07 August 2010

A fun toy programme

Okay, my geekiness being obvious by this point I figure I may out myself entirely - I must admit to a fascination with entirely useless, trivial and superficial computer programmes that serve no other purpose than entertainment. In this case I'm not talking about a computer game - I've recently discovered a tool called Super Analyser, a programme which takes your iTunes library, breaks it down and spits back out statistical trivia about what your listening habits are like, information such as: which genres, years and decades are best-represented in your library; which genres, years and decades you most like to listen to; which artists and albums are your most-played; what file-types your library uses (by percentage); even what times of day you tend to listen to music most and what the most popular words in titles of songs in your library are. Not really a time-waster, but kind of fun to see how it breaks down.

Some samples from my own library, for the interested:

Which genres are best represented in my library - by far and away dominated by soundtracks and rock music (I guess I shouldn't be surprised, many of my soundtracks are multi-disc affairs), and I do have a fair bit of rock music. It does gratify my High Tory sensibilities that classical music is so well-represented, but at the same time I'm all too aware that classical albums can be just as long as soundtracks. On the other hand...

By this account, I'm a fairly devout metalhead - specifically a symphonic, nü and gothic metalhead. A bit mortifying, actually, that classical music fell to seventh place below dance music (but Daft Punk's just that good). Speaking of which:

No surprises here. Nightwish, SLOT, Edenbridge, Ozzy. And (guilty pleasure) Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Kinda makes sense that I listen most between 8 and 9 PM, though apparently I don't rock out all night - I do need my sleep, after all. Anyway, cool statistical toy.


  1. Seems like a cool toy to me. Does it make a distinction between rap and hip-hop? -Shika

  2. Hi Rob!

    It only makes a distinction between genres in your iTunes library. If you distinguish between rap and hip-hop, so does the SA gadget.


  3. I was wondering if you listened exclusively to hip-hop, or included some rap. For some reason I don't finger as you the mainstream rap type. Am I wrong?

  4. Well, I suppose that depends on whether you consider nü metal 'rap' or just influenced by rap.

    But yeah - I've got a De La Soul album, a K'Naan album, a Beastie Boys album, some Scha Dara Parr and the Dragon Tongue Squad debut album in my library... and that's about it. You're right, I don't listen to a lot either of straight hip-hop or rap (actually, to be honest, I'm not exactly sure how you distinguish the two).

  5. That is kind of what I figured! I typically try to distinguish the two genres based on the content of the lyrics and their target audience. De La Soul, KRS-1, and others are far more likely to be qualified (to me) as hip-hop because of their smarter lyrics. Whereas rap (again, to me) seems to be more completely dominated by gangster and pop influences (typically mindless lyrics filled with pages of murder and mayhem).

    For instance I didn't take you for a Chingy or Ice-Cube listener. Or any of those gangster fellows.

  6. That's interesting - I'd thought it was a temporal thing. I kind of figured it was originally called 'hip-hop' but then it started being called 'rap' by retronym since the vocal artists of hip-hop were 'rappers'.