Last.fm Normaliser - one year on

Our last.fm normaliser application recently celebrated its first birthday, and we're pretty pleased that not only has it lasted this long, but it still seems to be going strong. In that year, it has served up over a quarter of a million charts and now has over 215,000 albums in its cache.

It has been very interesting to compare usage with coverage - while most of our referrals come from last.fm itself, this article in Read Write Web, a link from Tom Coates and the launch of last.fm's directory of external applications all provided some welcome spikes in traffic.

So what's next for the normaliser? To be honest, we were half-expecting last.fm to start doing their charts this way, but that doesn't seem to be forthcoming, so I guess the normaliser has a valid role going forward. Despite being pretty consistent since just after launch, we do listen to what people are telling us and we are due to make a few tweaks over the next few months.

The database is getting pretty big, and I would like to move it over to one of those new-fangled cloud storage services. Amazon SimpleDB is an option, but the limited querying would probably mean we would have to lose a few features (for instance, the stats). Microsoft's SQL Server Data Services will probably be a better bet, but we'll have to see if Redmond has finally understood mashups and made the service responsive enough. The marketing still uses phrases like "enterprise-class technology" that send shivers down my spine.

So, on balance, a good first year and we're looking forward to more of the same. Many thanks to all of you that have used the normaliser and especially those that have got in touch with us.

PS - The Favourite Artist News Yahoo Pipe isn't doing too badly either - over 75,000 runs since the end of November 2007.

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