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Managing Last.FM's "Mountain of Data" 139

Rob Spengler writes "Last.FM co-founder Richard Jones says the biggest asset the company owns is 'hundreds of terabytes of user data.' Jones adds, '... playing with that data is one of the most fun things about working at the company.' Last.FM, for those who have been living on Mars for the last two years, is the largest online radio outlet, with millions of listeners per day. The company surpassed Pandora and others largely due to its unique datamining features: 'Audioscrobbler,' the company's song/artist naming algorithm, can correctly determine a track even with tens of thousands of false entries. Jones says sitting on that much data has even helped police: 'thieves listening to music on an Audioscrobbler-powered media player have helped police in the US, UK, and other countries track down users' stolen laptops.' Does sitting on a mountain of data make Last.FM powerful enough to start making a stand against the record industry? CBS certainly thinks so — they bought the company for £140 (~$200) million last year."

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