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Old 18-05-2008, 05:06:55   #1
Immortal Wombat
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Join Date: Dec 2001
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Usenet Whitburn Project

Given that the IMDB began as one man's spreadsheet on Usenet, it really shouldn't surprise me that there'd be a similar project for music. But holy crap:

Quote:
For the last ten years, obsessive record collectors in Usenet have been working on the Whitburn Project a huge undertaking to preserve and share high-quality recordings of every popular song since the 1890s. To assist their efforts, they've created a spreadsheet of 37,000 songs and 112 columns of raw data, including each song's duration, beats-per-minute, songwriters, label, and week-by-week chart position. It's 25 megs of OCD, and it's awesome.
[Andy Baio waxes rhapsodical].

"Popular song" mostly means US Billboard Hot 100, but even so, that's a hella lot of singles to keep track of.

For those not following along on Usenet, the spreadsheet is here. And it is pretty damn cool. (I'm a sucker for massive data-harvesting projects.)

And not just because it's a big awesome list: when you have a spreadsheet, you can do data-analysis, and plot graphs and crunch numbers. How long are pop-songs? What is the trend in one-hit wonder frequency? Song longevity? Chart turnover?
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