Sunday, September 26

Some Music Statistics

I hate Apple. Or more precisely I hate the misplaced value so many place on Apple products. I won't go into a fully fledged rant right now, suffice to say most Apple fans are wrong for liking Apple products.

Which makes my love for my iPod quite ironic. I've only ever owned the one - a 1st generation nano, now over five years old, a length of time which kinda reinforces how much its changed the way I listen to music.

How so you ask? The sound quality? The size? Well in a nutshell it's all to do with the whole iPod/iTunes ecosystem I was forced to use, or more technically the meta data that is synchronised alongside the music its associated with. Ratings, artists and release dates are one thing, but when this iPod specific metadata is combined with smart or dynamic playlists, all sorts of conveniences become possible.

The three on which I particularly rely upon are Add Date, Last Played Date and Playcount. The first allows me to listen to my latest music, while the last two allow me to track the stuff I've not heard for a while, and what tracks I really like (as opposed to the ones I think I do via manual ratings). All these metrics come in handy when I'm listening to my collection on a device that can't hold it all.

Due to my hatred of Apple I have tried to move away, but the plain fact is that no other player keeps track of playcounts and playdates (and if they do, they aren't able to store them universally). I still don't understand how any real music listener can manage the whole process via Mass Storage "drag and drop"; sure you can just hit shuffle but I prefer my weighted and structured randomness. That said I have managed to move away from one half of the equation, having used MediaMonkey for a while as my exclusive music manager. This is able to talk to iPods, as well as making it super easy to figure out what meta data is missing from your collection, as well as allowing you to fill any gaps using Amazon or the like. As yet there is no replacement on the hardware side of things, but you can't have it all.

But anyway, this is where we come to the more interesting part of this post. Since I've got a relatively detailed account of my listening habits over the past five years I can figure out all sorts of statistics surrounding my music taste. For example, after some filtering (I tend to listen to new tracks a lot when I first add them), my top ten artists by number of tracks available are:

  1. Michael Jackson (25)
  2. Bon Jovi (12)
  3. Outlandish (10)
  4. Avenue Q (8)
  5. Alyssia (7)
  6. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! (7)
  7. The Rishi Rich Project (6)
  8. Jay-Z (6)
  9. Savage Garden (6)
  10. High School Musical 3 (6)
Ah, HSM, the bane of my life. Anyway, my top ten artists by times played are:
  1. Bon Jovi (583)
  2. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! (334)
  3. Savage Garden (322)
  4. Outlandish (268)
  5. Aaliyah (232)
  6. Kelly Clarkson (232)
  7. DJ Sanj (210)
  8. Stereophonics (196)
  9. The Rishi Rich Project (191)
  10. Maroon 5 (182)
So then to normalise this we get rid of those artists I have a single instance of and then divide by tracks available:
  1. Atif Aslam (58)
  2. Savage Garden (53.67)
  3. Salaam Namaste (53.5)
  4. DJ Sanj (52.5)
  5. Bunty Aur Babli (50.5)
  6. Hunterz (50.5)
  7. Spandau Ballet (50)
  8. Foxy Brown (49.5)
  9. Stereophonics (49)
  10. Allure (49)
  11. Bon Jovi (12)
I'm sure Bon Jovi should place higher than that, but hey. However if we look at things on a per-track basis a different picture emerges:
  1. Atif Aslam - Bheegi Yaadein (75)
  2. Yaraan Naal Baharaan - Le Mein Teri (69)
  3. Chocolate - Halka Halka Sa Yeh Sama (65)
  4. Jal - Lamhe (62)
  5. Mr. Big - To Be With You (62)
  6. Savage Garden - Affirmation (62)
  7. Ahmed Jahanzeb - Kaho Ek Din (61)
  8. Bon Jovi - Keep the Faith (60)
  9. Will Young - Your Game (60)
  10. Avril Lavigne - I'm With You (60)
  11. The Rishi Rich Project - Aj Kal (60)
Some super random picks there. But even this picture is a little skewed, since it doesn't take into account how long the tracks have, uh, been tracked for. So, finally, dividing by age gives the following:
  1. James Morrison - Broken Strings (feat. Nelly Furtado)
  2. Atif Aslam - Bheegi Yaadein
  3. Yaraan Naal Baharaan - Le Mein Teri
  4. Chocolate - Halka Halka Sa Yeh Sama
  5. Waisa Bhi Hota Hai - Sajna Aa Bhi Jaa
  6. Jal - Lamhe
  7. Savage Garden - Affirmation
  8. Mr. Big - To Be With You
  9. Ahmed Jahanzeb - Kaho Ek Din
  10. Will Young - Your Game
  11. The Rishi Rich Project - Aj Kal
Which is more like it. I had to include Aj Kal since it's such a tune.


  1. So similar to my music, yet you didnt like any of the songs I suggested. Hmph.

  2. LooneyTune15:16

    MAroon 5?! U r such a gay!

  3. Broken String15:18

    Aaaah, James Morrison - Broken Strings (feat. Nelly Furtado)- the perfect break-up song :'(

  4. Humaira,

    It's okay, lots of people think I like the same music as they do.


    You call me gay over Maroon 5 yet let HSM go?

    Broken String,

    Innit. And I wasn't even breaking up with anyone.

  5. Kaho Ek Din...I heard this while on holiday and love, love, love it.

    I've always wondered what is on peoples ipod/mp3 players.

  6. Ah Shak your music personifies you so well. Gay and heart broken.

    I kept seeing Bon Jovi and Savage Garden, but Bheegi Yaadein by Atif Aslam just topped it off.

    And before you ask, the reason why I know Bheegi Yaadein is because I used to listen to music once and I wasn't always the "coconut" I am.

  7. Mohammed,

    So was that when you were gay and heartbroken too? What was his name?

  8. Yes it was. And he had the same name. I just came back as a comic book style reboot. You know like a shiner newer me with extra super powers and a wicked new costume.