Spinitron's home page, the map and the recent spins

Spinitron’s home page at https://spinitron.com/ looks something like this.

Top to bottom we have

  1. Navigation bar
  2. Map
  3. Station picker
  4. Recent spins

The recent spins feature has been around for years in one form or another. (Wayback Machine, e.g. this golden oldie.) It’s fun to have a contender for the world’s most incoherently eclectic playlist but it can also be interesting to peruse and follow links down a path maybe even to discovery, as they say in the music business.

A few years ago, in the run up to a conference where we planned to show off Spinitron, we updated the recent spins to be animated, adding spins as they play on the various stations. The animation adds interest, and we use cover art to give it some color and make it less like a spreadsheet. The map adds more graphics and animation and even some interaction with zoom, pan and touch a dot to see the spin.

It’s a gimmick. It’s something we can pull up on a phone or tablet and thrust in front of a conference attendee saying something boastful like “Look at 'em all!”

The database query that we run periodically that selects the spins that appear there includes various criteria, some of which I cant remember, but they include

  • Is the station public in Spinitron and listed in the station picker? Some stations prefer not to.
  • Is the spin’s timestamp close to the current time? Since you can log a spin late with predated timestamp, we limit how late it can be and still count as recent.
  • Does the spin have cover art?

Spins logged by recognition usually have cover art. Spins logged manually by the DJ will have cover art if either auto-complete or the “Did you mean?” search can find it—either way it’s obvious to the DJ whether Spinitron found cover art or not. Spins logged by an automation system usually do not come with cover art. You can add cover art after logging a spin by editing it (pencil icon) and redoing auto-complete, or by using the search feature (spy glass icon), which interactively runs the same search as “Did you mean?”