Tag Archives: music

Good bye last.fm radio!

Last.fm has announced that it will be taking down its radio service from all countries except for seven. The exceptions are US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Which is indeed sad news. This means that buying a last.fm subscription is no longer worth it for the rest of the world. Scrobbling is not affected anyway.

Of course this ain’t the end of the world but it should worry everyone quite a bit. If you’re addicted to online music streaming, what are your other options? There are a few other good streaming sites available. The popular ones include 8tracks and Grooveshark, both of which has last.fm integration, i.e. scrobbling support.

n7player hits v2.0

As I’ve mentioned previously, n7player is one of the coolest music players in the android world. Been a fan of it since its beta stages, I was elated to find out that n7player 2.0 has been released yesterday.

The most noticeable improvement is the better playlist management options. It’s now even _fun_ to move the songs back and forth in the playlist. Now it’s possible to save custom playlists as well. There are improvements in the equalizer and there’s a Genre mode of which I’m not much of a fan. Perhaps it’s time to tag the missing genres in my library. That ain’t easy.

Note that the free version works for only 14 days. They’ve reduced the price of the unlock key now, at $2.

Processing music tags with Python

I was looking for the optimal way to traverse the directory tree with Python and found out that os.walk is the answer. To put this into practice, I wrote the following script which traverses the music library and finds out which MP3s haven’t been properly tagged. In other words, it will print the full paths of all MP3s that have any of the artist, album or title tracks missing. In my case, 502 of the 10466 songs had bad tags.

[sourcecode language=”python”]
#!/usr/bin/python

import os
import id3reader

rootdir = "/home/thameera/Music"
processed = 0
bad = 0

for thisDir, subdirList, fileList in os.walk(rootdir):
for fname in fileList:
if fname[-3:] == ‘mp3′:
processed += 1
fullPath = os.path.join(thisDir, fname)

try:
id3r = id3reader.Reader(fullPath)
except:
bad += 1
print "Error extracting id3 info from %s" % fullPath
continue

if None in (id3r.getValue(‘performer’), id3r.getValue(‘album’), id3r.getValue(‘title’)):
bad += 1
print fullPath

print "%d MP3s processed. Found bad tags in %d of them" % (processed, bad)
[/sourcecode]

It uses the id3reader library to parse the tags. I don’t think it’ll work if you have files with other formats, like wma or flac.

This script can be further expanded to ignore certain directories, output only one entry per each directory that has bad tags, check for other tags as well, check if the artist tag does not match the name of the parent directory, etc, etc.

Babel by Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons became famous with their widely acclaimed debut album ‘Sigh No More’ in 2009. I was a huge fan and was stunned to find out that they had released their second album almost two months back. We really need some RSS feed thingy to get selective notifications of new albums.

Babel, the new album, is pretty good, much like the previous one. I listened twice and it didn’t hit me like Sigh No More did, but still, Babel’s got that unique Mumford & Sons style and lyrics. According to Wikipedia,

… Babel debuted at number one on the UK Album Chart and the US Billboard 200. It became the fastest selling album of 2012 in the UK, selling over 158,000 copies in its first week, and was the biggest selling debut of any album in 2012 in the US, selling 600,000 in its first week.

That’s big. I’m having mixed feelings, but if you liked Sigh No More’s folk-rock, you won’t find Babel disappointing.

Serj on Kickstarter!

Serj Tankian had launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund ORCA, or his first real symphony as he calls it. And, guess what, he’s reached his goal of $25,000 with $41,257 of pledges! These include three $1000 pledges who will get a sit-down lunch with Serj among other cool stuff! Oh man. If only I had $1000 to spend.

The first ORCA symphony will be performed by Serj on 28th October in Austria.

Serj Tankian on politics

System of a Down is famous for its themes on war and politics. Huffington Post has a short interview with the band’s lead singer Serj Tankian on, well, politics. While expressing his favor on Obama over Romney, Serj expresses that he has no intention to run for the office.

“I hate injustice, and I can’t help but speak against it,” he says. “But I don’t want to get involved in politics. I have a more direct avenue to expression as an artist than I ever would as a politician.”