our loyal subscribers back in October, we promised to launch more data visualisations features soon.

Since then, we received lots of positive feedback about the infographics created for the newspaper edition of our Best of 2009 feature, including a mention in Fast Company for the “Local vs Global” comparison charts. Many of you asked for personalised versions, so that’s exactly what we’ve done! They’re now available to all subscribers in the VIP zone of our ‘Playground.’

Listening Trends allows you to create the same kind of comparisons we did for the “London & New York vs. The Word” graphs, but on a smaller scale for your friends or neighbours. Or, if you’re not into comparisons, you can always get a classic stream graph visualisation of your listening trends over time.

Music Universe shows the artists you listened to the most in 2009. The artists are grouped by tag, depicted as moons orbiting tag planets! Building this visualisation was a particularly long odyssey through circle packing algorithms, font format madness, color tweaks and disapproving cats.

Please send us feedback or join the Playground Group to discuss these features.


  1. 3inT
    8 January, 13:42

    I get

    Only subscribers can generate a listening trends graph from their profile.”

    Same for universe.
    Other than that pretty neat.

    3inT – 8 January, 13:42
  2. Julian Stahnke
    8 January, 13:47

    This is great! Thanks guys!

    Julian Stahnke – 8 January, 13:47
  3. Alexey
    8 January, 14:13

    Awesome! It would look much better, though, if shadows on planets were properly oriented away from their stars.

    Alexey – 8 January, 14:13
  4. Boz
    8 January, 15:18

    Great. But it would be really cool if I could get the radio stations – one of your core services – to play without crashing browsers.

    I just tried three. None of them worked. Most crashed after playing the video advert. I’ve had to listen to that Ian Drury biopic trailer SIX TIMES.

    The forums offer no help.

    Boz – 8 January, 15:18
  5. Tecfan
    8 January, 15:18

    Yay! I have been waiting for this, thanks.

    Tecfan – 8 January, 15:18
  6. Tecfan
    8 January, 15:50

    I seem to have some whitespace problems with my listening graph..

    Tecfan – 8 January, 15:50
  7. Matthew Ogle
    8 January, 16:08

    We’re working hard on improving the stability and performance of the web radio player. It’s not where it should be yet and we hope to bring improvements soon.

    (And to be fair, the music science team that does things like visualisations is a separate group from the web team that handles things like the radio player… ;) )

    Matthew Ogle – 8 January, 16:08
  8. mll
    8 January, 16:22

    music universe is really cool. thank you.

    mll – 8 January, 16:22
  9. Boz
    8 January, 16:41

    Fair point!

    I’ll go back to using my iPhone App. But it can’t take that long to get them working properly through good ol’fashioned web browsers, can it? Maybe, like, a reshuffle of resourcing?!


    Boz – 8 January, 16:41
  10. T
    8 January, 23:27

    @Boz oh wow! I bet they never thought of that!


    T – 8 January, 23:27
  11. HealthyEating
    8 January, 23:47

    Absolutely Awesome!

    I love it.

    HealthyEating – 8 January, 23:47
  12. andrea_25
    9 January, 00:01

    i really love this.

    andrea_25 – 9 January, 00:01
  13. oli
    9 January, 01:24

    nice nice nice, this really confirmed that i have a horrible music taste and getting it in a personalized map is hopefully going to make me think twice about what i listen to.

    oli – 9 January, 01:24
  14. alsotop
    9 January, 09:58

    My listening trends graph never loads and when I try to access the PDF I just get an empty page (still with the playground headers)

    alsotop – 9 January, 09:58
  15. 3inT
    9 January, 11:12 wasn’t sure if I subscribed or not
    edit: Working fine now, thanks

    3inT – 9 January, 11:12
  16. Olivier Gillet
    9 January, 11:42


    We have just fixed the bug your profile triggered.

    Olivier Gillet – 9 January, 11:42
  17. alsotop
    9 January, 13:52

    @Olivier Gillet:

    Thanks, now that I can see them, they look awesome! Only just realised my subscription was going to expire today if that was the problem.

    alsotop – 9 January, 13:52
  18. thisisall1word
    9 January, 22:02

    The Universe Map is OK but the moons (for me anyhows) are far too clustered for most tags… dubstep being a bit of a rubbish one – maybe all those artists are all too similar to one another cus the tag is not as varied as ‘rock’ or summat. Any chance the ‘Moons clustered together show artist similarity’ formulas could be relaxed a tad?

    All good stuff but I’m still loving the tube map one!

    thisisall1word – 9 January, 22:02
  19. Jerry
    10 January, 10:46

    What is up with the hidden word “odyssey” in this post? :)

    Jerry – 10 January, 10:46
  20. Matthew Ogle
    10 January, 16:24


    Hmmm, strange. I’m sure there’s some explanation in the universe…

    Matthew Ogle – 10 January, 16:24
  21. dianashamilton
    11 January, 22:48

    Love the Universe, thanks! In mine, one artist-moon (The Conet Project) appears to be orbiting all on its own around nothing. OK, kind of appropriate given the subject… But a bug, or is there a tiny planet-tag under there that isn’t quite visible?

    dianashamilton – 11 January, 22:48
  22. Olivier Gillet
    12 January, 00:34


    Yes, this is a low-weight tag, which probably applies to only one artist in your entire profile. I have one in my profile too! We’ll try to set a minimum size for the planets to avoid this situation.

    On the other hand, some users might see planets without moons in their profile. This is not a bug — They correspond to tags which apply, to some extent, to many artists in the profile, but which are not specific to any of them.

    Olivier Gillet – 12 January, 00:34
  23. Roger Witte
    13 January, 23:10

    Sweet – these are both very nice

    Roger Witte – 13 January, 23:10
  24. Sid
    19 January, 17:57

    A couple of the playground options aren’t working right now – Tubetags and Music Universe. Temporary or part of a rejig? Would like to see if my tubetag info has been updated. (appreciate these are all beta and may not work all the time, just curious)

    Sid – 19 January, 17:57
  25. Elias Vienna
    21 January, 07:58

    Very lovely!! :-)

    Elias Vienna – 21 January, 07:58
  26. Ben
    22 January, 12:46

    Love these two new features. The music universe feature is great.

    Ben – 22 January, 12:46
  27. research papers
    3 February, 21:29

    I like this article. Thanks for sharing!

    research papers – 3 February, 21:29
  28. jm
    8 February, 03:29

    tech plus music is great i hope 2010 for music industry is great..

    jm – 8 February, 03:29
  29. çizgi film izle
    10 February, 08:45

    Nice update! Thank you very much for the work.

    çizgi film izle – 10 February, 08:45
  30. How To Fall Asleep
    13 February, 06:04

    Oh man those things look super cool. Looking forward to other awesome visualizations.

    How To Fall Asleep – 13 February, 06:04

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