Saturday, March 28, 2009

freedom of information: 1

I don't know for sure, but looking at Josh Hosler's Flashback Charts of the #1 billboard songs on any day in history, it sure looks like Billboard gave him permission to post this data only if it was presented in a totally useless organizational structure. Well, a little bit of patience and a lot of textpad macros later, I now have an excel file of a chronological list of 43,605 days and #1 songs from 1891 until the present. Victory!

So, email me if you want the data. Or if you know where to find data for more than the #1 song for a similar timeframe. Or if you know any database at all that would be useful for studying music consumption behaviors through history.

On a not so related topic, this journey has made me loathe excel's date handling (ie, not recognizing dates before January 1, 1900). Since my data starts in 1891, this royally screwed things up. I thought to myself, well that's ok I'll just add 1000 to all the years. Wrong again. Every other millennium, there is not a leap year at the turn of the century, which in my code caused a lot of dates to be miscalculated as in March. Two hours later I finally straightened it out but am still irate that such a simple missing feature is the cause of so much wasted time.