Posts Tagged tags
A few years back I created a data set of social tags from Last.fm. RJ at Last.fm graciously gave permission for me to distribute the dataset for research use. I hosted the dataset on the media server at Sun Labs. However, with the Oracle acquisition, the media server is no longer serving up the data, so I thought I would post the data elsewhere.
The dataset is now available for download here: Lastfm-ArtistTags2007
Here are the details as told in the README file:
The LastFM-ArtistTags2007 Data set Version 1.0 June 2008 What is this? This is a set of artist tag data collected from Last.fm using the Audioscrobbler webservice during the spring of 2007. The data consists of the raw tag counts for the 100 most frequently occuring tags that Last.fm listeners have applied to over 20,000 artists. An undocumented (and deprecated) option of the audioscrobbler web service was used to bypass the Last.fm normalization of tag counts. This data set provides raw tag counts. Data Format: The data is formatted one entry per line as follows: musicbrainz-artist-id<sep>artist-name<sep>tag-name<sep>raw-tag-count Example: 11eabe0c-2638-4808-92f9-1dbd9c453429<sep>Deerhoof<sep>american<sep>14 11eabe0c-2638-4808-92f9-1dbd9c453429<sep>Deerhoof<sep>animals<sep>5 11eabe0c-2638-4808-92f9-1dbd9c453429<sep>Deerhoof<sep>art punk<sep>21 11eabe0c-2638-4808-92f9-1dbd9c453429<sep>Deerhoof<sep>art rock<sep>18 11eabe0c-2638-4808-92f9-1dbd9c453429<sep>Deerhoof<sep>atmospheric<sep>4 11eabe0c-2638-4808-92f9-1dbd9c453429<sep>Deerhoof<sep>avantgarde<sep>3 Data Statistics: Total Lines: 952810 Unique Artists: 20907 Unique Tags: 100784 Total Tags: 7178442 Filtering: Some minor filtering has been applied to the tag data. Last.fm will report tag with counts of zero or less on occasion. These tags have been removed. Artists with no tags have not been included in this data set. Of the nearly quarter million artists that were inspected, 20,907 artists had 1 or more tags. Files: ArtistTags.dat - the tag data README.txt - this file artists.txt - artists ordered by tag count tags.txt - tags ordered by tag count License: The data in LastFM-ArtistTags2007 is distributed with permission of Last.fm. The data is made available for non-commercial use only under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike UK License. Those interested in using the data or web services in a commercial context should contact partners at last dot fm. For more information see http://www.audioscrobbler.net/data/ Acknowledgements: Thanks to Last.fm for providing the access to this tag data via their web services Contact: This data was collected, filtered and by Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest. Send questions or comments to Paul.Lamere@gmail.com
Over the last 5 years, Last.fm has built an incredible database of social tags around music. They have collected millions of short text descriptions of artists, albums and tracks. These tags are a great way to explore for new music, and Last.fm exploits these tags on their site to great effect. But what if you want to use the tags to help you play music from your own collection? Until now you were out of luck – you had to resort to the iTunes style of exploring your personal music collection – resulting in lots of playlists from artists in proper alphabetical order but with no musical cohesiveness. Now, Last.fm has just released a prototype, called Boffin that allows you to use the great body of last.fm social tags to play music in your own collection. The program is called Boffin – I took it for a quick spin and I really like it.
When you run Boffin for the first time, it enrolls your music collection. For me, with about 10K tracks, this took less than 5 minutes. During this time, Boffin is ‘phoning home’ to last.fm to get the tags that have been applied to your artists and tracks. I call this Round Trip Tagging – we give some tags to last.fm when we tag music, and they give lots of tags back to us to let us label our own collection. Once enrolled, Boffin gives you a tag cloud interface to your music collection. Select a few tags, hit the play button and you are listening to your own music. Here’s what my Boffin tag cloud looks like:
Of course, the listening experience is going to be good, because I’m listening to my own music and, presumably, I like that music already.
For a prototype application, Boffin is really well polished (at least the mac version is). While enrolling my music collection, Boffin shows images of all the artists in my collection that it is finding. I was rather amazed at how fast they were able to enroll my collection (I guess Boffin isn’t subject to the rate limits that users of the Last.fm developer API are subjected to). I did find a few times that I thought Boffin had hung up, because I couldn’t select tags anymore, but it turns out that Boffin disables tag selection when it is actually playing music. Once I hit the stop button, I could select tags with no worries. Boffin will even make it easy to generate the popular wordle tag cloud of my personal collection:
Good job to the folks at Last.fm, Boffin is pretty neat!
Welcome to Music Machinery - the blog about the interface of music and technology written by Paul Lamere.
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