Goodbye, Last.fm

By Chris Done

tl;dr: I replaced my dependence on Last.fm with my own service http://chrisdone.com/music.

In my last post (admittedly, a year ago) I talked about how Last.fm had served me well enough over the years, but that I’d grown tired of not having full access to my data in order to make corrections. The final straw yesterday was that I have two Last.fm profiles; one from years back, and one for the past few years. In total I have 6 years worth of music listening information that I wanted to merge into one. Last.fm said no, you cannot do this. For a data aggregation service, that’s bonkers. Sod it.

I used lastexport.py which was written by the libre.fm guys. I downloaded everything from both of my profiles into an 11MB CSV (tab-separated) file, I also downloaded my loved tracks. This gave me the only information I cared about from Last.fm. I don’t need Last.fm anymore.

I tried to use the cassava library to parse the CSV but it failed to parse and threw ridiculous 11MB error messages. I tried out csv-conduit and it parsed it first time. The APIs are similar, so I didn’t care which one worked. I imported my data into a PostgreSQL database. As of writing there are 83,238 listens recorded.

I then wrote a trivial web server with the scotty library. It’s not that much more trivial than snap, but it has a low dependency foot-print and doesn’t require doing ByteString conversion to get anything done. I made a simple handler to accept track submissions that would record into the database.

I made a simple greasemonkey script for Grooveshark (which is pretty much all I use right now to play music) that would submit tracks every 30 seconds to my local server. I’ll probably make a script for YouTube, too, because I sometimes listen to music on there. Grooveshark supports “favouriting” tracks, which I also added a hook for—when a track is favourited, it submits it to my server as “loved”. Like Last.fm, I don’t care about what Grooveshark stores.

I added to the web server a little summary page, then I installed it on my Hetzner dedicated host under chrisdone.com, here.

I merged “The Prodigy” and “Prodigy” into one artist, because “Prodigy” is some rapper that I don’t like nor have ever listened to. This brought The Prodigy up to my most listened-to artist, which is accurate.

Job done, back to listening to music and hacking on important things. Goodbye, Last.fm.