[mythtv] MythMusic LastFM support offering support (was Re: [mythtv-commits] mythtv/master commit: 8e2982436 by Paul Harrison (paul-h))

Matt S. skd5aner at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 00:10:20 UTC 2012

On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 5:20 PM, Paul Harrison <mythtv at sky.com> wrote:
> On 06/01/12 23:46, Stuart Morgan wrote:
>> On Friday 06 Jan 2012 23:29:15 Paul Harrison wrote:
>>> I must admit I'm still a bit ignorant at exactly what LastFM is to know
>>> how best to integrate it. I've done a little reading of the LastFM
>>> website and api docs. Do I take it you just want to integrate the
>>> scrobbling part of the api?
>> LastFM is just a flash-based radio service that tailors what is played to each
>> user based on their likes and dislikes. It's great for discovering new music
>> or just for listening to some of the music you own when you don't have your
>> mp3 player to hand. The user has no control over what tracks are played or the
>> order except to be able to 'skip' to the next item in the playlist. You 'ban'
>> a track to never hear it again or 'love' a track if you want to to appear in
>> your playlist more frequently.
>> You can only listen to the 'radio' via their website, so it cannot be
>> integrated like Shoutcast etc. It might however be implemented similar to MNV
>> via MythBrowser, but I'll let someone else decide whether that's worthwhile.
>> To the best of my knowledge the scrobbling API is the only one we'd reasonably
>> be interested in.  The 'scrobbler' feeds details of your music collection, how
>> often you play certain tracks and the like back to LastFM to help inform the
>> playlist choices it makes when you use the service.
>> They have a really great recommendations API IIRC but until we offer some sort
>> of download integration* there's no rush to implement that.
>> (* I've given some thought to integrating services like emusic before now, but
>> they'll need to improve their API before I do)
> OK thanks Stuart that's made things a lot clearer. Should be fairly easy
> to hook the scrobbling into the music player. The authentication looks
> like it could be a bit of a pain but nothing we can't handle. Not
> something that really interests me though so not high on my todo list
> but I'll offer assistance to anyone who want to look at it.
> Paul H.
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I just wanted to add some additional comments about last.fm and as I'm
a user (and fan) of the service and would love to see it integrated
into MythMusic.

Stuart focused primarily on one part of the service, which is their
"streaming" radio capabilities - similar in nature to spotify or
pandora.  But in general, I rarely if ever use this feature and most
people would say that's not really what makes last.fm unique
(anymore). Additionally, they do have a recommendation engine - but
I'm not sure if I've really seen players take advantage of that and
leverage it via the API.

What I do leverage is scrobbling - which allows my various players
(itunes, ipod, android, winamp, etc) to send playcounts to my account.
 This keeps track of my overall library, and allows me to see
statistics on listening.  For example - most played artist this week,
month, year - most played track, etc.  There are third party sites
that leverage the API that can take the statistics way beyond what you
can see on the last.fm site.  For me, it's pretty fun to see what
trends in listening I have, when I started listening to a new artist,
periods where a particular genre ruled my listening, when I
rediscovered an artist, etc.

As for scrobbling - it's nice because it's a collective of all my
playcounts regardless of player - it would be nice for mythmusic to
join that mix since anything I listen to in there effectively falls
into a black whole as far as my total playcount goes.  I think it's
the only player I use on a frequent basis that won't scrobble.  If
someone is interested in starting, that's probably the best feature to
try and work on.

Additionally - the API can expose a bunch of metadata on the track,
album, and artist.  This could be particularly useful to do things
similar to how metadata and artwork is exposed for videos and
recordings.  You could grab pictures of the artist
(http://www.last.fm/api/show?service=407), folksonomy tags, and even
wiki like descriptions of the artist/album/track.

Also, it's come up a few times in the past, but I think there's a huge
potential to leverage various musicbrainz capabilities too.  In fact,
last.fm and musicbrainz are re-kindling a long time partnership to
make sure that all the tracks, artists, and albums leverage the MBID.
This helps eliminate ambiguity when both scrobbling as well as
retrieving data.  All of my tracks have an MBID, and between
leveraging the last.fm and musicbrainz APIs, you could get just about
any piece of data you could imagine.  I think there's a lot of
potential in terms of leveraging MB and last.fm in combination for
tagging and metadata supplementation.

Thanks again for all your hard work on MythMusic so far Paul - I know
it's been a long time coming and there are a lot of people who are
grateful for you contributions!


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