Friday, January 15, 2010

3rd Fizziversary: Top Played Artists

Today, January 15th, 2010, marks 3 year since my first set at Fizz. I thought I'd celebrate that momentous milestone in my own inimitably geeky way: by analyzing 3 years of set lists, as posted on this blog of course. I've got a data set with all 40 sets and 1,375 tracks I've played at Fizz (plus or minus a couple, since in the early days I had some trouble with my software not logging all the tracks I played), including artist, album, time, and BPM information. Over the next couple posts, I'll look at the artists, albums, and tracks that I played most often--it'll be a bit like my own personal Billboard charts.

To kick things off, here are the top 12 artists that I played most frequently over the past 3 years:
  1. Benny Goodman (59 plays)
  2. Ella Fitzgerald (58)
  3. Count Basie (45)
  4. Fats Waller (43)
  5. Louis Armstrong (42)
  6. Duke Ellington (37)
  7. Jimmie Lunceford (37)
  8. Artie Shaw (31)
  9. The Boilermaker Jazz Band (28)
  10. Lionel Hampton (22)
  11. Sidney Bechet (22)
  12. Jay McShann (21)
Taken together, these 12 artists represent 32% of all the music I played at Fizz. No surprises here really--more just a confirmation that my leaning is decidedly towards big band and other swing-era music. Breaking it down by year tells basically the same story:

2007: Ella Fitzgerald (26), Benny Goodman (20), The Boilermakers (18), Duke Ellington (18)
2008: Ella Fitzgerald (19), Fats Waller (19), Benny Goodman (16)
2009: Benny Goodman (23), Count Basie (20), Louis Armstrong (16)

The only minor surprise here is that the Paul Tillotson Love Trio sneaks in to a tie for 4th in 2009 with 13 plays, along with Ella Fitzgerald and Fats Waller.

(The way I scored things above, an artist gets a point every time I play one of their tracks, so Paul Tillotson would get 13 plays regardless of whether I play the same tune 13 times or 13 different tunes once each. If instead I count the number of unique titles I've played by an artist, the results come out basically the same. Benny Goodman still comes out as number 1, with 24 unique titles; Basie and Ella are tied for second; and most of the remaining top 12 are the same.)


  1. Out of curiosity, what software do you use to log this data?

  2. I kept an excel spreadsheet with all the records, then read it into R for analysis.

  3. > "(plus or minus a couple, since in the early days I had some trouble with my software not logging all the tracks I played)"

    So you manually enter every track you play into Excel? Or does your media player output some log which you then import into Excel?

  4. When I was running Disco XT on a Mac, I wrote some little AppleScripts to translate the DiscoXT log into an iTunes playlist, and then export the playlist in a form I could save in Excel or publish to the blog (search for posts tagged AppleScript for details about this). Now I'm running JRiver MediaCenter on a Windows-based laptop; JRiver can export a playlist in a form that I can easily save in Excel or publish on the blog.