How is a song's playcount counted? (When does a song gain playcount?)

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As mentioned in the title, when does a song get a playcount?
I tested on iTunes once, and songs listened on iTunes gains a playcount when I listen to the song up to -10 seconds the duration. 
In other words, if a song is 3 minutes long, it gets a playcount only if I listen to it up to 2 minutes and 50 seconds.
How about Last.fm? Is the playcount counting rule similar to iTunes?
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fooooooo

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Posted 3 years ago

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James Joul

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It gains a play count when you finish playing the track. But you can also change how much of the track you're required to play before a Scrobble can be submitted. You'll find that option in the settings menu on the desktop Scrobbler app. For example, the minimum is 50%. So if you listen to 51% of a song and then skip to another, it'll submit that as a Scrobble to your profile. It's also worth noting that tracks under 30 seconds cannot be Scrobbled.

In my experience this only works when Scrobbling from a computer. When listening from Spotify on my phone I have to finish the entire track for it to Scrobble.
(Edited)
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Elliot Robinson

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Rather weirdly - but I think correctly - the official Last FM iOS app actually scrobbles any length of track.

On a semi related note, what I don't understand is why I can't scrobble music videos - is it because Last FM can't differentiate between a music video and another type of video, such as a TV episode or film?
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Cornel Diaconu

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It's good to notice, also, that if the song is longer than 8 minutes, scrobble is done immediately after playing first 4 minutes (that is, if the song is, say, 30 minutes long, it is already scrobbled after 4 minutes of play).
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Hans-Jürgen, Moderator

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It depends on the way the developer has implemented the scrobbler in his app and its settings, e.g. the official Last.fm scrobbler has the default setting on 50% of the track length and also after 4 minutes if the track is longer. This is the same when you scrobble with the website player and YouTube as your playback provider.

Deezer e.g. changed this in their web player, in the beginning every track was immediately scrobbled when it started, now it's only scrobbled when you have fully listened to it.

Spotify's web player is difficult, i.e. unreliable with its own internal option, I think it also only scrobbles at the end if at all. If you use the browser extension for Chrome to scrobble Spotify instead, it works as the Last.fm scrobbler, i.e. at 50% of the track length. Spotify's desktop client does this as well, although it uses the old 1.0 scrobble protocol, and their web player the newer 2.0 version.

By the way, if a track is shorter than 30 seconds or older than 14 days, it won't be accepted by the submissions server.
 
(Edited)
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He's dead, Jim!

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And it seems that Spotify tracks played via ChromeCast are never scrobbled.
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Jon, Community & Customer Services

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Official Response
We define it in our API documentation here:  When is a scrobble a scrobble?  

A track should only be scrobbled when the following conditions have been met:
  • The track must be longer than 30 seconds.
  • And the track has been played for at least half its duration, or for 4 minutes (whichever occurs earlier.)
As soon as these conditions have been met, the scrobble request may be sent at any time. It is often most convenient to send a scrobble request when a track has finished playing.

A key point we like to emphasise between a scrobble and plays is that we're interested in how many times a user has actually listened to a track, not just played it.  It's a subtle, but important distinction when it comes to recommendations.
(Edited)
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onnovdw

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hi Jon, is there are chance that you guys/girls are going to ditch the 30 seconds rule? with the new catalogue work songs that are actually shorter than 30 seconds should be able to be identified and therefore scrobbled? thanks, Onno
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Elliot Robinson

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100% this.

All this work you guys are doing on the catalogue should allow any track from the database - regardless of length - to be scrobbled, otherwise why go to such great lengths to make an accurate and comprehensive catalogue?
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Maciek Komisarz

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As above mentioned, scrobbling should be possible for all songs, nevertheless of their length. Official last.fm app for android (at least the old one which is working on sony xperia) doesn't scrobble such tracks, but Scrobble Droid - yes. Why? Same should be also possible for tracks played from PC...