Lastify: Recommendations in a Spotify Playlist

Lastify is a great way to discover new bands and new music within Spotify by using the recommendations from your profile and turning them into playlists. As a fan of both and Spotify I immediately liked this website.

After entering your username on Lastify’s website, a playlist is generated for you based on the artists that recommends to you. After the playlist has been generated, you can subscribe to it in Spotify.

The playlist will be refreshed automatically every 24 hours. When you listen to tracks from your generated playlist from time to time, will come up with new recommendations after a while, so over time the artists in your generated playlist will change.

I hope that Spotify will implement functionality like this and put it in their software. Until that moment comes, Lastify is a great tool I will surely keep on using.

An Impression of the IFA 2010 Trade Show in Berlin

Last weekend I went to the 50th edition of the IFA trade show which took place at the Messe in Berlin. This is one of the biggest trade shows (if not, the biggest) in Europe for consumer electronics and home appliance. Spanning over 160,000 m2 and an interlinked network of 26 fair halls there is an awful lot to see and check out. Needless to say I was able to fill up the better part of two days walking around at the IFA and still did not see everything that was going on at the Messe. In this post I will discuss my highlights of these two days.

Visually Stunning Exhibition

The big and most influential brands of course had the biggest booths. Some of these companies even had a complete hall at their disposal. Among them were Samsung, Sony, LG, Phillips and Panasonic. No expense was spared by these big companies to show off their trade in visually stunning ways. I have included a few pictures at the bottom of this post to give you an idea, although I realize they cannot get across what I have seen with my own eyes.

Continue reading An Impression of the IFA 2010 Trade Show in Berlin

Getting Rickrolled on

In an earlier post I mentioned a blog post I found with tips on getting more productive and to focus better on the task you want (or have) to do. One of the tips in the article is to listen to lyric-free music so the lyrics won’t distract you. I figured that listening to some death metal qualifies as well since I don’t understand any of the lyrics these guys are singing, grunting or shouting.

So I fired up my player and selected the genre “Brutal Death Metal” to have some background noise while banging away on the keyboard to get some work done. You can imagine my surprise when after about 30 minutes I suddenly heard the intro of “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. What. The. F*?|<!

See the screenshot below and notice the station.

Nice one, guys! 🙂

A New Beginning

The idea for me to start a blog is definitely not new. A dear friend and co-worker of mine, Patrick Barel, knows what I am talking about. I think I talked with him about this at least five years ago. At that time we maintained a site called (which is out of service now unfortunately). On that site I was actively writing message about Oracle-related news and technologies. After doing this for a couple of years I realized that I was actually blogging. That was the first time I was thinking about starting a blog.

Continue reading A New Beginning

Finally 10,000 Tracks!

What to play when you reach the 10,000 mark? Why not play the track that you have played the most since you started scrobbling? That’s what I decided to do.

At the beginning of the evening I only had 12 tracks to go before I would reach the 10,000 tracks milestone. While I am typing this, the 10,000th track is playing:

The Flower Kings – Minor Giant Steps
[Preview/Play on GrooveShark] [Play with Spotify]

This song is the first track on the second disc from the double album “Paradox Hotel”. A magnificent progressive/symphonic rock album and in my opinion the best album that mastermind Roine Stolt and his partners in crime have recorded with The Flower Kings.

For the other 11 tracks I had Paul Simon‘s latest album in mind, which is called “Surprise”. I really, truly love this album. Paul Simon collaborated on this album with Brian Eno. Eno created the sonic landscapes that accompany the songs and co-wrote a couple of tracks. Simon/Eno is a combination made in heaven and I hope they will continue to collaborate on future albums.

Now what’s next on my playlist?

Let’s do the shuffle again…!

(Originally posted on my journal)

I Scrobble, Therefor I Am

For a couple of years now I have been the happy owner of an iRiver H320 digital audio player with 20gb hard disk on board. This device has a couple of advantages compared to an iPod IMHO, like longer battery life, no iTunes needed for synchronizing music files and better sound quality.

One thing that is possible with an iPod though that I could not do with my iRiver is scrobbling songs, either by using iSproggler (for Windows) or iScrobbler (for Mac). At least, that’s what I thought!

A while ago I read about Rockbox. This is an open source replacement firmware for MP3 players which is also compatible with the iRiver H3xx series. When I was browsing through the feature list (which is quite impressive by the way!), I found out that Rockbox also supports This is something I have always loved to have on my MP3 player. And because Rockbox supports gapless playback too, I decided to give it a try and install it on my H320.

And I have to say I am impressed by Rockbox! I have played with it for a couple of hours while reading the online manual and I’m still discovering new features each time I boot up my H320. Gapless playback works like a charm and I have had no problems with scrobbling tracks. Rockbox keeps track of the songs you listen to in a logfile that’s maintained in the root of the hard drive. You can upload the songs in a couple of ways. I prefer using the LogScrobbler Windows Client by kernelsanders.

So finally I can enjoy my favorite music anywhere and keep track of the songs I’ve played for at the same time!

(Originally posted on my journal)