A week ago, on other words about the time of Edward the Confessor in blogging terms, the Observer's Music Magazine ran a piece on Audioscrobbler.
Audioscrobbler uses a plug-in for iTunes (or WinAmp for lumpen-proletarians who don't have Macs) and records what the user plays and compares that list with other users. It then produces charts of favourite artists and songs and can show other Audioscrobbler users with matching tastes. Audioscrobbler have recently enhanced the charts to show weekly favourites. Here's my Audioscrobbler page, complete with RDF feed. The clever bit, which I hadn't really explored until I read the Observer article, is Last.FM; once you've played sufficient tracks for Audioscrobbler to be able to analyse your tastes, Last.FM will deliver a customised radio feed. I've been listening to this over the weekend and it really is very good
Two criticisms: (apart from wondering why on earth did it think I would be interested in the appalling Stranglers?) why can't I get it on on my iPod?
Secondly and more seriously, I can see that if Audioscrobbler can map a user's tastes against those of others, it could lead to a frightfully homogenised musical world. Last.FM played me a lot of material I liked and indeed knew, but there were no surprises. Serendipitous and shocking musical discoveries seem to me unlikely.