Last.fm Seasonal Impact Indices

Every­one’s expe­ri­enced that thing where you’re lis­ten­ing to some­thing, and you think to your­self, “Holy shit does this remind me of fall 2004.” How strong­ly cer­tain music is cor­re­lat­ed with cer­tain peri­ods of your life depends on many things, includ­ing but prob­a­bly not lim­it­ed to when you first heard it, when you first liked it, and when your lis­ten­ing to it was most high­ly con­cen­trat­ed. So, for instance, in my case, most Destroy­er albums will recall times and places that are vague at best, and that depend most­ly upon first expo­sure rather than con­cen­tra­tion — this as a result of the fact that I lis­ten to every Destroy­er album all the time, approx­i­mate­ly.

Blue­boy’s Uni­sex, on the oth­er hand, will prob­a­bly always remind me of the win­ter of 2006–7, as I lis­tened to it for the first time that sea­son, nine addi­tion­al times with­in that sea­son (rack­ing up about 150 tracks lis­tened, accord­ing to Last.fm), and vir­tu­al­ly nev­er again once spring hit.

Ever since I began sub­mit­ting lis­ten­ing data to Last.fm in Novem­ber of 2004, I’ve won­dered whether I’d ever enjoy direct access to all those num­bers. Then came Last.fm Extra Stats, mer­ci­ful­ly col­lect­ing all my lis­ten­ing data for me in a tab-sep­a­rat­ed file that can be pulled into Excel and manip­u­lat­ed to my heart’s con­tent. Here, as a small exam­ple of the data, are my top ten artists (by tracks lis­tened) from win­ter 2006–7, along with total lis­tens for each artist (since Novem­ber 2004) (now that I’m final­ly get­ting around to pub­lish­ing this post, all the fol­low­ing data is very old):

Win­ter 2006–7
Artist Win­ter (S) ↓ Total (T)
Trans Am 163 163
Blue­boy 148 163
The Luck­smiths 69 105
Ratatat 50 126
The Moldy Peach­es 49 51
White Flight 36 41
Tele­vi­sion Per­son­al­i­ties 35 35
Beach House 35 64
Revolv­ing Paint Dream 32 58
RJD2 31 52

Now for some method­ol­o­gy. Con­tin­ue →