Sunday, June 19, 2005

Music Tracking

I've been consistently impressed with the AudioScrobbler service since I started using it a few months ago. Well, mostly impressed. The server outages have been slightly annoying, but other than that if you are a statistics and/or music freak this service is great. As I've said before, AudioScrobbler is a plug-in for most of the popular music playing applications that you use on your computer (Winamp, iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc.) to track what you listen to. I like seeing how my listening patterns change from week to week since I'm very finnicky about what I listen to and I also like seeing what is popular with readers of Decoy Music, the online music mag I work for.

One feature I never really used before was the recommendations page. This page looks at what you listen to and compares it against the massive user tracking database and tries to figure out what bands you would like based upon what you listen to. It also attempts to figure out what you'd like to listen to more of from your music collection based upon what you are currently listening to. I finally checked out this page and was pretty disappointed by what I found. It might be because I'm selective about the bands in the genres I listen to, but most of the bands that were recommended to me I really don't like. Let's take a quick look at the top 25 bands that AudioScrobbler says I should be a fan of based upon my listening pattern

1 The Early November -- These guys are ok and I've listened to them in the past, but their brand of emo never impressed me too much.
2 The Used -- I will NEVER listen to these bunch of sell-out popsters posing as rock stars.
3 Halifax -- I listened to their EP a while back and didn't like it much at all.
4 Coldplay -- I hate this band. I could never get into anything they played. Stupid brit-rock.
5 JamisonParker -- Never heard these guys so maybe I'll have to track them down and give 'em a shot.
6 Matchbook Romance -- Only heard a song or two from compilations by these guys so I don't remember what they sound like.
7 Boys Night Out -- Basic pop-punk band that didn't impress me much.
8 Spitalfield -- Heard like one song by them and didn't like their particular brand of "scream-sing" emo.
9 Death Cab for Cutie -- I am totally and completely bored by these guys.
10 Every Time I Die -- Now here's a band that I actually did wish I listen to more. I don't have any of their cds so I might have to look into tracking some down.
11 Something Corporate -- I used to listen to these guys all the time when their debut came out, but their sophomore album, South, totally sucked and killed my interest in them.
12 Days Away -- Never listened to them.
13 Say Anything -- I really, really don't like alt rock and pop rock that much so that's why I don't listen to this band.
14 Cartel -- Never listened to them but I've never felt the need to either.
15 Straylight Run -- Would like to give these guys a listen if I can stumble upon one of their cds somewhere.
16 Northstar -- Listened to a song or two back in the day and got really, really sleepy.
17 Dashboard Confessional -- How come all of their songs sound exactly the same? Boring band.
18 The Postal Service -- Interesting band, but not my cup of tea.
19 The Bled -- Eww... these guys are the crap of the crop when it comes to metalcore.
20 The Rocket Summer -- Heard a lot of good things, but they fall into the alt pop rock genre that I despise.
21 Bright Eyes -- Boring, boring, boring, boring.
22 The Blood Brothers -- These guys are a little too off the wall for me. Their music makes me want to have seizures.
23 Converge -- Ah, another band I actually wish I listened to. I recently heard some songs online from their upcoming disc of rarities (at least that's what I think the content of the disc is going to be) and I really liked it.
24 Fear Before the March of Flames -- I've seen these guys live and heard their cd and both make me want to puke. They don't make music, they make noise.
25 The Format -- Heard good things, but haven't gotten around to listening to them.

Anyhow, so there are the top 25 artists that AudioScrobbler thinks I should listen to. I really don't want to listen to more than a handful, though, so for me, at least, I think the recommendations feature is kind of a bust, but maybe it works better for some other people out there.

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