I knew I was approaching the number, but it wasn’t until this morning that I realized I did hit the 30,000 track milestone on last.fm.

30,000 - It's lonely at the top!

Now, why should you care? No reason, really, but I wanted to make sure that Chris saw this and was forced to acknowledge my greatness. Alright, in reality the milestone is simply an excuse to encourage any of you who listen to music regularly through the computer or on mp3 players to try out last.fm if you haven’t. It’s a stats geek dream. Honestly, it’s difficult for me to listen to music for more than 20 minutes without checking what my profile and my friends’ profiles look like.

I originally joined the site when it was just audioscrobbler – which is still the name of the technology behind it – but was never regular enough with it at work. For starters, I didn’t have my entire CD collection (or at least a majority of it) ripped and available. Which meant that I only listened to what I remembered to bring with me or whatever was available from my eMusic account. As a result, things like Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm got played way too much while Arcade Fire sat in my car. Once I started ripping certain CDs and storing them with my digital downloads, using the shuffle mode resulted in tons of Led Zeppelin, Yo La Tengo, and Pearl Jam interspersed with random tracks I got for free – not exactly a stellar listening experience. Then when I tried to play full albums, I’d end up with lots of dead time as I would be too busy to find another one to listen to after the first.

So, what changed?

For starters, ripping about three quarters of my CDs to an external hard drive and sorting them properly with my digital downloads. Now it’s not a matter of picking and choosing – everything is there. More recently, I decided to remove all of the samplers and freebie tracks I’ve gotten from eMusic. You might not think that makes a big difference, but it comes out to over 3000! No wonder it screwed up my shuffle mode! I’m still keeping them, but they’ve been moved outside of the “library” so that I can go through them at me leisure. Also, I switched to foobar2000, because Winamp took up so much memory it would interfere with my work after awhile (not to mention that the interface got too bloated with all of the online stuff I didn’t use).

Now I can sit back, put my collection on “Shuffle (Album)”, and enjoy lots of music without having to babysit the media player. And now, once again, I’m putting on my sad little face and asking for more online friends – because that’s how I measure success. Seriously, it’s very cool… and I’m lonely…

10 thoughts on “30,000”

  1. I scoff at your greatness. I’m at 21,000+ in less than a year, so prepare to be lapped in ’08. I do notice that our musical compatibility is back up to Medium, so I guess that means we can hang out again.

    As for music managers, I prefer MediaMonkey. It’s very flexible and easy to use.

  2. Well, to be fair, I think I only had about 11,000 tracks going into last year. If I had been running last.fm for the entire 3 years and listening at the same pace, I’d be closing in at 60,000.

    I noticed you used MediaMonkey. It looks cool, but I’ll be switching to Ubuntu at home and partially at work within the next month. At that point I’ll be running Amarok. That’ll satisfy my open source demands (foobar is 100% free, but closed source – and the thing is flexible to a fault).

  3. Heh, well I started using it so damn long ago and well, I actually *like* how I can sort things on it, plus there’s a level of control that lets me do exactly what I need.

    The best was when I was doing shows, because I could do the playlist at work, figure out all the transitions and then have it all ready to go for me when I got home. Apple does a lot of things really shitty, but for what I need, I’ve never had a complaint about iTunes (the program, not the store. I have the store turned off)

  4. @Chris – Oddly enough, Ubuntu actually comes from an African language. But I am speaking of the rather popular flavor of Linux. I am shuffling off these Windows coils.

    @mizery – I might still post an entry about the ridiculously long string I use in my mp3 tagging program to sort everything exactly as I like it. Recently I added a bunch of if/else arguments to handle various artist, split albums, and multi-disc sets. The only thing I do manually is sort artists by first letter.

  5. The dork in me would probably be interested in that, Thom. Sometimes I have to do manual uploads of art, because lots of what I listen to isn’t catalogued anywhere, but that’s kind of a minor thing.

    I’ve created a sorting system based upon numbers so all of my artists sort by artist/album year instead of the standard artist/album alpha numeric, plus I precede everything with a 10 if it’s a regular album, 20 if it’s a compilation, 50 if it’s an eMusic DD, 60 if it’s an iTunes free download, etc. From there it’s set to update my playlists with everything in 10, 20, etc. so if I want to shuffle all my albums it’s automatically done without having to exclude the daily downloads. I just select the album playlist and it’s done for me.

  6. In other news, I noticed that for the first time ever, I have a Very High compatibility rating with you on the last.fm Taste-o-meter. I figure that should drop like a stone as soon as I have some more time to play the German techno and ambient stuff. It’s just too cold & gray these days to listen to that.

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