What do YOU want in ListenBrainz?

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Hi everyone! I’m one of the devs who work on ListenBrainz and I was hoping to get some opinions on stuff that users would like to see in ListenBrainz in the near future. Feedback and user experiences can really help us improve ListenBrainz and make it more useful for everyone!

For context, we shipped some stuff in the past that we personally wanted out of ListenBrainz. We added automatic Spotify imports and some cool music discovery features such as following other people (ListenBrainz release: Spotify account linking and our first music discovery features!).

Right now, we have cool recommendations in the pipeline (https://blog.metabrainz.org/2019/08/24/gsoc-2019-an-open-source-music-recommendation-engine/). I recently worked on incremental data dumps to make consumption of our relatively large data easier programmatically. This is in beta currently.

So that’s where we are. What I’m really interested to know is what makes YOU excited to use ListenBrainz. What’s a feature that would improve your ListenBrainz experience or make you want to use it more? Maybe it’s something we’re already working on, maybe it’s something we haven’t even thought of.

I’m really curious to get feedback from everyone on how they use ListenBrainz and what they’d want improved or what features they’d want added.

9 Likes

i know this may not be posable but maybe someway of hooking it up to a music player like VLC, iTunes ect. for thous who don’t stream music

2 Likes

More import and export options.

It would be nice if the listenbrainz server could be a client for another listenbrainz server or lastfm.
This would allow you to run your own server and submit your listens to listenbrainz.org or do it the other way and submit to listenbrainz.org and submit to your local instance.

You can export your listens to json, it would be nice if you could go to the import page and upload your json file.

It would be nice to have an export to CSV in addition to json.

Integrations with third party services such as IFTTT or google docs would be interesting.

6 Likes

Idea 2:
Properly match listens to your collection so you have mbid in your history.

I have a musicbrainz collection of all releases that I own.
It would be nice if listenbrainz would filter against this list.
If I listen to something and I have a track name and an artist string that fuzzy matches within some confidence level it should save the recording mbid and release mbid.

Changes that would be needed:
We are doing an oauth login, we need to add the additional scope to request permission to edit a users collection (so private collections can be used).
Allow the user to select the collections that can be used for this purpose.

10 Likes

My absolute favorite feature wish is the ability to remove and edit listens. The reason is that sometimes submission apps go crazy and submit things you don’t want to submit or which aren’t even music to begin with. I had both “Web Scrobbler” and the “Simple Scrobbler” on Android (formerly known as “Simple Last.fm Scrobbler”) suddenly start submitting random Youtube videos I wached. Also Last.fm imports resulted in a couple of duplicates. Also sometimes wrong metadata gets submitted and once you notice it is too late, even if you fix it on the application side. It would be nice to be able to clean this up afterwards.

This is already possible in general and exactly the idea behind ListenBrainz. Nothing limits ListenBrainz to streaming, it is just that ListenBrainz integration needs to be added for the music players. Depending on the software this either needs to be done by the developers of said software or it can be added as a third party plugin. If your player of choice does not support ListenBrainz the best thing probably is to bug the developers about adding this.

Have a look at the following topic for a (likely incomplete) list of software with ListenBrainz support:

10 Likes

Another minor thing is arm based docker containers.
I am in the process of rebuilding the containers to run on my arm based nas / raspberry pi.
As the containers are based on other containers I need to build them for arm from the bottom up.

Respecting time zones!

This is something I found lacking in all of playback statistics tools I’ve ever used. I’m not sure if it’s that much of a hassle to append time zone info to unix timestamps (like last.fm uses), not to mention ridiculously long LDAP timestamps (like in foobar2000). But in the end this kind of information doesn’t even need to be recorded with every single listen, because humans don’t teleport between different timezones yet. So it could be settled with ranges - all listens between dates X and Y were recorded in the time zone Z.

I think it’s really, really important for data integrity because people sometimes travel around the world and change time zones. So if I live in France for a few months during winter (UTC+01:00) listetning to music in the evenings, and then move to Singapore (UTC+08:00), I want my French listens to still point to evenings and not suddenly move to middle of the nights, just because my system clock is now in a different tz!

Recording listening stats with only UTC timestamps (no matter how accurate the format) means actually losing data, because fixed points in time require fixed location info.

11 Likes

So agree, actually all my listen are affect with this bug LB-431 and that’s not helping to explore my listens in MB :-/

+1, even allow us to associate MBID or other information. I image this could also help MessyBrainz?

I like this idea, support 100%.

4 Likes

When I imported my data from last.fm it created a lot of duplicates. It would be nice to fix LB-314 & more importantly have a way to get rid of duplicates.

2 Likes

I would like to use LBz more, but many players do not or only imperfectly support mpris (Media Player Remote Interfacing Specification). I have had problems with my favourite players, VLC and Juk (amarok is not yet ported to kde5/qt5, so I have not been able to try it). Results seem to be good with rhythmbox.

Nevertheless, these only work when I listen on my laptop, which is almost never. I have ripped my extensive collection to flac and have the files stored on my QNAP NAS. These listens, about 95% of my listening, are lost. I also listen using VLC on my phone. Again, the listens are lost. Then, there are listens on NML (Naxos Music Library) and Youtube. These listens, too, are lost.

Apart from getting infallible ListenBrainz support in these applications, what would help me the most is a way to manually enter listens, preferably by album, not by track, as I listen to full albums about 99.99% of the time. It is tedious, but at least it would accurately record my listening.

I do not have a Last.fm account nor do I want one. Scrobblers that scrobble to Last.fm and require me to get their file and have the information sent to LBz are uselss. I want to scrobble or be able to manually input directly to LBz.

Once the information is in my LBz account, it would be useful to me if it, firstly, hyperlinked to the releases I own (these have been added to my collections in MBz). Next, it mght be useful to be able to discuss with other people that also have the same albums in their own collections and/or at least be able to follow their listening. Also, linking to CritiqueBrainz would be an asset, perhaps by displaying existing reviews, allowing one to directly write a review while listening, and to see other albums and artists that relate to, are similar to, are in a similar genre to, are liked and/or collected by others with the album in their own MBz collections or listened to by them, etc.—basically, link the various components of MetaBrainz together to create a unified listening, enjoyment, sharing, discussing, reviewing, exploring, learning etc. experience.

3 Likes

I have two suggestions: one that comes to me from feedback by others and one that is specific to me.

Others: More convenience for users

It should be more convenient to submit listens to LB. We need more convenience.

It is not convenient to submit listens to LB (beyond Android) from the people I know actively using Last.fm. One needs to first find a tool that supports ListenBrainz for your $PLATFORM of choice. The LB website does not link out to any specific tools or apps that support this.

I see a couple of ways to make this better:

  1. Add page to ListenBrainz.org with links to different submission tools and what platform(s) they support
  2. Some MeB developer attention to choose 1-2 critical platforms and create submission tools for those platforms (GSoC / GCI idea?)
  3. More obvious call-outs on website about how to submit listens – it is not actually described anywhere on the site other than the Import page

Pros

  • Build user community around LB by making it more convenient to use
  • Submission tools that submit plays in real time are familiar to users who already use Last.fm
  • Encourages a developer ecosystem to begin forming around LB (by calling out and recognizing developers and their tools with the highly-prized “front page” recognition on ListenBrainz.org)

Cons

  • MeB maintains 1-2 listen submission tools specific to some platforms – might not be the most demanding of development priorities
  • Could delay or impede progress on new features in LB (in terms of time/focus areas)

Other considerations

I think the timing of when to build out this community depends. On one hand, maybe we want more features and capabilities before we really start encouraging more people to use it (and then possibly being frustrated if it doesn’t have the same tools as something like Last.fm). On the other hand, changing focus to build the community sooner than later also enables more developers to discover the project and experiment with their own ideas based on what is possible today. Some of these people may even come on board later as proper LB contributors.

So, there are a lot of things to consider, but ultimately I think the user community should get a raised priority if the LB dev team is looking for new ideas on what to do and what to focus on. I don’t know if this aspect of LB has been part of a development roadmap before.

Me: Listening statistics :heart_eyes:

Statistics, metrics, data! :heart_eyes: I want to learn more (about my music, maybe myself) through the statistic ideas I explained here:

7 Likes

Oops, somehow I didn’t see the previous replies when I wrote mine. :sweat:

OMG I forgot about this. This is really important to me too just because I feel like I haven’t “fully” moved to LB from Last.fm because of the incorrect data. A lot of my LB history, especially between 2017 and 2018, has a lot of inaccuracies or false reporting. Often from duplicate plays, either from scrobblers or from duplicate imports.

Honestly I want a way to blow everything away and then re-import fresh from Last.fm. While my LB data has a lot of inaccuracies, I’ve worked hard to preserve the accuracy of my Last.fm scrobble history. So I’d really like to do a fresh import!

Ahhhh I didn’t think about this either but this is also important to me, only because every time I travel and look at my Last.fm statistics, they always report my “most frequent listening hours” wrong once I return to my home timezone.

Just curious, are you using Android? If so, have you tried either Simple Scrobbler or Pano Scrobbler?

Manually entering listens is nice and something I do occasionally on Last.fm. Usually I do this with a vinyl scrobbler app on Android that (unfortunately) does look-ups on Discogs based on searches or by scanning barcodes on releases to look them up.

Manual submissions by a release is a nice-to-have feature that I would definitely make use of, but I don’t think it is a critical feature just yet?

3 Likes

Yes, I use android. I haven’t tried either of these phone scrobblers or any other. I will have a look. I am somewhat suspect about using third-party software, due to security concerns. If it comes from MetaBrainz, Fedora, is part of android, ie., from Google, etc, then it’s ok, since I use those systems and have developed trust out of familiarity and necessity, but third-party apps piggybacking on trusted software could introduce security breaches, system instability, undesired access to other data on the device, etc.

Manual entry is not possible for me, as the various online mechanisms I have explored all submit to Last.fm, not to LBz.

The reason I think listen submission by release, i.e., by album, is important is that it is very tedious to enter dozens of listens manually when listening to a work. I am currently listening to Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise and it has 61 tracks! Imagine having to enter 61 tracks manually to record your listen! The typical symphony has 4 tracks and most albums are fleshed out with a smaller work or two to maximize the disk capacity, so a listen of a single album typically entails 4-12 tracks. The few times I have tried, I was forced to select one token track from each work, just to have a listening signpost, but this is not an accurate record of my listening… and if one were to use the data to reimburse copyright holders or for any other statistical purpose, it would be grossly inaccurate.

I cannot imagine why I would want to listen to just one track from a work. Very, very rarely, yes, to get a quick fix of a favourite part, but this might occur every few months. For that, I would just go to Youtube, when I am not seriously listening, but just dallying. Even pop music: imagine listening to only one track of a concept album—it just wouldn’t make sense. The purpose of the work would be lost.

1 Like

The only thing I found missing was the ability to hide listen history from the entire internet. It’s also worth taking into consideration that there are countries where listening to certain songs could reveal they’re part of certain minorities and it literally becomes life threatening. I personally don’t really have any issues with anyone reading my listen history, but some people definitely do.

The other thing I found lacking was basically the choice in general who to give the data to, I’d gladly give my listen history under some kind of mutual agreement (GPL-y terms) that the receiver actually contributes back to the project and for example doesn’t invent privacy-invasive proprietary adtech.

Of course I’d also love MBID linking but others have mentioned it already.

1 Like

Hiding listens is an anti-goal and will not be implemented on the main server any time soon.
https://listenbrainz.org/goals

It has been discussed previously and there is nothing stopping someone running thair own server and adding features to hide listens.

I understand. In both cases, the Android scrobbling apps are open source:

Sometimes I do as a quick fix too, but I agree that it is not something I do often. When I scrobble manually to Last.fm, usually I do it by a Release instead of by the Recording.

2 Likes

Here are the 2 main features i’m expecting

  1. recommendation engine.
    I know it’s on its way, sorry i didn’t check it out yet, but what i’m expecting is a programable interface (some kind web api) similar to lastfm or now defunct echonest.
  2. listening statistics

Thanks so much for your work.
Cheers & Happy listening

4 Likes

I wrote my own scrobb… I mean music tracker, for my audio streamers. When one of my audiostreamers (Bluesound, MusicCast and Heos) play music, the program reports the songs via the ListenBrainz API to my ListenBrainz account.

My wish is that I could add a property that indicates which player(/streamer) is playing the music, so that LB front-end could show (and filter) on players.

2 Likes

This is a useful feature to encourage a larger client ecosystem around LB.

If you build your own client today, it is hard to “get the word out” about your handy tool. Combined with an idea of linking out to clients from listenbrainz.org, it would be awesome to show what client someone is using for their “Now Playing” music like Last.fm once did. Maybe drilling down to a specific play, it would be cool to see what player was used to submit a play.

As a user, I don’t find this interesting or useful to flip through my listen history to see what client was used, but I like to see what client I am currently using for my “now playing.”

Tying in the statistics piece again too (see above), this could enable downstream client devs to understand how widely used, or not, their client is!

4 Likes

I’ve stopped using LB for the time being. I was going to explain the complicated reason why, but I think it suffices to say that if I could wipe the data and re-import from last.fm I would start using it again. Re-importing from there would create a terrible mess so I’m just sticking to last.fm for the time being, so at least one is accurate.

That’s the main thing, other than that:

  • Linking to MBID’s would be great, and then displaying data (cover art etc etc) from those MBID’s in LB. This would encourage the addition/updating of data to the items in MB.

Last fm features I make use of, in order of appeal:

  • Album/artist/track chat (critiquebrainz integration goes a little way towards covering this) (I would also like to see this in MB, perhaps cross-channel)
  • Similar artist recommendations
  • The new(ish) stats are pretty cool
  • Compatibility stat with other users
5 Likes