love is an open data format

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, and by that I mean "this doesn't have anything to do with Valentine's Day," I present something I love:

Open data formats.

Most of you know I've been logging my listening habits over at for several years now. Some time ago, a nifty gentleman wrote a set of scripts (available at to generate a visual representation of a single user's listening habits over time.

My ears, circa 2005.  Steady listening throughout the year with a major spike in late summer as I prepared a big code release for tech staff.

(Next year -- see graph for 2006)

(Stats recorded at and generated through the nifty service at lastgraph)2005: listening

My ears, circa 2006.  Large code projects in the spring, followed by trips in the early summer, a new job in the fall, and an enormous spike in the winter as the enormity of my task hit me.

(Before and after -- see graphs for 2005 and 2007)

(Stats recorded at and generated through the nifty service at lastgraph)2006: listening

My ears, circa 2007.  Follow along:  big project early in the year, lots of meetings in the summer, vacations in October and December, followed by a sharp spike in workload in January 2008.

(Before and after -- see graphs for 2006 and 2008)

(Stats recorded at and generated through the nifty service at lastgraph)2007: listening

I think I have earlier data saved on files at home, but I'll have to check. Clicking on the files will take you to the larger versions archived on flickr.

There isn't quite a 1:1 correlation between workload and headphone hours logged, but it's pretty close. A quick look at January and February 2008, which I left on the end of the 2007 graph, tells you a lot about work right now.


When I first glanced at the graphs, I thought to myself "Why is Amy showing us a screenshot from an audio editor?" Then I read and realized what this is.

So, rescale each of those graphs to about 10-20 seconds of audio. Concatenate and loop. What will it sound like, and how badly will Amy's ears hurt?

Come on, inquiring minds want to know!