Friday, February 20, 2009

Finding new albums by your favorite bands

The other week I felt a little disconnected from recent music. I was sure that some of my favorite artists had released new albums that I wasn't aware of, but I wasn't sure how to be notified of it. I use last.fm when listening to music most of the time, and have been for about 5 years, so I already have a long and dynamic list of my favorite artists, many of which I haven't been keeping up to date with. There are also many places that offer feeds of recent albums, including a private torrent site, Waffles. As a curious programmer I decided to bridge the gap here and write a little proof of concept script that would grab my top last.fm artists and query Waffles to see what was new.

About an hour and 100 lines of python later, I had a working proof-of-concept. Right now it only supports Last.fm as a favorites source, and Waffles as a release source, but expanding it by following the same interface should be fairly straightforward. It is up for anyone to branch at https://launchpad.net/nutunes. For any programmer it should be pretty easy to make a favorite source which reads from a text file and use other services like allmusic.com, amazon, or perhaps even iTunes to get a list of recent releases for a given artist. Feel free to branch and create a merge proposal for integrating with other services. As the code is less than 100 lines, I hope it more or less documents itself. To use it just run nutunes.py and it will prompt for your last.fm username, and Waffles credentials.

What other ways are people currently staying on top of music of all the bands you are interested in? Heck, maybe Last.fm already has this option, but I sure didn't notice it, and learning and experimenting is fun!

2 comments:

Ritze said...

Nice Idea!

For Information: There is already a service, which look to MusicBrainz for new albums and singles: www.muspy.com

thisfred said...

Cool idea! What I do to stay current, is have an mp3spider[1] crawl a few hundred mp3blogs. This results in a huge bag of mp3 of varying levels of interest to me. The way I wade through them is with a plugin I've made[2] that plays similar[3] songs together (i.e. if I hit a patch of stuff I don't like, I can hit delete until something better comes along.)

[1] http://code.google.com/p/barbipes/
[2] http://code.google.com/p/autoqueue/ designed to be cross player, currently works with mpd, rhythmbox, and my favorite, quod libet
[3] similarity is looked up by track and artist on last.fm, and by acoustic properties. It's easy to add new sources of similarity.