Saturday 3 November 2007

Any resemblance to taste, good or bad, is purely coincidental

Here's an interesting thing, the Gracenote Music Map. Gracenote is in charge of the CD Data Base (CDDB) that iTunes and other media players access to get the track names and album details from your CDs. Unbeknownst to me, the CDDB os also collating what tracks and albums are being listened to and generating data from them for (perhaps) data harvesting purposes. Through this harvesting they create (among other things, I'm sure) the Music Map site where you can see what countries favourite artists are.

Bear in mind, this data is selective, as it's only coming from people with computers and an internet connection who are listening to CDs (as opposed to opening mp3 files and the like). It's still interesting to look at though - draw your own conclusions, I know I have.

What surprised me was how often The Beatles, Pink Floyd and U2 appeared. I mean, they are listening to this stuff ALL OVER THE WORLD. And Linkin Park too! Sure, they are valid bands (must ... hold ... back ...) and they have their place, but where's the new stuff? Some of the Top 10 Albums are a different story, Justin Timberlake's new album is popular, as is the Red Hot Chill Pepper's latest) and each country seems to listen to a lot of local stuff too, but almost EVERYWHERE has The Beatles in their Top 10. Can you imagine the stats of how many people in the World are listening to The Beatles, right. Now.


Well, I guess that's why they call it 'Pop' music. Respect goes to Japan though, who were the only country I could find where ALL of their top artists are Japanese.

Now I'm about to settle in, watch a film and have myself a glass of Raki. But first, I thought as an interesting exercise, I'd post the TOP PLAYED track from my Laptop's iTunes. I am proud to present to you this absolute gem of a track from the incredible 'Taking Tiger Mountain (by strategy)' album.

The True Wheel - Brian Eno [5.2MB mp3 file]

So there you have it. Special thanks for this post go to Boing Boing for alerting me to the Gracenote site (and a myriad of other things on a daily basis), my Mum for buying me the Raki and Brian Eno for existing. (On an interesting aside, he has production credits on 5 U2 albums, so he's kinda related to, and a part of, the Gracenote popularity scale).

[Disclaimer - if you have a beef with any .mp3 files you find here, send me an email and I'll remove 'em. Files are for evaluation purposes, and will hopefully get someone out there to buy the original]