Last.fm in timeThe other day I was looking at the audioscrobbler (the core, the data supply of last.fm) web services for interesting feeds and I saw the week chart feeds. I noticed that they provide a list of all available weeks and quickly realized that you could combine this with the Top50 feed to reconstruct older Top50's. Just subtract an artists play count from next week's total play count and you have the current total play count.
So I went to work and produced code to perform different task. Collect the Top50, collect all week stats, compare the two and reconstruct a history. This was going goooood. Yeah. Then I took a pencil and made a drawing of what the chart should look like and I loved it. So I created the greatest spaghetti of variables I'd ever seen and uploaded the new script. It was just shock and awe! Except for a syntax error or two It all worked and the output was just as I'd hoped it'd be, except that... The 50 black lines in this tiny little graph were just such a mess, you could never make up what was what. Damn (that spaghetti again)!
I went back to work and added many features, a lot of color to the lines, auto scaling (1px = 1play), a legend in the color of the line and a line that connects the chart-line to the legend and a function to unclutter the legend for artist with the same or almost the same play count (which in turn made the lines harder to interpret but being able to read the legend outweighs clear lines :-P though I'm still looking to solve this...)
ShowtimeJust fill out the form and look at the result. Bare in mind that some users require the collection of >100 feeds and knowing last.fm isn't always the fastest source on the web, this might take some time. (a couple of minutes)
Further thoughtsThis still is a working project, so things might be broken from time to time, things will be added and changed. Currently I'm looking ways to better unclutter the lines. One possibility is to draw in reverse order, so artist with a higher play count will be on top. Other suggestions are welcome. Also I'm going to add a white panel in the top left part of the chart with some additional information, since this area is mostly empty anyways. Furthermore dates instead of weeks-in-the-past-number might be nice for the x-axis and maybe different or user definable color schemes might work better.
If you have any questions, remarks or compliments please contact me ( pcornelissen -at- gmail.com ).
Created by Paul Cornelissen (pcmadman)
Visit pcmadman's last.fm profile or contact him at pcornelissen -at- gmail.com