Previous 1 25 26 27 28 29 Next 472 Replies Latest reply: Jul 1, 2015 5:46 AM by randy98mtu Go to original post Branched to a new discussion.
  • kimcha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for these entries, it is a lot of good information on a question I also had. I looked at music.google  see that it is 9.99 per month not 7.99. Apple, in comparison is 24.99 PER YEAR so that is a big difference in Apple's favor.

     

    I get the sense, not from this post necessarily, but from the recent WWDC Keynote that iOS 7 will up the ante and if they have resolved these problems of dual count and updating counts correctly across all devices will make the product very compelling especially adding in the ad free iTunes Radio.

     

    In the end we want to be able to play our iTunes catalog, have the play counts updated and iTunes playlists available on my and my wife's iOS devices and have a good discovery resource as well (iTunes Radio?). Hopefully this next generation will compete handily with Spotify in these regards. I'd rather do it with Apple and for $24.99 per year then Spotify and $9.99 per month. We'll see, luckily Spotify can be used for discovery for free if necessary.

  • crankerchick Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    kimcha wrote:

     

    Thank you for these entries, it is a lot of good information on a question I also had. I looked at music.google  see that it is 9.99 per month not 7.99. Apple, in comparison is 24.99 PER YEAR so that is a big difference in Apple's favor.

     

    I get the sense, not from this post necessarily, but from the recent WWDC Keynote that iOS 7 will up the ante and if they have resolved these problems of dual count and updating counts correctly across all devices will make the product very compelling especially adding in the ad free iTunes Radio.

     

    In the end we want to be able to play our iTunes catalog, have the play counts updated and iTunes playlists available on my and my wife's iOS devices and have a good discovery resource as well (iTunes Radio?). Hopefully this next generation will compete handily with Spotify in these regards. I'd rather do it with Apple and for $24.99 per year then Spotify and $9.99 per month. We'll see, luckily Spotify can be used for discovery for free if necessary.

    Google's All Access is $9.99 per month ($7.99 if you signed up when it launched). It is not the same as iTunes Match. All Access is an add-on service to Google's free Google Music. It is service like Spotify, Rdio, Napster, etc where you pay monthly and can access all of Google's music library and listen to anything any time. Google's "equivalent" to iTunes Match is their free Google Music, which allows you to upload 20,000 of your songs to the online locker and then allows you to stream that music anytime anywhere. So, iTunes Match, you spend $25 a year and you can listen to any of your music, plus the streaming radio (when it launches). Google Music, you listen to your music for free. I don't believe it includes radio, but the locker itself is free. Did I mention, it is free? Now, the downside is they haven't released the iOS app yet. There are some third party apps in the App Store, however, that work mostly fine for me.

     

    iTunes Match will not compete with Spotify, Rdio, and the like in terms of an "All Access" type feature. It is just your music plus the streaming radio. Spotify, Rdio, Google Music All Access, and the like, are giving you access to their entire library of music to play on demand. Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, etc give you radio for free. They only start to charge when you bring into the equation unlimited skipping, in some cases access from a mobile device, and that "all access" type access to the entire library of music on demand.

     

    Even if iTunes Match worked flawless, I would personally will still carry a subscription service because I want to be able to listen anytime to music that I don't own. iTunes Match is a failure for me because the only thing I want it to do is keep my library of music playcounts and last played up to date and accessible from anywhere, and it fails to do that.

     

    Google Music All Access allows me to combine what I want from iTunes Match (thanks to a third party app called iSyncr) and another subscriptions service like Spotify and Rdio (I've used them both) into one app, and for cheaper than I was paying before.

     

    I do hope Apple fixes these things with iOS 7, because I haven't resolved to, nor do I desire to, abandon my iOS devices. It's just right now, my Nexus 7 and less so, but still, my Android phone, are serving my music needs better than Apple is. Somehow I have Android devices doing everything that I want with my iTunes library, and they aren't even Apple devices.

  • kimcha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much for clarifying. I have put a lot of effort into myiTunes Library becasue I have a lot of music from the 1960's to current but mostly into the 90's, somewhere around 2000, I stopped buying CD's as a whole and went to iTunes and buy just songs I want. Now I am starting to see that I could for a relatively low cost havea good balance between my music and discovery between my iTunes library and something like Spofity or Google All Access. But since I am on an Apple device and have bought into the Apple Solution I don't think Google can do much for me here other than be a good comparison. I do like that Spotify has the ability to synch to my iTunes Library but I have not investigated too much of Spotify can update my Play counts in iTunes when I play my own catalog songs. I also haven't started up with Last.FM which I see brought up a lot in these sort of conversations.

     

    I like you want a balance of Discovery and my own music/playlists (since I already own it)with the idea that I really don;t need to buy music anymore (we'll see). But play counts/iTunes updates are important for me as I do want to be able to have accuratle playlist based on play counts and history. And I like the idea of increasing my library from all my devices anywhere any time.

     

    I equated iTunes Radio to Spotify in the regard that duringthe Keynote it was shown that you could search for an artist and play that artist from the Radio or choose "more songs like this" and "create " your own radio program. Maybe this is not the case, I will now more wehen iOS7 is released. I am in no super hurry, I just see it is getting close.

     

    Thanks again for your inpuyt your knowledge is very helpful and I appreciate your time and effort.

  • crankerchick Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I understand what you are looking for. Spotify will not update your iTunes library with playcounts when you play songs you own from within the app. All it does (Rdio will do it too), is take your iTunes library and basically "match" the songs in it and add them to your Spotify library. On Spotify, it will go one step further and put the songs on your device, but no as a "physical move" of the files. What it does is add the songs to your online library, and them save them (in Spotify's proprietary format) to your device. At least that's how I remember it working when I used Spotify.

     

    Either way, it will not update your iTunes library, it will just keep the content of your Spotify library updated with what is in your iTunes library.

     

    For those reasons, I've never used any of these subscription apps to play my music that I own, because I'd rather play my music from my iOS app to ensure my library playcounts and last played are updated.

     

    Just for completeness, the only solution I've discovered that does *almost* everything I want is Google Music All Access on Android combined with two small third party apps, iSyncr and Last.fm scrobbler. Google Music has all of my music I own online (for free), plus all of the music I don't own that I've added to my library (for $7.99 per month) in one place. All of this music is streamed to my devices or played from the web app. iSyncr maintains the playcounts and and last played for *any* song that I play from Google Music that is in my iTunes library. So no matter whether I play a song from my Google Music library that I own, or I'm listening to the radio and it plays a song I own, that playcount information is synced back to my iTunes. I have the app set to sync with my iTunes library every morning at 3am automatically (it can update more often if you like). iSyncr will also sync playlists, including smart playlists, to my Android device. It physically copies the media to the device, so if I am at a friend's house and want to plug in my phone or tablet and access my device's music like that, I can.

     

    Last, the Last.fm scrobbler saves to my last.fm account *on the fly* every song I play so not only do I have my iTunes library information for music I own, but I have last.fm data for every song I ever listen to. It's priceless for examining my listening habits and discovering new music.

     

    iOS can't do any of this without work. For now, the OS limits an app like a scrobbling app from updating on the fly, or even automatically on an interval--I have to launch the app and scrobble and write cached scrobbles at once. Don't forget to do this for 2 weeks--Last.fm doesn't accept scrobbles over 2 weeks old. iTunes Match can't seem to keep iTunes library correctly up to date when playing from iOS devices. And I pay $25 a year for that part of the service that I most care about, not to work. It's very frustrating.

     

    The only reason I am still subscribed to iTunes Match is because:

    1. I'm hopeful they will fix it, so I monitor this thread and others and maintain the subscription so I can try occasionally and see if it is functional.

    2. It works fine across Windows and OSX computers, so I still use it when listening to my music from my Windows PC and my MacBook Pro, as well as occasionally in a pinch, from my work Windows PC.

     

    The holy grail for me, would be for Apple to fix iTunes Match and then add a subscription service to it. The main reason I remain married to iTunes is because of smart playlists--no one else has done with them what Apple has, and when you have a lot of music, they are invaluable if you put the work in to keep your library maintained with ratings and proper tags and comments.

     

    Music is a big part of my day to life. Hopefully one of these days, it will no longer be a compromise for me to have my music my way.

  • kimcha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK so I downloaded LastFM scrobbler for my WIndows PC and iOS iPhone, I can see it is tracking my spotify listens and last.fm also looks interesting but more of the same, I am sure I will look at that for a while too, but I like Spotify for many reasons, more than I have found with other services so far.

     

    I am curious. You use Last.FM scrobbling as a standalone record of your listening habits outside of iTunes and this is about the extent of it, am I right? Or please do share how much more you can make of the scrobbling as I am interested in this too for obvious reasons as you know.

  • mmp1964a Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Basically, yes.  It is for retentive music freaks.  However - Spotify does have a pretty cool Last.FM app that does a nice job of generating on-the-fly playlists based on your scrobbles.  I've used Last.FM for a long time, off and on, to listen to music.  I really only use it now if I want to listent to things like ambient piano, or jazz, or stuff that I'm not necessarily paying that much attention to.  For more serious listening I use Rdio and Slacker.  I used Spotify for a bit off and on but just can't deal with the way they handle your library on the smart phone app.  I need more than just playlists.  Sorry.

  • kimcha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Nothing to be sorry about. I appreciate your input and I will look at others too.I do not have Spotify on mobile yet and that is what this research is about. I am trying to muddle through to find out how I want to do it (and will work for my wife). I will look at Rdio and Slacker too. Spotify has an integration with iTunes , initally I have thought is good, we''ll see if that pans out, especilly for the money premium costs.

  • tikilab Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Kimcha, this is how I use Last.FM with iTunes Match:

     

    iTunes Match screwed up my play counts the first time I used it, so I restored them from Last.FM with this nifty little program, LastFM2iTunes:

     

    https://code.google.com/p/lastfm2itunes-mac/

     

    Unfortunately, iTunes Match doesn't let me keep those updated play counts when I turn it on. I think it wants to revert to only the plays it has "personally witnessed." Maybe it sees them as not valid because a third party program changed them. I have no idea.

     

    Anyway to get around this, I leave iTunes Match turned off most of the time. My library is in the cloud and I only run it when I have a good sized batch of new music to add.

     

    After I add the music, I turn iTunes Match off again, and run LastFM2iTunes to get my previous play count back.

     

    It's a kludge and I wish I didn't have to do it, but until Apple fixes iTunes Match, I am stuck doing this.

     

    I have told Apple about using LastFM2iTunes and they said it should respect the changed play counts, but so far it's still erasing them when I update.

  • crankerchick Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I use Last.FM like mmp1964a says, to just keep a log of my listens. I experimented with their rdpadio streaming, but their mobile apps leave something to be desired and their sound quality isn't the greatest. It isn't terrible, but at the time I preferred Spotify. Last.FM wants you to pay to stream artist or song "radio" from a mobile device and I just found I didn't want to pay.

     

    So I use the last.FM windows app on my desktop to scrobble iTunes, the bowtie app on my macbook to scribble iTunes there, and on my iPhone I use CloudScrob to scribble songs from my iPhone. You can scrobble your iPhone/iPad/iPod from the last.FM app when you sync your iPhone, but I don't do much plugging in of my iPod to my computer these days and was losing scrobbles because I was taking longer than 2 weeks to sync my phone. That's why I use the CloudScrob app on my iOS devices, so I just remember once a week with reminder to launch the app and have it scrobble.

     

    On android this all moot because apps are allowed to run in the background and there are many app choices to scrobble as you listen.

     

    I have an RSS feed from Last.FM website that alerts me when artists I listen to release new music or have concerts in the area. It lists things like my top artists and top tracks for the week, months year, all time, etc. Lately I've been using the recommended artists feature on the website to find new things to listen to. Since its free and works fairly seamlessly, I stick with it.

     

    Spotify app has a log in right on the app so you can have it scrobble automatically for you. Only your music that you listen to in iTunes takes a little work to scrobble, but even that is mostly seem less if you are plugging your phone to your PC at least once every two weeks. I have found the wireless sync with iTunes to be unreliable hpwhen it comes to iTunes, so I don't do it.

     

    Last, be careful scrobbling iTunes using the official app from your PC if you use iTunes Match. You may get double scrobbles if you scrobble from say a laptop from iTunes and then scrobble from your desktop with your iPhone. Since the library on your desktop changed from the laptop plays, when youbplug in your phone it will see those new plays and scrobble, even though you may have already scrobbles them from the laptop or other computer.

  • crankerchick Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    www.tikilab.com wrote:

     

    Kimcha, this is how I use Last.FM with iTunes Match:

     

    iTunes Match screwed up my play counts the first time I used it, so I restored them from Last.FM with this nifty little program, LastFM2iTunes:

     

    https://code.google.com/p/lastfm2itunes-mac/

     

    Unfortunately, iTunes Match doesn't let me keep those updated play counts when I turn it on. I think it wants to revert to only the plays it has "personally witnessed." Maybe it sees them as not valid because a third party program changed them. I have no idea.

     

    Anyway to get around this, I leave iTunes Match turned off most of the time. My library is in the cloud and I only run it when I have a good sized batch of new music to add.

     

    After I add the music, I turn iTunes Match off again, and run LastFM2iTunes to get my previous play count back.

     

    It's a kludge and I wish I didn't have to do it, but until Apple fixes iTunes Match, I am stuck doing this.

     

    I have told Apple about using LastFM2iTunes and they said it should respect the changed play counts, but so far it's still erasing them when I update.

    I have experienced the same. iTunes Match will not respect physical manipulations to your library from the "main" PC. When I was trying to "deal" with the duplicate playcount issue by manually fixing my library, I would find that match just overwrote my changes the "unmanipulated" data. Same thing when i woukd listen to something on Spotify and then later purchase the album and i tried to use an app to uodate my itunes library with the playcount from Last.fm, it would later just reset it. Very frustrating experience with iTunes match. It works fine as long as you just use it as a music locker, but for what actually makes iTunes good--smart playlists, especially those based on playcounts and last played (big deals for me)--its essentially useless. For what it works for, one might as well use Google Music and not spend a dime.

  • halirob Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    i have been using itunes match for a year as well and have been having simular issues. I was going to actually write an app to keep track of recent plays and playcounts on my phone so that I would know when they get out of sync, and maybe figure out a little more of the magic behind how playcounts sync. it drives me nuts...

     

    that on top of the fact that smart playlists are still broken on the iphone as well with itunes match. Espcially date based lists. I wrote an app that does show last played and playcounts for certain artists on the phone that i thought would be interesting information to show. i'm not sure why apple doesn't show this info in the basic music player.

  • kimcha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am using a Mac at home with my iTunes Catalog (no match/cloud server yet).

    Windows computer at work with Spotify

    iOS inbetween

     

    In this scenario, I am curious how to make the best of: My Catalog, Spotify and last.fm for A. Accumulated play counts, B. last.fm discovery and playcount backup, C. Spotify discovery and starred playlists. D. Preprare for Match/Cloud service (looking like music.Google or Match)

     

    I do, since I am not on Cloud at this time, synch my phone to my computer regularly. I like to do this for music, as well as backing up my device.

     

    In order to have accurate play counts inconsideration of iTunes/Mac and iOS what is the best way to make this happen? Spotify is easy, I have the scrobbler app there and it feeds last.fm perfectly. However, I am concerned about iOS and iTunes to last.fm. It seems like I should just play songs on iOS using the Scrobbler app with Scrobbling turned off while using the heart icon for songs I want to love on last.FM, and then when synching with iTunes the playcounts will update last.fm (the heart icons update immediately)  If both iOS Scrobbling and the Mac Scobbling app are turned on when I synch with iTunes and have it synch with last FM via the Mac Scrobbler app, I will get duplicate counts. But doing it the way I describe: Routing all play counts to last.fm via Spotify and iTunes (thorugh the Mac Scrobler App) should be accurate and resolve to the play on iOS as long as I use the SCobbler app to play music on the iPhone and not the Apple Music app. Does this sound correct?

  • crankerchick Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    In your situation, I would do 1 of 3 options:

     

    1. Scrobble the iOS devices from the Last.fm app, Spotify of course from Spotify, and then not scrobble the iOS devices from the Last.fm app on the Mac when you sync the iOS device.

     

    Advantage: you can favorite songs from the last.fm app. Scrobbles are happening in real time. Your "Now Playing" shows on the web if someone were to look at your profile.

     

    Disadvantage: the app, since it isn't the default, will "time out" in the background (thanks iOS) so for example if it has been a while since you played music, you have start the app again. If iOS starts playing your music (say you get in your car and you bluetooth stream and it starts playing automatically), if the music is playing from the music app instead of the Last.fm app, it *will not* scrobble the songs, since the last.fm app isn't running. This was an issue for me because I just found it irritating to have to always go and make sure music was playing from the LFM app. Also, I disliked the organization of the LFM app on mobile.

     

    2. Scrobble the iOS devices from the Last.fm program on the Mac and Spotify of course from Spotify.

    Advantage: more seamless in my opinion

    Disadvantage: you still have to open the LFM app on the ios device to favorite a song when it's playing, or go to the web later and favorite it. Also, sometimes the LFM client on the PC misses scrobbles or gets messed up and doesn't scrobble the iOS device at all. I don't know if that is the case on the Mac, but on Windows it happened to me enough times to be annoying for someone as anal retentive as me.

     

    3. Use an app on the iOS devices like CloudScrob. It will actually favorite any 5 star rated songs it scrobbles for you, if you check it in the settings.

    Advantage: Avoids using the LFM app on the iOS device if you don't like it. You can do it anytime without having to sync to the PC. More reliable for me than the PC scrobbler.

    Disadvantage: Another app to manage. Not a problem for me since I don't sync to PC, so it's no more steps, but for you it would be.

     

    Given what I know from my experiences, if I was in your situation, I would probably choose option 2, but that's because I don't care for the hassle of always having to launch the LFM app on my iPhone if its been over a few hours since I last played music. I like for my music to start playing when I get in my car. I also use a headset with play controls in-line. I don't care for the extra step of having to pick up my phone and make sure I'm playing from the LFM app whenever I start playing music in either of these 2 situations.

     

    Also, keep in my mind, favorites now on LFM mean absolutely nothing except for your own enjoyment. They don't affect recommendations I don't believe, and they no longer offer an option to stream a radio station from your favorites. I don't make a big deal of favoriting and instead just go down the list and favorite songs when I look at my play history on the web sometimes, or when I'm sitting stationary and want to favorite something and I just launch an app or go to the website.

  • kimcha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I want to investigate #2.

     

    I might be as about anal retentive as you, or I doubt I'd be engaging in this conversation! I try hard to roll with the punches though, so to speak.

     

    "Scrobble the iOS devices from the LFM program on the Mac."

    I take this to mean use the native music app on the phone and update LFM as I synch my phone on the Mac, the disadvantage here is that I do not get live scrobbling. So if I understand it correctly, all I need to do is to allow the Mac Scrobble App to update upon synch and this will correctly upload all my iOS AND Mac iTunes playcounts. The trick is only allow the transfer of counts to happen when I synch. So I need to check and make sure iTunes is not scrobbling live, like Spotify is.

     

    I get what you are saying about favoriting and do it just because it is there. I don't know if that "fascination" will last. But I know I could let it go.  I also doubt anyone will ever be watching my page or be interested in the trivial account of what I am listening to now.

     

    The real reason I am interested at all in last.FM now its I like how it takes the play counts and turns them into artist playcounts and sort of turns my data into a better listening report (like you said) than iTunes itself does.

     


  • crankerchick Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Correct. Assuming the LFM Mac app works the same as it does on Windows (and I don't see why it wouldn't), what it does is scrobble at time of play anything you listen to directly from your iTunes library, as in when you are physically playing music from iTunes on your Mac.

     

    Secondary, if you enable it in the settings of LFM Mac app (it might ask you the first time you plug in you phone, I can't remember now) is to scrobble your iPod/iPhone/iPad. When you plug in your phone, it will sync to iTunes and when it was done, you get a notification from the LFM app (assuming you let it run in the background) that it is analyzing your library for new scrobbles from your connected device. It will then see what changed in your library since you synced the device, and submit those scrobbles. You have some control if you look in the settings. I have mine set not to scrobble automatically, but to pop up a box showing me what scrobbles it "found" on my iPhone (really it's just seeing what changed with the iTunes library from before the sync of the phone to after) so I can see them and decide whether to scrobble them or not (sometiems I don't actually scrobble a song if I know I didn't actually listen to it, but maybe left my phone playing music and fell asleep, or something like that). Remember, when you listen to music directly from iTunes, it scrobbles live, so technically all it has to do is monitor your library from the last time it scrobbled to what it looks like at the time it is analyzing. It will scrobble any changes. This is why I said a while back to be careful using the scrobbling app if you use iTunes Match. Your library could change based on remote listening updates to the library, but the app will look at any differences in the library from the last time it scrobbled from that computer, so if remote listens that synced over Match were also scrobbled from whatever device they were actually played from, then they will show on LFM twice because they got scrobbled twice, once from the remote device and again when you sync ANY device to iTunes and let the Mac app scrobble the changes it sees to the iTunes library. It doesn't know the library is different from that last time it scrobble from the computer because songs were played using Match versus the device it just synced. All it knows is the library is different sine the last time is scrobbled from that computer, and it will write all of those changes.

     

    Anyway, so yeah, since the scrobbles from the phone happen when you sync with iTunes, they won't be "live." I don't care about that either. It's nice to have, and Android can do it, but it isn't a necessity to me so I don't worry about it when I listen to music from Apple devices.

     

    Last, since Spotify doesn't make any changes to your iTunes library, and is completely independent of iTunes (beyond adding new music to your iTunes library to your Spotify library also), you never have to worry about duplicate scrobbles with it.

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