Making every play count

How to scrobble everything to your Last.fm profile with Scrobblr for Android and iOS

This month an experimental third-party app has come our way that’s really piqued my interest. It’s called Scrobblr, and it uses the microphone on your android / ios device along with the Gracenote API to identify music and scrobble it to your Last.fm profile.  

Scrobblr

Scrobblr potentially allows you to scrobble everything to your Last.fm profile — broadcast radio; MTV; your car stereo; music playing on your games console; CD, Vinyl, and Cassette; as well as music services that don’t scrobble natively such as Soundcloud, Youtube, Google Play, and Xbox Music.  Imagine if an app like Shazam or Soundhound could scrobble to your profile, that’s essentially what Scrobblr does — if you can hear it, you can scrobble it.  The developers even claim (though we’ve had mixed results ourselves at Last.hq) that you can scrobble music heard out and about at pubs and clubs.

To give you an example, one of the more frequent criticisms / feature requests we’ve had regarding the Last.fm Xbox app is that it doesn’t scrobble music in the background whilst playing games — using this app you can do just that by simply placing your phone near to your speakers.  My favourite use of this is to scrobble the radio stations on Grand Theft Auto V. Even against the chaotic background of police sirens wailing, cars exploding, gunshots rattling, frightened pedestrians screaming, and Trevor Phillips yelling obscenities at the police; Scrobblr can carefully pick out Britney Spears – Gimmie More on Non-Stop Pop FM and log it on my Last.fm profile.  Much to my shame.

Another example, I often listen to Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour via the iplayer app on my phone.  As the show is pre-recorded, it doesn’t scrobble to BBC Radio 6 Music’s own Last.fm account.  In the past, if I’d wanted to scrobble the tracks from this show, I’d have to manually scrobble each track by hand using the Universal Scrobbler.  With Scrobblr, I can stream the show through iplayer and simultaneously scrobble it directly to my account.  It’s pretty awesome.

The app is still in its early stages of development and it’s not without issues — matching isn’t always perfect, and like I said, our “field tests” in local pubs and clubs have so far been a bit hit and miss.  Even so, I’m very excited in its potential and I’d be interested to know what you think, especially if you listen to music on platforms that are difficult to scrobble (like broadcast radio, vinyl, and cd). I’d also be curious to hear more obscure ways to scrobble music using the app. :)

You can download Scrobblr for free here:

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.scrobblr
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scrobblr/id698063218
Developer’s website: http://www.scrobblr.net/

Mercury Prize 2013 – Listening trends on Last.fm

With the nominees for the Mercury Music Prize 2013 announced yesterday, I decided to compile snapshots of the listening trends data displayed on Last.fm for all of the nominated albums. Last.fm (the company I work for) is a music discovery service which allows people to keep a record of every track they listen to on their computer, mobile device, or mp3 player, as well as supported music services like Spotify and This is My Jam. Last.fm then aggregates this data to compile weekly charts based on what people actually listen to around the world.

These snapshots show the number of registered Last.fm users listening to the nominated albums per week, for the last 6 months. Also displayed is the total number of plays (called scrobbles) and total number of unique listeners.  Although the Mercury Prize is decided by a panel of judges, I personally think it’s interesting to follow the relative popularity of each album, and speculate on whether that has any impact on the decision.

I leave the interpretation of the data to you.

Arctic Monkeys - AM

Arctic Monkeys – AM (6 September 2013)

Disclosure - Settle

Disclosure – Settle (31 May 2013)

Foals - Holy Fire

Foals – Holy Fire (11 February 2013)

Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg (15 October 2012)

Rudimental - Home

Rudimental – Home (29 April 2013) (also see the deluxe edition )

Villagers - Awayland

Villagers – {Awayland} (January 11, 2013)

Is Christmas actually getting later every year?

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Is Christmas actually getting later every year?

We all like to grumble about how Christmas is getting earlier every year — at least as far as supermarkets are concerned. But is this true for people’s listening habits? This afternoon we decided to take a look at our data, which curiously suggests that perhaps the opposite is true…

Like all of the best ideas, this graph came about it after a few rounds at the pub last night, and may or may not be scientifically valid. But it is scientific, which means it’s true.