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Me & My Digital Music Collection

September 6th, 2010
Apple iTunes icon

I downloaded the latest greatest version of MacOS and iTunes and started fooling around with Ping and Last.fm. I agree with the consensus, Last.fm does more.

Ping only knows about the songs I’ve downloaded from the iTunes Store, not the hundreds of CDs I’ve legally purchased and listened to for years, first on CD, then through iTunes. Last.fm goes through my library and doesn’t import it, but it notes down what I listen to and how often. Apparently August 31st 2005 is an important date in my life.

Metadata Matters

Total songs played since August 31st 2005

I’ve owned three Macs and I’ve replaced the hard drive in a couple of them, well all of them but the newest, either to make it bigger, faster, or because it died. I’ve also moved my iTunes library from the bootup disk of my G4, to the second internal hard drive I added, to an external, to a laptop, back to an external, back to a laptop, back to an internal drive in the G4. That is where my music is now. It is safe, I auto backup that drive regularly first with Retrospect then with Time Machine. If you’ve gathered that during all that some of my metadata was lost including playlists, playcounts, ratings, you’d be right. However I’ve gradually been fixing everything and I have more music than ever on my computer. The last time I listened to CDs was when I bought the Lucinda Williams live album collection.

Last.fm

So back to August 31st 2005, I hazard that was when I moved my library one time and did it incorrectly losing all the meta data. I did lose metadata from my time in China, but since I’ve been living in East Van and upgraded my iPod and my G4 I haven’t been losing metadata. I was pretty proud that on Last.fm, a service I’d basically never used, it says I’ve listened to 39000 plus tracks. And hear I though I was listening to less music than I used to. I think the last three months of unemployment have boosted my stats a bit.

My Personal Top 8 Artists

My favourite artists according to Last.fm

Last.fm also analyzed my iTunes data to determine my most listened to artists. I was pretty happy with that list. Though a quick look at my CD collection or knowing me from before 2005, you’d know I’m probably a bigger Neil Young fan than Johnny Cash, (though it is close), but this is a pretty good top ten artists:

  1. Johnny Cash
  2. Neil Young
  3. Lucinda Williams
  4. Steve Earle
  5. Townes Van Zandt
  6. The Supersuckers
  7. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
  8. Tom Waits

Actually it was only a Top 8, but I was surprised it had Lucinda Williams ahead of Steve Earle as I’ve been a Steve Earle fan since the 80’s and only got into Lucinda Williams in the last few years. Oh well you can’t argue with statistics. At least nothing embarrassing is among my artists I’ve listen to the most.

Why doesn’t Ping work better?

I still remember Pandora Boy which Last.fm is probably similar too, but the fact the Scrobbler learns what songs I like from iTunes is huge. How come Ping can’t do that? Lawyers! It’s not all perfect in Last.fm land, their iPhone app isn’t available in Canada. Though as long as I leave the Scrobbler running on my G4, I’ve set it to start at login along with iTunes and RecentTunes.

Online Music Wars Continue

It is going to see how this plays out, Google and Microsoft won’t sit idle, Facebook and Apple are feuding, MySpace bought iLike and should probably buy Last.fm, either that or Apple should buy them. Here are some more thoughts from others:

Apparently Ping was not too big to fail. Apple and Google both had trouble creating social media networks but both make plenty of money though President Trump and the President who comes after Trump may break up some of the Internet behemoths or at least legislate them more heavily like Europe. I still use iTunes and Last.fm on both my MacBook Pro and iPhone it’s good enough for me in 2018. But if you have fanatical opinions you can add them below.

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