last.fm questions

I’m trying last.fm today.

It appears that when I tell it to play my “neighborhood” station (this streams tracks from artists that last.fm recommends to me), if I allow an entire track to play, then last.fm automatically adds that artist to my library!

I don’t want it to do this. Is there a way to stop it from doing this?

Also, I can’t figure out how to remove artists from my library.

-FrL-

It’s in the FAQ, but it’s not so easy to find so I’ll just post it here.

ETA: I don’t think you can prevent it from adding stuff to your library unless you stream the radio from your browser and make sure that the last.fm client process is killed.

Edited again: Fucking hell I just checked my library - 1186 artists, all from my own stuff not the radio service. Yikes!

Yeah, sorry, I just came back in to post that I had found the information.

But thanks!

-FrL-

This thing about it adding artists from your “neighborhood” seems really nonsensical to me. So I listen to one song from an artist the computer says I might like, and as a result, it treats me forevermore henceforth as though I really like all the songs by that artist.

Then that widens my “neighborhood” a little bit, and then I start hearing tracks two or three steps removed from what I actually like–and unless I manually stop those tracks from playing, then they get added to my library as though I liked those artists as well!

Yeesh.

-FrL-

I dunno what you’re expecting from it, Frylock. You need to play a fair amount of stuff through the scrobbling client, and once you have a sufficient profile it recommends stuff that you haven’t played that people who have similar taste to the stuff you have actually played are playing. If that makes any sense. There’s an SDMB group at http://www.last.fm/group/Straight+Dope+Message+Board, but it’s a bit moribund.

Another way to do it is to search for groups that like your favourite stuff and join the group. I’ve used this succesfully to learn of loads of new stuff.

If you are editing your profile to eliminate things you’ve actually listened to, then I think you might as well not bother.

I’m not sure what you dunno. I expect it not to put me down as having liked an artist when all I did was listen to one song, where I may or may not have even liked that song. I can’t make any sense out of that. Why would they design it that way?

I take it the “scrobbling client” thing you’re referring to is the thing I’m talking about–the thing that marks me down as “liking” an artist when all I’ve done is listen to a single track. I explained above why this doesn’t make sense.

:confused:

When I tell it to play my “neighborhood” station, it plays a bunch of songs I haven’t heard before. That’s the way it’s designed, and that’s fine. Of course I “actually listen” to these tracks. The reason I told it to play the tracks was so that I could listen to them to see what songs are out there that I might like. To know if I like them, I need to “actually listen” to them.

But just because I listened to them it adds them to my library as though I liked the artist. That is what does not make any sense to me. It creates a situation wherein, unless I go through and actively delete the tracks I didn’t like (which is a serious hassle) I start getting tracks several associative steps removed from anything I would actually like.

Sure I could sit there and skip a track every time I think I don’t like it, preventing it from being recorded to my library. But for one thing, while I’m listening to this stuff, I’m generally busy doing other things and it’s not easy to keep returning to the client to do administration, and for another thing, I like to try to listen to a whole song or two or three before deciding I like or don’t like an artist.

But is there something I’m missing? This system seems so nonsensical to me that I feel I must have misunderstood something somewhere. Is this really how last.fm works?

Basically: I don’t think it should be marking me down as liking something unless I actively did something to indicate, on purpose, that I liked it. I can’t imagine how they could have thought it should be any other way, but apparently (?) they did.

-FrL-

You can use the interface to never play something by an artist you loathe, or a track. You do realise this is music discovery service, don’t you?

Here’s my profile:

You can play around and see what I like from that link. For instance, I like the Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada so it seemed wise to join the Warp Records group to see what the other members are listening to

and from there I found some stuff I’d never heard, and Last.fm then lets you play tracks free of charge (three times per track, I think).

Same with Ninja Tune


On preview I’ve read your latest post , and if you think it’s marking you down in any kind of bad fashion then I think you miss the point of last.fm in that you play it whatever you listen to. If you’ve only played a few tracks then don’t be surprised the algorithmn is flaky. There’s no point in actually listening to, say, ABBA or whatever, and trying to delete it. Play your stuff and see what happens, it refines splendidly.

OK, we’re probably posting at cross-purposes here.

To build a decent profile with last.fm you need to playing your stuff from your PC or iPod and uploading your listening habits (ie scrobbling) your taste in music. Even if all you are doing is listening to the various radio stations you can help build your profile by loving or rejecting the tunes or adding them to your playlists or tagging them.

last.fm isn’t recording what you like. It’s recording what you listen to. As you listen to more and more music, your preferences will become clear because you’ll spend more time listening to the things you like than the things you don’t.

Thanks for talking me down folks.

After giving it a chance to work things out in its own way, I have become extremely happy with the site.

I was getting frustrated with Pandora because no matter what I do it always seems to end up channeling me through to folk and alt-country. I like these okay, in moderation, but they’re by no means my exclusive favorites. I think it was picking up on my tendency to like clear vocals, or something.

Anyway, for now at least, last.fm seems to be working better for me. So thanks for talking me through it.

-FrL-

FY and TM I, here is what I’ve heard in the last hour or so, much of which I hadn’t heard of before and all of which I was perfectly happy to listen to:

ABBA – Waterloo
R.E.M. – Strange
Magik Markers – Body Rot
The Presidents of the United States of America – Peaches
David Bowie – China Girl
Tom Lehrer – Pollution
God Is an Astronaut – Ascend to Oblivion
Grails – In the Beginning
Siouxsie and the Banshees – Kiss Them for Me
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – All Tommorow’s Parties
John Linnell – Oregon
Mudhoney – You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face)
Jonathan Coulton – The Presidents
Medeski, Martin and Wood – Sugar Craft
AK-Momo – Greasy Spoon
Black Box Recorder – The Facts of Life
Naked Raygun – Dog at Large (Live at Congress Theatre)
Free Kitten – Surf’s Up
Inspiral Carpets – This Is How It Feels
Theoretical Girls – Europe Man
U2 – One Tree Hill
Eluvium – The Unfinished
Big Black – He’s a Whore
Weezer – Buddy Holly
Hole – Babydoll
Alice in Chains – Rooster
Glenn Branca – Second Movement
Madness – Cardiac