Friday, October 12, 2007

Station Building 101: Spring Cleaning

In a previous Station Building post I mentioned that I probably should try to insure that no track is a seed or thumbed up on more than one station. I have several stations that are relatively close to one another, and so the idea is reduce the cases of tracks bringing the same songs to multiple stations.

And so I opened each station page and copied the lists of song seeds and thumbed up tracks into one long column of a spreadsheet. I added a column indicating which station the song came from and whether it was an up or a seed. At that point (Aug. 28) I had a list of 3,481 tracks which I then sorted alphabetically.

I then worked my way down the list looking for duplicates. When I found a set, I made decision on which I'd like to keep and copied the other rows in the set to another page. In the end, I found 75 duplicate tracks to eliminate. Sorting this latter list based on the station allowed me to quickly remove the duplicates.

The only downside to doing this task is the fact that afterward you will almost inevitably give a thumb up to tracks that you've cleaned out (particularly if you are listening to mobile Pandora where you cannot see the station). Nevertheless, this technique does help firm up what belongs in each of your stations.

The resulting list of all your seeds and thumbed up tracks is interesting in its own right. Currently, in that strange intersection of what I like and what Pandora has, Loreena McKinnet leads all others at 29 tracks edging out Kraftwerk at 28. Sadly, my two favorite artists, Vangelis and the Swedish/Finnish band Hedningarna (released in the US as The Heathens), are horribly underrepresented at 3 and 0 tracks respectively. (The Jon Anderson and Vangelis collaborations do score another 7 tracks for Vangelis, however.)

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