last.fm is back in my life
It seems last.fm is making a reappearance in my life once again. It seems to fade in and out, but one of my long-term projects is to record data about myself, produce some graphs and see if I can learn a bit more about myself.
One of the biggest problems I face with last.fm, that I’m sure others also face, is making sure the data gets there. I cannot fault last.fm for the audioscrobbler API as it’s well documented and anyone can implement a client but I found a couple of instances where no one has.
My biggest problem was with the iPhone. It’s possible to scrobble retroactively when syncing with iTunes, but this isn’t “live” enough for my liking. I have found an app for the iPhone though that solves this problem. Apple requires apps to be sandboxes, which is a great security feature, but prevents apps from fetching information from the music player to send back to last.fm. iScrob gets around this problem by being a music player in itself.
iScrob is available for free from the App Store but is advertising supported. I have paid the £2.99 to remove the adverts which I think is an extremely reasonable price. I’ve replaced the Music icon in the tray on my home screen with the iScrob icon and it really is a drop-in replacement. My only complaint is that tracks aren’t scrobbled until they’re finished so people can’t see the track you’re listening to in “real” time. There may be a good (possibly bandwidth or battery related) reason for this.
I’ve also subsribed to last.fm. Sometimes I want to listen to something new and last.fm radio is great for that. Bandwidth is no longer a problem for my mobile as free wifi is almost everywhere I ever am and the subscription allows me to listen to last.fm radio on my iPhone. For walking between home and Uni, the 3G works fine and uses some of my data allowance, but for only 5 minutes at a time which doesn’t seem to be causing any problems.