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December 01, 2005

Why AudioScrobbler Rocks

[Beware - seriously suspect taste in music alert - remember I secretly love great pop songs]

So I got all the audioscrobbler things set up on the new (well, recent) mac, and have been bubbling along for a while now building up my profile, but never went much further. Just assuming it would all become apparent, you know.

But because I've recently had my work laptop nicked, along with all the music I listened to when the iPod went flat, I finally got round to installing the last.fm player. Assuming it would all become apparent, you know.

After a bit of tinkering I finally realised that the player doesn't tailor to me specifically, but draws on the pool of data to recommend other music you'd like based on you saying you typing in the name of a particular artist. Not quite what I was expecting, but I'll try anything once.

As one of Dubstar's finer moments (and they did have both extremes of the spectrum) had been playing on the iPod when it went flat, that was the name that went in. An odd selection followed, some of which I already had and like, some of which I had and hate, and a few things that made me reach for the 'skip' button immediately. But then came this track by a band I'd never heard before. It was a bit dated, but it was pure unadulterated magic.

I thought "I have found my new favourite band"

Then I adjusted my perspective, looking round the office at the young folks and their shouty music, and decided "I have found a band that, had I known about them 8 years ago, would have been my new favourite band".

Followed by the thought "I just need to hear that again".

But noooooooooooo.

The Last.fm player doesn't let you do that. And I didn't know what any of this band's other material was like, so the spontaneous visit to HMV was off.

So I had to sit and skip through track after track after track until finally, about two days later, it came round again.

Right I'm buying this I decide, but no, all their records are out of stock. Once more, noooooooooooo.

So I dig around online, and find that AnneTenna actually have a website. And that all these tracks are available to download as MP3s.

I duly wallow in the track in question "Extraordinary" for about an hour. Drinking it in, and trying to work out who it reminds me of.

And a day later I discover they are the writing team behind an American band called 'EdnaSwap', who broke up when this song they had recorded about 4 times, and could never quite get to that magical point, was covered by a young former soap star called Natalie Imbruglia.

They wrote 'Torn'. Suddenly everything I was hearing made sense.

It's worth a listen to hear how it could have been - and all thanks the the power of AudioScrobbler.

Posted by Tom Dolan at December 1, 2005 10:29 PM

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Now, I may have this wrong, but...

Last.fm radio records the tracks you listen to against your profile.
From your profile, you can click through to the band page
each band page has a radio station that plays music by them, plus similar stuff from others

It may be a subscription feature tho?

Posted by: mildlydiverting [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 7, 2005 12:09 PM

I don't think it ever lets you explicitly choose to listen to a given artist - you have to say you like an artist and it'll give you other similar stuff. That you may or may not already own. A cunning route through the rights minefield...

Posted by: TomDolan [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 7, 2005 05:11 PM

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