last.fm to Spotify migration

When last.fm announced on 2012-12-13 that they were pulling out of Switzerland in mid-January, I requested a refund (unsuccessfully so far) and started looking around for an alternative immediately. Spotify seems to fit the bill nicely, and barring any glaring privacy or stability issues it’s probably worth a threefold price increase.

But how to migrate? last.fm has got XSPF and tab-separated values export functionality at /user/<username>/library/loved; great! Except that didn’t work the first half a dozen times I tried, and Ivy, the most promising import service, only supports some iTunes format and comma-separated values, so I ended up making a tool to convert lfmCOL.pl XML to CSV. Of course, after finishing that I tried last.fm again, and now the XSPF export worked, so I created another project to convert XSPF to CSV. Nice hacking exercise to ensure that it produces parseable CSV even with quotes and high-Unicode characters in the input.

Ivy kept telling me I didn’t select a track column in the second step, but would gladly accept the pasted result from xclip -in favorites.csv without even asking about columns. Out of 1222 last.fm tracks it found 734 (60%) on Spotify, which is not too terrible considering the impressive collection of obscure tracks on the former.

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