Looking to scrobble Turntable.fm? Kangas has you covered.
Gabe Kangas' latest creation to scrobble music to his Last.fm account: TurntableScrobbler. Screenshot from gabek.github.com/turntablescrobbler.
First, for those not familiar with the obscure term, according to Wikipedia, scrobbling is the act of "publishing one's music-listening habits via software." This software, one of the most popular ones being Last.fm, then provides users with stats of their listening habits as well as publishes them to the web for others to see.
Second, what I've learned from those who do scrobble is that they scrobble everything, and I mean, everything. So when the latest craze in music, Turntable.fm, spread throughout the web's early adopters earlier this month, those who scrobbled had to find a solution.
Enter Gabe Kangas, an Omaha developer, a Hollrback co-founder and, most importantly, a dedicated Last.fm user – he's been on Last.fm since 2005, over which time he's scrobbled more than 53,000 songs. Gabe's solution is a Google Chrome extension called TurntableScrobbler, which keeps track of the music that a Last.fm user listens to in any Turntable.fm room.
Last November, we shared Kangas' story of creating up another scrobbling service in 2006, PandoraFM (evidence: see second paragraph), an app that keeps track of the music in a your Pandora stream. Yesterday, we caught up with Kangas by email to learn more about TurntableScrobbler.
Silicon Prairie News (SPN): Why did you create TurntableScrobbler?
Gabe Kangas (left, photo from gabekangas.com): I find personal musical trends to be interesting and Last.FM makes it really easy to view those kind of things. Though the downfall is not everything has Last.FM "scrobbling" support. In this case I joined Turntable.fm the first time after @bradmccarty tweeted about him DJ'ing in a room, and I immediately knew it was something I'd be frequenting. But I knew in order for me to do so without feeling like I'm losing out on further personal music statistics I checked around to see if anyone had already built what I was looking for, but didn't find anything. I mentioned in that first room "I'm going to have to build a Last.FM scrobbler for here." Brad replied with "Do it!" So I did.
SPN: Do you know how many people are using it?
SPN: What type of music do you typically listen to? What are your top three last.fm artists of all time?
Kangas: I'm a fan of different electronic-based genres. I've been spending a lot of time hanging in Turntable.fm rooms with @mrlasertron and @lasertron cranking Industrial/EBM/Darkwave/Futurepop/insertoverlyspecificgenrehere tunes as well as sitting in the Dubstep room wondering why it is that I enjoy dubstep at all, much of that stuff is just noise. I love it.
My top three artists are: Nine Inch Nails, Ladytron and The New Pornographers. However it's with #4 that gets weird: "Tim and Eric" from the TV show "Tim and Eric Show Great Job." How did that get there?
SPN: Besides PandoraFM, have you made any other scrobbles and released the code?
Kangas: None that were ever public. Back in the earlier days of Last.FM I built my own iPod scrobbling script because nothing had support for it yet. I also built one for a music sharing site for a community called #TheCabin where you could stream other people's music via the web and then scrobble it.
SPN: The first scrobble you coded was for Pandora back in it's early days. The company, which IPO'd yesterday, has succeeded. Do you have any predictions for where Turntable.fm is headed?
Kangas: Turntable.FM is the pivot of a startup called stickybits. Due to that major change I worry that they're going to push hard to make Turntable succeed as a "real" business and look for profit early. People are having a blast and it's such a great new community, but that $1.9 million is going to come into play at point. Would I pay to use Turntable.fm? No. At the very least I hope they find a way to make money but still keep the current feature set free. On the plus side it sounds like they've already figured out the licensing for the music so there shouldn't be future fears about additional tightening restrictions on who can play what songs.
To read about startups in the Silicon Prairie that are showing off their DJ skills in Turntable.fm, see our post: "It’s social. It’s music. It’s Turntable, and it’s taking startups by storm."