Thursday, December 6, 2007

Man, this is weird

I work from a home office (so no commute) and I've got the house all rigged so that almost 100% of my music listening is done through MediaMonkey. MediaMonkey plugs my listening habits into So if you look at my profile, it's a very solid showing of what I've been listening to since joining in Jan 2006 (so almost 2 years worth).

My musical history, of course, goes back much further than the past two years. You can't really tell from my profile that I've actually listened to a ridiculous amount of Led Zeppelin, Beatles and Metallica in my lifetime. So, ok, whatever. Let's take a look at the last two years. It's interesting to see how my favorite bands of all time fare compared to new stuff I've been listening to lately.

So first, here are the favorites of all time (meaning they got lots of listens prior to 2006):
The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Ramones, Pink Floyd, Jellyfish, Jars of Clay, Vangelis and Joe Satriani

Now let's look at my top most listened to artists of the past 2 years and see how these fare (the number in parentheses shows how many times I've listened to any song from that artist):
1. Jethro Tull (832) - Wow, I'm still listening to a lot of Tull. Part of this number being so high is that I went through and listened to every track in an effort to organize, catalog and rate them. Also, they have a lot of material. Also, they're awesome.

2. Porcupine Tree (707) - I was introduced to them in spring 2005, so relative newcomers. They are, in fact, now one of my favorite bands of all time. It's obvious that they are so high because they are a new favorite. Also, they're awesome.

3. Vangelis (555) - This is up there because it's great music to listen to while working. Also, he's awesome.

4. The Beatles (479) - Their complete awesomeness means they'll always be up near the top in listens. Also, this high number in the past two years has a lot to do with introducing my kids to them, whereas the Jethro Tull number is mostly made up of listening without the kids around. I've yet to really play Tull for the family much.

5. Rush (389) - This was a bit of a surprise. I haven't felt like I've been into Rush lately as much as I was in high school and college. I attribute this to the organizing and rating exercise. Although, there are some key Rush tracks that my 7-yr-old son loves.

6. Jars of Clay (379) - Every album is different and every album is good. So they get lots of listens even nowadays. Plus it helps that they are safe to play around all the kids.

7. Genesis (283) - I also did the organizing and rating with these guys (they have a lot less output than Tull, though). I haven't yet played much of Genesis for the family, though.

8. "Weird Al" Yankovic (248) - This is weird, eh? Here's what happened: (1) My kids really got into Weird Al this past summer and (2) he's awesome!

9. Led Zeppelin (215) - Here again, I haven't really pushed this on the kids yet. So this is from organizing and rating the songs. They're still awesome, though!

10. Jellyfish (182) - For a band that only put out two albums to be in the top 10 really says something. They will always be perfect to listen to anytime.

That's the top 10. Here are some surprises: Aerosmith and Van Halen (which were favorites in high school and college) are in the top 20 and higher than Pink Floyd. I haven't been feeling much in the mood for Aerosmith or Van Halen so not sure how that happened. Also, Pink Floyd is good for listening while working, so I need to play them some more. Poor Metallica is way down at #42, below ZZ Top, Billy Joel and Phil Collins. Can you believe that? And that's even counting the fact that in the last two years I've really rediscovered my love of metal. "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard is in the top 20 of most listened to songs. What? I dunno. My most listened to Rush song is "Force Ten", but that is not one of the ones that my son is playing all the time. My most listened to Genesis song is "The Knife". Wow! It'll be interesting to see how that stat changes once I start trying to get my kids into them. Which era will I push first? Gabriel? Hackett? The Good 3? The Pop 3? If you know me, you might be able to guess the answer.

It's also funny that, according to, my listening habits are most closely matched by a 16-year-old girl in Brazil, a 14-year-old guy in Norway and a 25-year-old in Austria. Small world.

Being a database guy and a stats nerd, it's fun to see these kinds of stats about my listening habits. Maybe for you, not so much. So... sorry for the self-indulgent diversion. We'll be back with more news and other stuff soon.

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