2670 – Stray Cat

I don’t take many images right now. It may be the weather, it may be the project that I’m working on, I don’t know. What I do know is, that I may have solved my music history problem that I wrote about yesterday.

You remember: the problem is, that the only streaming service available here in Austria, that allows me to use music offline on my laptop (for instance during my weekly train commutes between Villach and Vienna), is Spotify, but Spotify severely lacks organization features for building a virtual “collection”, and what is there, playlists and playlist folders, can’t be saved. Thus I run danger of forgetting about my music history.

Enter apps. Spotify can embed apps, effectively plugins, that can add features to the Spotify desktop client. One of those apps connects Spotify with Last.FM, and that’s what I use now.

I have used some hours to set up my “library” on Last.FM. That means I have told them about the artists that I care about. Currently that are 861 artists, basically all of the artists in my collection of CDs and digital downloads. This will allow Last.FM to make suggestions according to my taste,

Additionally I have set Spotify up to tell Last.FM about every track that I play. That’s what Last.FM calls scrobbling. That alone would be no big improvement, but Last.FM offers various ways to get at your data.

One way is to request an export. This is not in real-time and according to the description it may take up to seven days to get your data out of the system. Nevertheless, it’s something that could be done once or twice a year for backup purposes.

The other thing is that Last.FM offers an RSS feed of each account’s last 10 tracks played. In the side bar of my blog (click through if you read this post in a feed reader) you see a visualization of my feed as it was when you loaded the page. It does not refresh, but when you refresh the page, it will be updated with real-time information from Spotify, relayed through Last.FM.

10 songs, that’s half an hour on average. In order to record my whole listening history, I’d have to read the feed about every 15 minutes, eliminate duplicates and save the new items in a database. Writing a small program to do that, that’s what I currently consider. Of course the database would have to be backed up as well, but if you spread your data among enough different cloud services, reliability can be very good.

Obviously I need a server connected to the Internet, and the shared hosting account for my blog does not offer me the option to run my own programs, but I’ll take care of that in a few days.

Today’s image has been taken on our short trip to Pordenone in northern Italy and the Song of the Day is “Stray Cat Strut” by Stray Cats. Hear it on YouTube or on Spotify if you have an account.

4 thoughts on “2670 – Stray Cat”

  1. I just commented on your previous post and it seems the suggestion I made there is answered by Last FM. I might have to try it out myself though I care far less about organising music than you so this is not as important to me. But I do hope this helps you achieve what you’re after.

    1. Organizing is not my primary concern. It’s losing my history, losing associations. I want to be able to look at some kind of “record” from the past and be able to remember what I did when I heard it, who I was with, what we drank and what we talked about. That’s the kind of thing.

      Last.FM will not solve that long-term problem, but routing my data from Spotify to them at least solves the problem to get it out of Spotify. I’ll have to get it out of Last.FM as well, but that seems to be easy via their feeds. In the end I’ll need my own programs and database.

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