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Thread: Scrobbling

  1. #1
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    Scrobbling

    Can someone explain to me what it means to scrobble? (I'm assuming it's a verb, but maybe not.) I'm experimenting with Last.FM and saw a reference to it there, and have seen in numerous times on these boards. What can scrobbling do for me?

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    Okay, I think I figured out the scrobbling thing. Everything I listen to gets sent to Last.FM, and it learns about my preferences. Is this a Last.FM only thing?

    And at the risk of going off topics, is there a way to create multiple Last.FM stations, similar to Pandora? Or am I thinking about Last.FM wrong?
    Last edited by ajkidle; 2009-12-02 at 10:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajkidle View Post
    Can someone explain to me what it means to scrobble? (I'm assuming it's a verb, but maybe not.) I'm experimenting with Last.FM and saw a reference to it there, and have seen in numerous times on these boards. What can scrobbling do for me?
    Scrobbling is "send what I listen to off to Last.fm in mostly realtime".

    What that does is lets last.fm track what you listen to.

    They they can combine what you listen to with what other people listen to: and match you, like a dating service. But instead of some scary people, they will match your tastes and assume that if you listen to Artist A, and a lot of people that listen to Artist A also like Artist B, they can recommend that you listen to Artist B.

    From that, you get some online stations made up based on your tastes:
    You can listen to your library (ie, songs you have played), your recommendations (songs their software thinks you may like based on prior listening habits), songs your 'neighbors' (people with similar tastes) listen to, songs your 'friends' (ie, like myspace/facebook/etc) listen to, etc.

    Some stations need payment (which is all of $3 or so a month, I think), some are free in US/UK/DE.. not sure about Canada), etc.

    But think of it as, I guess, Amazon's "recommendations" but based on music you actually listen to, not just what you've purchased recently.

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    Senior Member snarlydwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajkidle View Post
    Okay, I think I figured out the scrobbling thing. Everything I listed to gets sent to Last.FM, and it learns about my preferences. Is this a Last.FM only thing?

    And at the risk of going off topics, is there a way to create multiple Last.FM stations, similar to Pandora? Or am I thinking about Last.FM wrong?
    You can also play 'similar artists'.

    Sometimes I will do recommended radio, and then hear something interesting... and then choose "play artists similar to this" and go wandering down a tangent.

    It is similar to Pandora, but Pandora is "human selected" in that humans studied the music and added specific tags to each track, "latin rhythm" or "female vocalist". Last.fm's grouping is MUCH more computer-driven.

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    So does everything I listen to get scrobbled? Local FLACs, Rhapsody, Pandora, etc.? This seems potentially very cool, why am I just now discovering it???

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    Senior Member lrossouw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajkidle View Post
    So does everything I listen to get scrobbled? Local FLACs, Rhapsody, Pandora, etc.? This seems potentially very cool, why am I just now discovering it???
    Local files definitely. Not sure about Rhapsody\Pandora\Other online sources as I don't really listen to these.

    You can also download their software on your PC so songs you listen on itunes\media player are also tracked. It also would add plays from your ipod to last.fm when you sync it.
    Louis
    Last.fm

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajkidle View Post
    So does everything I listen to get scrobbled? Local FLACs, Rhapsody, Pandora, etc.?
    The scrobbler tells lastfm whether each track is local, lastfm radio, other personalised radio, or other radio. Everything appears on your charts, but lastfm treat those sources differently when calculating your recommendations to avoid feedback from one recommendations system into another.
    Toby Dickenson
    Your last.fm profile mashed with eBay; www.exitahead.co.uk

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    it will scrobble from many streaming services including online radio. There is however an option in Squeezecenter/Squeezebox Server to disable scrobbling from online radio (I find that option very useful and online radio can be varied and unpredictable).

    I can't speak for all the Squeezebox streaming services but I know it scrobbles from Napster and I'm sure it scrobbled from Pandora when I was able to use it (before access was removed from UK users).

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    I find that all of my MP3/FLAC listening from my library gets scrobbled, as do tracks from most of the Rhapsody and Pandora tracks...

    For some reason, some stuff just doesn't get scrobbled correctly... As an example, when I listen to Rhapsody channels, the song will show up as being listened to...but when the song is over, it won't log it in my permanent history... Other sources do this as well...

    And even though I have the option to scrobble online internet radio, I haven't gotten this to work at all... Even when I see that the song information is being passed to the display, it still won't even show up as being listened to...forget about recording it in the history...

    I'll need to sort out a list:

    1. Sources that scrobble and record into history
    2. Sources that last.fm seems to recognize I am listening to realtime, but no log into history
    3. Sources that don't scrobble at all
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    Senior Member snarlydwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeekiM View Post
    For some reason, some stuff just doesn't get scrobbled correctly... As an example, when I listen to Rhapsody channels, the song will show up as being listened to...but when the song is over, it won't log it in my permanent history... Other sources do this as well...
    That's some mysterious Last.fm feature, as I recall.

    They -get- the data (obviously), but since it is flagged as radio, they don't show it as part of your usual play history. It is supposed to be stored there and used as part of the recommendation process, though I would assume with a lower 'priority' than local music.

    http://www.last.fm/api/submissions lists this as the 'source' type to be sent as part of the scrobbling submission:

    The source of the track. Required, must be one of the following codes:

    Code:
    P  Chosen by the user (the most common value, unless you have a reason for choosing otherwise, use this).
    
    R    Non-personalised broadcast (e.g. Shoutcast, BBC Radio 1).
    
    E    Personalised recommendation except Last.fm (e.g. Pandora, Launchcast).
    
    L    Last.fm (any mode). In this case, the 5-digit Last.fm recommendation key must be appended to this source ID to prove the validity of the submission (for example, "o[0]=L1b48a").
    
    U    Source unknown.
    So, clearly, according to last.fm docs, Pandora and such should be type E...

    But they seem to behave badly with that.

    Rhapsody 'channels' (and slacker, radioio, etc) would be 'R', I would think.. they may be unique randomly generated lists, but it's still not that specifically tuned to your tastes, and much closer to broadcast... but then they handle that oddly, too..

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