One of the social network sites I’ve been using the longest is last.fm.
(If you know what last.fm is, bear with me teaching you to suck eggs for a few paragraphs… it gets more interesting – honest!)
The idea of last.fm is that a background service captures (or “scrobbles“) the music that I listen to on my computer at home, on the mp3 player that I use in the car, and on my laptop in the office.
I do this for a few reasons, including:
- The data is made available to me through a rich API, which means I’m free to play with it, as well as take advantage of the creations of others, such as the wonderful visualisations generated by lastgraph
- I can see what my friends listen to, which is interesting, as well as being a good way to come across new music
- last.fm use this detailed history of my music-listening tastes to make automated recommendations of other music that I might like
This is all a long-winded way of saying that I like last.fm. I find it useful and interesting, and want the same for all the media that I consume – not just music.
But what about the television that I watch? Could I create a last.fm-style scrobbler to capture what I watch on television? And then try and come up with a few examples of how I could share and visualise the data?
This question is where I started at Christmas… and after a few evenings of hacking some Python together, I’ve come up with:
Please go take a look. (needs Flash – sorry)