100,000 Scrobbles

December 28, 2008 at 1:24 PM | Music | No Comments

I have been a user of Last.fm ever since its early days as “Audioscrobbler” (member since April 14, 2004). I am quickly approaching the 100,000 play mark (99,284 at the time of writing). Much like the turning over of a major odometer number in one’s car, it is a time for both reflection and anticipation. Has my participation in this music analyzing experiment provided any value for myself? Have I discovered anything about my own musical taste? I can only recall a few times that I have branched out with their algorithm generated recommendations. I think the reason that this has happened is perhaps because I don’t enjoy discovering new music when it is spoon fed to me, even if it is a statistically safe, database-driven spoon. I become frustrated when the recommendations radio delivers three or four consecutive tracks which cause a “pssh, I already know about these guys, I just choose not to listen to them” reaction.

This is very similar to the reason why I detest the radio so much… although I have found recently that the combination of 6 presets on my car stereo can somewhat reduce this aversion. But still… with the radio, it is inevitable that six stations manage to synchronize with 6 shit songs, 6 commercials, or a steaming combination from both categories.

Still, I can’t say that I haven’t found new music through the site… it’s wiki-like setup has led me upon gems that I had not heard of before. Exploring friends’ profiles have also produced good results. And hell, even the recommendations work for me sometimes.

Returning to the topic of my convergence upon the big 100,000… I doubt that my profile will change much in 700 or so tracks, but I think it will still be interesting to see the summation and evolution of most of my music listening habits ever since the later half of my undergrad studies. By this, I mean that music played in my car, on my old iPod, or any other place which wasn’t actively contributing to my profile is a big mystery to last.fm.

Update: song #100,000 is The Smashing Pumpkins – Shame (live)

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