# Repetition This Bad - Can't Be By Design, Can It?

• #### Repetition This Bad - Can't Be By Design, Can It?

• snyde1 sa...
• Abonnent
• 2 okt 2011, 02:16

#### Re: Repetition This Bad - Can't Be By Design, Can It?

So you had 95 play twice, 35 play 3 times, and 15 play 4 times. (You had 0 play 5 or more times, based on the numbers you give.) You also had 526 that played only once. The average number of plays per track is 1.31. The average plays per track in your account is 2.30, so this actually has less repetition than is in your aggregate data. (actually, on second thought those numbers should not be compared, but it is interesting ...)

What are the numbers that you expect to get? If you're looking for an average of one play per track, I think your expectations may need refinement.

Did I hear that right? Mondegreens - for the misheard word. Like Odds? Can't get better than Even Odds!

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
• #### Re: Re: Repetition This Bad - Can't Be By Design, Can It?

snyde1 said:
So you had 95 play twice, 35 play 3 times, and 15 play 4 times. (You had 0 play 5 or more times, based on the numbers you give.) You also had 526 that played only once. The average number of plays per track is 1.31. The average plays per track in your account is 2.30, so this actually has less repetition than is in your aggregate data. (actually, on second thought those numbers should not be compared, but it is interesting ...)

What are the numbers that you expect to get? If you're looking for an average of one play per track, I think your expectations may need refinement.
I think you're missing the point on this, snyde.

If I've got 1,000 tracks and I listen to every one, 1 through 1000, then repeat the process, I'd end up with the same repetition rate than if I were to listen to each track, twice in a row. One would prove just a bit less satisfying than the other, no?

It's the frequency of repetition. You're comparing a listening history over near 3 years to a two-week period. Apples to oranges.

What do I expect? I expect not to hear the same track twice in a session, three times in a session, or two to three times in a 24-48 hour period when I have a lib full of 12,298 tracks from which to choose. I expect the long tail service to dig deeper into an artist's offerings than the current 10:1 ratio as is the case with many artists in my lib. I expect the music not to be repeated so often that I actually start to hate hearing a good portion of it.

Basically, I'd like to hear a good bit of the 942 hours of music in my lib cultivated over a few year period rather than focusing in on a small subset and repeating it at high frequency.

By the way, these numbers don't even begin to take into account the number of times I skip... and I now skip A LOT.

I didn't post this to slam on LFM... really a pointless exercise these days. Rather, they've had genuine problems in the past with their streaming services the result of which was high repetition. I suspect this might be one of those times.

• akrde sa...
• Användare
• 2 okt 2011, 10:17
I'm tired to discuss these issues over and over again.

Bad repetition problem is sooooo old now, and LFM's progress is soooooo slow to fix it, as it is for the whole website and service.

Do you still have any hopes, that they will ever fix this and other issues finally?

• snyde1 sa...
• Abonnent
• 2 okt 2011, 14:43

#### Re: Re: Re: Repetition This Bad - Can't Be By Design, Can It?

JustSomeOldJoe said:
I think you're missing the point on this, snyde.
Quite probably

What do I expect? I expect not to hear the same track twice in a session, three times in a session, or two to three times in a 24-48 hour period when I have a lib full of 12,298 tracks from which to choose.That can't be extracted from the figures you give.

I expect the long tail service to dig deeper into an artist's offerings than the current 10:1 ratio as is the case with many artists in my lib.Actually, in response to your original question, yes I think that is by design. There does seem to be a bias toward "popular" tunes, based both on your history and the listening habits of other listeners of the artists.

I expect the music not to be repeated so often that I actually start to hate hearing a good portion of it. Well, that's a personal measurement that Last.fm can't take - note that there are other listeners who put a single song on repeat for extended lengths of time. Occasionally, I also have had too many repeats of some songs - I've banned a few for that. (I have recordings of most of my favourites that I can listen to when I want.) However, I think my repeat threshold is somewhat higher than yours. And it is less than that of the "favourite tune on infinite repeat"ers.

The RQL radio stations seem to hold some promise for improvements - have you tried the combofm interface?

Did I hear that right? Mondegreens - for the misheard word. Like Odds? Can't get better than Even Odds!

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
• Användare
• 2 okt 2011, 15:07
I've not had the time to list them but for the last couple of days I felt the repeats were coming faster. Then after skipping several tracks in a row I'd suddenly get a string of new plays.

Maybe the machinery is having problems?
Maybe it is the unseasonally hot weather?

Today I keep getting the "...temporarily overloaded..." message.
Quite a few things aren't working & the status page hasn't been updated for 58 days.
http://status.last.fm/
I wonder if anyone will be in on Monday.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
Ludwig Wittgenstein
-but how boring life would be

• #### Re: Re: Re: Re: Repetition This Bad - Can't Be By Design, Can It?

snyde1 said:
JustSomeOldJoe said:
What do I expect? I expect not to hear the same track twice in a session, three times in a session, or two to three times in a 24-48 hour period when I have a lib full of 12,298 tracks from which to choose.
That can't be extracted from the figures you give.
Check the "LFM Playback Repetition - 9/25 - 9/30" table. There's plenty examples covering a 5 day listening period.

snyde1 said:
JustSomeOldJoe said:I expect the long tail service to dig deeper into an artist's offerings than the current 10:1 ratio as is the case with many artists in my lib.Actually, in response to your original question, yes I think that is by design. There does seem to be a bias toward "popular" tunes, based both on your history and the listening habits of other listeners of the artists.
Look a bit closer. The Denali example in the "Artist Track Repetition" table is a good indication that it's not just about popularity. "Do Something" is the "least" popular track of theirs in my lib.

Rather, it's either an algorithm geared toward limiting the number of specific artist tracks it selects within a given time frame to limit royalties due to some repeat arrangement, or it's unexpected behavior.

Either way, it occurs far too often.

snyde1 said:
JustSomeOldJoe said:I expect the music not to be repeated so often that I actually start to hate hearing a good portion of it. Well, that's a personal measurement that Last.fm can't take - note that there are other listeners who put a single song on repeat for extended lengths of time. Occasionally, I also have had too many repeats of some songs - I've banned a few for that. (I have recordings of most of my favourites that I can listen to when I want.) However, I think my repeat threshold is somewhat higher than yours. And it is less than that of the "favourite tune on infinite repeat"ers.
It's the LFM player doing the repeating. I'm sure they can delineate between the two. Likewise, I don't think it's a stretch to look at those charts and come to a non-scientific "hell, that's more repetitive than terrestrial radio" conclusion.

snyde1 said:
The RQL radio stations seem to hold some promise for improvements - have you tried the combofm interface?
Check the "Radio Filters - Against This Lib" section on the right side of my profile page. I'm aware of RQL and have been using it to gen stations since well before tb wrote his cool tool. It's part of what brought me back to subscribing.

akrde said:
Bad repetition problem is sooooo old now, and LFM's progress is soooooo slow to fix it, as it is for the whole website and service.

Do you still have any hopes, that they will ever fix this and other issues finally?
I've come to accept the general issues without expecting they'll change feeling the service still has enough value for me to subscribe.

It just appears that the repetition has ratcheted up lately, especially from the Droid (which is what I use to do my listening during the week). So, I brought it up hoping someone might take a look.

• Användare
• 2 okt 2011, 20:07
I'm starting to prefer mini tag radios with maybe a couple of dozen tracks.
At least the repeats are different from one session to the next.

combofm is great for ease of use & for excluding genres and artists but, as yet, I'm not convinced that the RQL for repetition is very effective.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
Ludwig Wittgenstein
-but how boring life would be

• Hi @JustSomeOldJoe, which station(s) did you listen to in this period?

• Some background: we have a known problem that causes occasional periods of high repetition rate for some users, and we are working to solve it.

The problem is simple - our history of recent radio plays occasionally gets lost for some users. This history is maintained in a completely separate system from scrobbles, which are never lost of course, so that we can also control radio repetition rate for listeners who do not have Last.fm accounts; remember that they can and do listen to radio too. We are in the process of replacing this system with a better one, but progress has been slow due to the need to fix various bugs in 3rd party software... We very much hope to have the new system in place soon though, and this should solve this issue once and for all.

Of course the exact amount of repetition that makes for the ideal radio experience will always be subjective, so I can't promise that things will be perfect for all listeners to all stations, but I very much hope you'll see an improvement.

• Thanks very much for the detailed response, Mark... definitely appreciate the details.

I primarily listen to my lib which is fairly extensive, but I mix in rql stations, especially when the cache appears to be static. No luck forcing a refresh this time around. Would appreciate it if someone could take a look and invalidate the cache.

By the way, the work you and your team has done threading together formats is excellent. Kill the repetition problem, and it's unmatched radio. Glad to hear a solution is on the horizon.

Thanks again for the details.

• tburny sa...
• Forum Moderator
• 3 okt 2011, 21:32
That response was really interesting Mark :)

@JustSomeOldJoe If you need any help with Combo.fm, let me know. I'm glad you like it :)

Combo.fm: Combine your favourite radio stations! | My Blog | scala-lastfmapi | Cache2k - A high performance Java in-memory cache
`throw new PokemonException(); //Gotta catch 'em all`
My forum post reflects my personal opinion :)
Redigerad av evilrix den 5 okt 2011, 18:16
• Porieux sa...
• Användare
• 3 okt 2011, 23:22
Glad to see this issue is on the radar, I also get annoyed when songs and artists repeat considering the amount of music available in my library or whatever station I happen to be listening to.

• DoctorT sa...
• Användare
• 4 okt 2011, 01:46
Over the last few weeks I've had a new kind of repetition that I definitely do not care for. A radio station will at some point start playing its playlist in reverse. It will play songs A, B, C, D, E, F, E, D, C, B, A. I usually start skipping the repetitions but usually end the session once I see this pattern appear. This form of repetition does not happen every time I listen to the radio. I have not been keeping track so I can't give a guestimate of the percentage of times it happens.

I usually listen to stations created with Combo.fm. I do not remember the exact formulations used in creating the stations.

I also think the repetition discussed by JustSomeOldJoe happens too often as well. It would be one thing if different songs by a repeated artist was played, but I do not care to hear the same same by the same artists played.

Music, like language, is universal.
• evilrix sa...
• Alumni
• 5 okt 2011, 10:32
All.

Just to update you.

As gamboviol said, this is a known issue and something we've actually had a solution ready to push for a little while now but we've been holding off due to an issue in some 3rd party software that we rely on. We haven't resolved those issues but given how much we know this is a problem for you guys (and us!) we've spent the last couple of days trying to figure out a way forward.

We think we now have a temporary workaround we can use. It's not 'the' solution but we think we can push a change that should help improve matters until we are in a position to push the real fix. With this in mind, today we've going to push an update that we think will help.

During the process of pushing this change we will need to take down some of the existing services that are responsible for managing repetition. The net result of this is that for a period of time today the repetition rate is actually likely to get worse. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about that. This should only be a short term thing and either I or one of my colleagues will post back here once the new changes are live.

Finally, I want to thank you all for your patience whilst we continue to resolve this issue and to reassure you that we do know it is an issue and we are continuing to work on it.

Best regards,

• evilrix sa...
• Alumni
• 5 okt 2011, 18:03
All, just to let you know the new update is now live. So far we've not seen any oddities but please let us know (by posting back here) if you encounter any issues.