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Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and I’ve already eaten half a bag of King’s Hawaiian Rolls. I’m looking forward to signing off later this week, seeing my family and eating more bread…but for now it’s a podcast. Or actually music. Most of this week’s news is about streaming music and what we listen to. And this week’s newsletter is about a service I have fond memories of, even though I haven’t used it in years.
Today we’re covering Last.fm’s check-in and its rapid growth on Discord, Neil Young’s latest on Spotify, Anchor’s new audio editing tool, and Spotify’s expanded audiobook efforts.
A quick note for insiders: We will be closed this Thursday and Friday for the holidays. Ariel will be back on Tuesday. Again, have a great holiday!
Last.fm turns 20
A service that popularized the practice of tracking digital viewing habits over the weekend I turned 20Users of Last.fm scrobble (that is, track music playback) hundreds of thousands of times a day, according to a running counter on the service’s website.
When Last.fm was first introduced in the early 2000s, it felt just a little bit more innovative. The site’s plugin (originally created for another service called Audioscrobbler) taps the music player to record everything you listen to and display all sorts of statistics about your listening habits. Did. Additionally, it can recommend tracks and artists based on what interests other people with similar listening habits. Blogger Andy Baio Written in February 2003 After the first try.
It is the predecessor to the algorithmic recommendation systems built into all music streaming services today. Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, whatever you listen to, they all track your habits and use it to recommend new tracks to you. But with these services, the data is hidden behind the scenes. Using Last.fm was like visiting Spotify Wrapped at the end of the year, but available daily and constantly updated.
“People like to talk about music.”
(If in doubt: Yes, people are scrobbling. You are wrong, pod save americaWhen Joe Rogan, too, and Last.fm provide good recommendations for each. Podcasts are less popular than music. )
Automated recommendations for streaming services have all but eliminated the need for a platform like Last.fm (admittedly, I haven’t scrobbled anything in over a decade). However, after doing some research, I discovered that there are still corners that are building active communities around Internet features. One of his big uses is his Discord, a service built by a third-party developer. .fmbot Integrate your scrobbling data into popular chat room apps.
“People love to talk about music. hot pod“It’s a tool to easily find out what other people like in music.”
In total, the bot has more than 400,000 users, with 40,000 using the service daily, according to Dutch-based backend developer Thom. Especially popular on Discords based on specific music artists and genres, where people “want to compare their stats to each other” and “dive deeper into what everyone is listening to” on small friend group servers. so that you can, he says. .
The bot pulls out fun stats that people can brag about. Whether it’s the date you first listened to a particular song, the number of days of music you’ve consumed each year, or the list of top his albums. Thom says he joined Last.fm. But he likes the data it provides and sees the future of Discord as long as the service still exists. “Discord is betting big on bots…so I think it will help them grow even more,” he says.
When I started writing this article, I was a little surprised that Last.fm still existed. Not to mention that a new community was flourishing around Last.fm’s data. (The company did not respond to requests for interviews. In return, they get the pleasure of discussing music stats on a daily basis.
Neil Young ‘will never go back’ to Spotify
Neil Young sat down .
Stern tries to extract interesting details from Young about the ramifications of pulling the catalog (“What’s the math? How much did you turn down? How many millions?”). I don’t know.
“I won’t go back there – or anywhere else,” said Young.
“It sounds like a pixelated movie, so why would you want to keep it on Spotify?”
Losing Young is clearly not a game changer for Spotify, but it shows the power a major artist can have. Young and other top he musicians have the power and success to choose and choose platforms. In a world where enough big names choose one service over another, he could start dictating winners and losers. But for now, we are far from that reality. Also, the rapid decline in exclusive streaming indicates that most parties want broader availability than his one preferred platform.
During the interview, Young also confirmed that his favorite shots on Spotify, and indeed most digital music, sound like garbage due to compression. “We don’t need it. I have it everywhere else. And it sounds better elsewhere,” Young said. If it sounds like it, why would you want to keep it on Spotify?”
Good line. I personally don’t share the Young’s audio quality complaints, but I’d love to hear more about when that HiFi tier is coming.
Anchor adds one-tap noise reduction
Anchor now has smart new features this week This is intended to help clean up audio by making voices pop and noise fade out. Once the recording is finished, you can now instantly adjust the audio by simply tapping the “Enhance” button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
I tested this feature and it wasn’t particularly impressive. This makes the voice a little louder (and more robotic) and helps remove a bit of background noise. But for the most part, I was impressed with how well the phone’s mic did to isolate my voice. Even though he blasted two YouTube clips and a lo-fi music channel of New York City Street Sound less than a foot away from him. Microphone.
Still, I think it’s important what the anchor is doing here. If Spotify is really looking to the future with these homegrown, loosely constructed podcasts, it’s going to need to do everything it can to make sure they’re listenable. Anchor’s Enhance button may be a bit more work, but it’s a smart step towards that goal.
Spotify expands audiobook store
the audio book is now available After first launching in the US in September, on Spotify in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Continued global expansion is key to becoming the third pillar of Spotify’s business, expanding beyond music and podcasts. Of course, it’s possible to improve the user experience by allowing actual book purchases within the app, but it’s not clear if Spotify will get the chance.
That’s what today is all about. see you next week.