libre.fm

After the last last.fm redesign, it’s been speculated that last.fm probably isn’t going to survive much longer.  It’s sad, but it’s difficult to see what the business idea with last.fm is these day.  And the way they’re chopping the useful features is weird.

For instance, I’ve been using the events page for years to time my holidays.  If I’m going to, say, Berlin, I’ll scope out what’s going on on nearby dates to see whether I should go there a bit earlier or a bit later.  But then they removed the option to change the location: You can only look at the events that are “nearby”, based on the IP address of where you’re browsing from.

It’s…  it’s…

Even more absurd is that the functionlity is still there.  They’ve just removed the user interface.  If you Google the latitude and longtitude of a place, and enter them in the URL, it’ll tell you the events: http://www.last.fm/events?latlong=-33.865143,151.209900 in Sydney.

Eh?

Anyway, somebody mentioned libre.fm, which is apparently an old, free clone of last.fm.  Sort of.  There a nice Python GUI script that’ll extract your old scrobbles from last.fm and upload them to libre.fm.  It works perfectly.  Takes a while, though.

libreThe feature set is kinda not there.  It’ll list your scrobbles, and do some statistics.  And that’s it.  No events, no discovery, no nothing.  Except some free music they’re pushing.

If you look at the commits, it’s pretty dead.  So it kinda seems rather pointless.

Everything is bad.

last.fm scrobbling problems

The past few months, I’ve noticed that only a fraction of the music I’ve been playing has been scrobbling on last.fm.  But I just put this down to general last.fm flakiness — I think everybody pretty much assumes that they’re closing any time soon after the last disasterous redesign (where all the useful functionality disappeared (but we got a mobile-friendly design)).

But last night I noticed something:

lastThe only things that scrobbled were tracks I’ve ripped from vinyl!  The only things that didn’t scrobble were tracks ripped from CDs!  So I traced the Emacs scrobble library and saw that the only difference was that with CD tracks, scrobble.el sent over the CDDB ID when scrobbling, and with vinyl tracks, it naturally didn’t.  Because no such data existed.

I commented out the CDDB ID stuff, and then everything started scrobbling perfectly.

When I send over API calls with the CDDB ID set, no errors are reported, but the scrobbles are silently discarded later, and do not show up in the library.

So…  A bug introduced during the redesign or something?  I don’t know.  Since that data is superfluous, anyway, it’s no big deal.  And since last.fm is probably closing, nothing matters.

Boo hoo.

TSP1986: Zastrozzi: A Romance

I’m apparently part of the Tilda Swinton Underground now, where we swap rare, unavailable Tilda Swinton TV series and shorts.

Or something. In any case, I got a copy of this 1986 British TV series from a kind reader. It’s rather good. Bits of it are brilliant. And some bits, er, aren’t. Have a peek here.

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If you happen to have stuff that I’ve been unable to find (marked on this page with “-“), please let me know at larsi@gnus.org.

The Continued Effect of Version Control Systems on Emacs Developers

I did some stats on the effect of the number of contributors after Emacs switched to git last May.  I think I summed it up as “meh”, but that was only after a handful of months, after all.

It’s now been more than a year, so I redid the experiment:

(The red line is the changeover point from bzr to git.)

Let’s zoom in on the last few years:

I think my original conclusion stands.

Storage Cubed

I wanted more storage for comics, but I just couldn’t find anything that really fit the only vacant wall space I had in the office.  So I bought 21 of these small Ikea bookshelf box things.  In November.

And today I finally completed the project by making one of the boxes into a computer…  cabinet…

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These boxes aren’t very…  solid…  So honeycomb.

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That looks totally safe, doesn’t it?  Sure.

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Pimping the space where I hung the monitor…

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My main concern was that it would look totally like a storage cabinet, and…  it… kinda doesn’t?

But it’s an office, after all.  Sort of.

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Oh, this is what the contents look like.  I was a bit worried that the wall would just collapse.  The wall is apparently a 2cm thick particle board (or similar), and then 3cm insulation, and then brick.  Drilling all the way into the brick wasn’t practical, so all these cubes are just screwed right into the particle board.  (There’s no support from the floor; they’re all hanging.)

But it hasn’t collapsed yet, so I guess it’s not going to.