the playground disappeared

  • 0
  • 17
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
I see that the playground.last.fm site has gone away. There still seems to be a server, but it just responds with 503 errors.

Question: does this mean that all of the tools there (specifically undelete and timelines) are deceased, pushing up daisies, ex-functionalities, snuffed it, ...?
Or are they merely resting?
Photo of snyde1

snyde1

  • 108 Posts
  • 71 Reply Likes

Posted 4 years ago

  • 0
  • 17
Photo of Ashtoreth

Ashtoreth

  • 1 Post
  • 2 Reply Likes
Yeah, I hope the Playground returns. Same with the Labs, I enjoyed some of the features provided there. Oh well :(

http://web.archive.org/web/20150627141013/http://www.last.fm/labs
http://web.archive.org/web/20150629190710/http://playground.last.fm/  
Photo of Cornel Diaconu

Cornel Diaconu

  • 748 Posts
  • 318 Reply Likes
Either all little gems in the "playground" site is useless now with this new lat.fm, or ... they are being heavily  re-written, and until they are ready, that page is not worth being live.

I, for one, don't expect labs will come back (that doesn't mean I don't WANT them back .... I really miss the "Blasts from the past" and "Recent tracks auto refresh" labs).
Photo of Potzo90

Potzo90

  • 2 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
The playground was the only reason I was a subscriber. Listening trends, Tube tags (in PDF!).
Please bring this back and I will restore my subscriber status!
Photo of snyde1

snyde1

  • 108 Posts
  • 71 Reply Likes
Given that I now get timeouts for the site, I am given to think the playground is now an ex-service, kicked the bit-bucket, shuffled off its virtual coil, joined the zombie throngs, ...
Photo of Jon

Jon, Community & Customer Services

  • 4612 Posts
  • 3445 Reply Likes
Hi snyde1, the answer really depends on what you're actually asking here.

Some background for context: one reason Last.fm was so drastically overhauled is because over the years we'd allowed a lot of unnecessary clutter and features to creep on to the live site.  For example, Last.fm had gotten itself into a slightly ridiculous situation where we had both Playground and Labs as two places for allowing users to access experimental features, managed by two different teams (mir and web), with completely different standards for submission and maintenance (likewise, Build was being managed entirely by the customer support team). In hindsight, when Labs launched, I think we should have deprecated Playground, and migrated the most popular tools into Labs or finally integrated them into the site as core features -- however, that didn't happen for several reasons, and is quite typical of how the site became susceptible to bloat (/Discover is another example of something that became abandonware, but too costly to remove).  

So, Playground, in its previous incarnation, is probably not coming back in the immediate future, as the team have changed how they work quite considerably since it was originally conceived, and replatforming the site means that the majority of those tools (e.g. restore artist tracks) no longer work and would have to be rebuilt entirely.  Instead, what's more likely to happen is that some of the more popular tools and visualisations will be rebuilt and integrated into the main site at a later date, and some already have to a certain extent.  For example, the library now takes the layout of the secret /explore page by default, and allows you to analyse your charts in more depth, similar to the scrobble timeline.   I believe the lab that automatically updates your recent tracks is in qa and due for release very soon. Blasts from the past, also, is something I'm especially keen to have restored and expanded on (e.g. as a radio station), and I'm going to keep pressing the team for that until it happens.

Anyway, just to be clear, we still want to give people early access to new features and experimental products (e.g. the new catalogue should be available to subscribers later this month), however, in terms of presentation and implementation, I don't believe we have plans to resurrect 'Playground' for this purpose.  I would say Last.fm Labs have a higher chance of coming back, but ultimately it's up to the team to decide.  Speaking personally, what I'd like to see is a dedicated developers.last.fm page that pulls together Playground, Build, and the API documentation under a single roof, rather than separate micro-sites run by different teams.
(Edited)
Photo of Frankenrin

Frankenrin

  • 145 Posts
  • 796 Reply Likes
Some background for context: one reason Last.fm was so drastically overhauled is because over the years we'd allowed a lot of unnecessary clutter and features to creep on to the live site.
So the obvious solution was to REMOVE ALL THE FEATURES. Well done, the clutter's gone I guess. So are the users, and so is the goodwill of the community this site once had.
...and allows you to analyse your charts in more depth...
What? We can't even sort our libraries alphabetically anymore, or jump to a particular page.
(Edited)
Photo of Cornel Diaconu

Cornel Diaconu

  • 745 Posts
  • 318 Reply Likes
Huh ?!?

What do you mean by
or jump to a particular page
?!?
Not only that you CAN jump to any page you like in your library, but the current implementation of the library is way BETTER than in the old site !
Okay, it has a little quirk (you have to manually click on next button in order to first go to page 2, and only than you can manually edit the page number in the URL and thus go to the desired page), but things really works much better now than in the old site !!!

You're so afraid of typing something that you just consider it bad ?

I know that in the old site's library pages you could jump directly to some page only with your mouse ... but even then you really could jump to pages like 20, 30, 40, 50 etc. and then needed to manually skip to pages like 41, 42, 43 a.s.o.

So again ... what do you mean by that ?!?
Photo of Frankenrin

Frankenrin

  • 145 Posts
  • 796 Reply Likes
That's about as user friendly as the lat-long hack for the broken geolocation in the event finder. Look, if I have to go and type stuff into the URL bar to navigate a site something's wrong. I personally don't mind that, I used to do it with the old library as well from time to time, but it sure as hell shouldn't be the only useful way to navigate.

I'm pretty sure most people, me included, wouldn't agree with the new library being "way better" than the old one. It's not.
Remember those little arrows to the side of the large, rectangular artist thumbnails (oh how I miss those) in the library? You could quickly flip through pages without the site reloading every time. It was great.
(Edited)
Photo of Cornel Diaconu

Cornel Diaconu

  • 745 Posts
  • 318 Reply Likes
Oh, but I remember very well them.
But my experience was exactly opposite as yours, it seems :-)
I mean, I used to use them intensively, since I used to be very active on those lost (for now) groups, especially on those little games defined on them.
And very often I had the unpleasant situation where when moving "at sides" with those arrows I only got an empty page with artists, as if there were an error with my library !!
Literally empty page (for instance, page no. 203).
I had to refresh and refresh and shift+refresh several times until the page was finally displayed OK (often I had to go to page 1 first, shift+refresh that, and back to desired page as 203 manually, to eliminate intermediate scrolling to the right...)
And when I say intensively, I really meant that (as if in checking my library this way 20-30 times a day, or maybe more at times).
I just wonder if you used your library the same way...

For me, at least, this current library is much, much better than the old one.

Okay, enough with side postings...

Coming to the topic itself, really how much and/or how many of those "apps" in the playground have any of you really used ?!?
Take a new look at that URL posted above from the archive.org (I'll repost it here:
http://web.archive.org/web/20150629190710/http://playground.last.fm/

So... I'm really curios, how many of those little gems (or not) have you really used ?
I remember trying the very first, "Fast or slow" but not intensively. And moderatelly often the "Listening Trends". Which was pretty good.
The others I found of a very low interest (common, "Music Univers" is only a static image of the 2009 scrobblings, and only that year ?), or not interesting enough for a day-by-day use.

On the other hand, I used intensively the lab "Blasts from the past" -- this one I really, really, really want it back. The sooner, the better. This one I miss a lot.

So, I'm really curious: what did all of you favoured from that list ... maybe listing them here will make a ground for the devs to bring them back.
Photo of Frankenrin

Frankenrin

  • 145 Posts
  • 796 Reply Likes
I used to check my (and others) library quite often daily as well. I didn't participate in those group games but I enjoyed being active in one group or two.
In fact, I'm sure I've spent too much time hanging out on last.fm it during a normal work day, so hooray for my increased productivity I guess? I seldom hand any problems with the libraries loading, and if so, a simple refresh would fix it, so I can't share your experience. I get that you prefer the more stable thing.

Playground items I used the most were Listening Trends (see below) and restore artist tracks for library management. It's not much, but LT were the reason for me to subscribe.
(Edited)
Photo of Frankenrin

Frankenrin

  • 145 Posts
  • 796 Reply Likes
To stay on topic regarding the playground, remember these? Those were so awesome and the only reason I used to subscribe once a month at the end of the year. Any chance of something similar coming back?
Photo of Cornel Diaconu

Cornel Diaconu

  • 748 Posts
  • 318 Reply Likes
Err... I couldn't view this file, since I see you copied the wrong URL for it: I suspect you just took the URL of the file from URL bar of your browser, right ? :-)
Thus it only takes me to MY public folder at dropbox, which obviously does not contain that file.
You need to copy the URL this way:
right-click on the file, and from the menu you'll have, click on the first option ("Copy public link..." and from there you'll have the URL that need to be posted here.
Photo of Frankenrin

Frankenrin

  • 145 Posts
  • 796 Reply Likes
Whoops! Thanks Cornel, here's what I meant to link to: Listening Trends
Photo of Cornel Diaconu

Cornel Diaconu

  • 748 Posts
  • 318 Reply Likes
Ahh, thanks, @bon-bons ... that was a list with other pieces that could be very interesting to have again with us, now.
I am not a sociologist, not by far, but I remember now that I enjoyed using that piece, "Most Unwanted Scrobble" -- at least to see if some of the songs I dislike are also disliked by other (so much as to delete them from their libraries)  :-))
Yeah, this one I would definitely vote for a comeback !
I wonder why it was not (anymore)  in the official "playground"...

"Night out" --could also be useful, but maybe it's functionality would be replaced by the normal recommendation system, when it will finally be working as it should.

Maybe even "Listening clock", though not a very, very need-to-see one either.
Photo of Hans-Jürgen

Hans-Jürgen, Moderator

  • 2166 Posts
  • 1127 Reply Likes
Any chance of something similar coming back?
http://www.last.fm/user/Verderber/library/artists?from=2013-01-01&to=2013-12-31

This is what using the custom date range setting in your library has to offer, if you click on the bars at the right per month, you can see who your favorite artists were back then. But of course it differs from the overall graph that you are missing.
Photo of Frankenrin

Frankenrin

  • 145 Posts
  • 796 Reply Likes
It is useful, but it's not as pretty :)
Photo of XNet

XNet

  • 4 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Any chance of getting access to the Artist Connections tools from the former playground?