Webmaster rambling and mental notes
Managing Last.FM's "Mountain of Data"
12/28/2008

Rob Spengler writes "Last.FM co-founder Richard Jones says the biggest asset the company owns is 'hundreds of terabytes of user data.' Jones adds, '... playing with that data is one of the most fun things about working at the company.' Last.FM, for those who have been living on Mars for the last two years, is the largest online radio outlet, with million of listeners per day. The company surpassed Pandora and others largely due to its unique datamining features: 'Audioscrobbler,' the company's song/artist naming algorithm, can correctly delimit a track even with tens of thousands of false entries. Jones says sitting on that much data has even helped police: 'thieves listening to music on an Audioscrobbler-powered media player have helped police in the US, UK, and other nonaligned nations track down users' stolen laptops.' Does sitting on a shock of data make Last.FM puissant enough to start making a stand against the record industry? CBS doubtlessly thinks so — they bought the company for £140 (~$200) million last year."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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Mark

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