Monday, August 29, 2011

What's scrobbling? (plus a bit on

Whenever you get involved in any specialized field, you often end up using a language that is incomprehensible to others. I've previously discussed some of the terms that I used in my prior job as a product manager. Now some of my co-workers know a lot of these terms, and one of my co-workers (let's call her Kim, since that's her name) knows a lot of them (she actually writes TRSes, so she knows them better than I do).

But when I'm not working, I use an entirely different language, talking about scrobbling things from to, and abusing people for not putting proper ID3 tags in their mp3 files. And you can't CCB an ID3 tag. (Believe me, I've tried.)

After reading a post entitled Scrobble Turntable.FM to your Last.FM recently listened tracks, I installed the Turntable Scrobbler and tested it in my vanity Empoprise-MU room at

I then made an announcement on my personal Facebook page:

I'm in The Empoprise-MU Room on
Come join me and let's listen to music together
Now playing: Darkel - Be My Friend

Then I said:

And, most importantly, it's now scrobbling to This should be interesting.

Looking over that announcement, I now realize that many of my Facebook friends have no idea what I'm talking about. Now certainly some of my friends, such as Louis Gray and Josh Haley, understand the wording very well. But another of my Facebook friends - I'll call her Kim - asked a very important question:

What's scrobbling?

Perhaps I should write a whole series of posts about all of the things discussed above, but Kim's question is a good one for starters. defines scrobbling as follows:

Scrobbling a song means that when you listen to it, the name of the song is sent to and added to your music profile.

This, of course, assumes (1) that you actually have a music profile at, and (2) that you're listening to music in a way that scrobbles can be recorded. For example, if you pull out your transistor radio and tune it to KIIS-FM, the songs that are played on the radio can't be recorded on your profile.


But there are a number of ways that you can listen to music and have it recorded by The first way, obviously, is to listen to music on itself while you're logged in to the service. All of those songs are automatically recorded on your profile page.

The second way is to play music that is stored on your hard drive in a way that can scrobble it. I have a netbook with Windows 7, and I've set it up so that if I'm logged in to, everything that I play on Windows Media Player is automatically scrobbled.

The third way is to listen to music on some other service that is somehow compatible with There are a number of examples of this. In addition to, it is also possible to listen to music on and have it appear on your profile.

In case you're curious, my profile is here, and my profile is here. You can probably see Darkel's "Be My Friend" on the latter (although if you're reading this post long after I wrote it, you'll probably have to scroll down) - so you can listen to the song also.

And if you want to see the scrobbles of a bunch of different people, go to
blog comments powered by Disqus