We got a 6 month trial of Sirius with our Ford Escape and then extended it for another six months once we finally got a good offer from Sirius. Listening to music without commercials is addicting and they have a lot of good stations to choose from. The one thing they are missing is a feature on their website that lets me tell them the artists I like and then gives me the stations that play those artists the most. But hey, it’s just data right? I should be able to figure this out. I do, after all, work on the team that is producing the premiere (I hope) data experience for Excel: Microsoft Power Query (part of the Office Power BI suite).
The first step was finding a playlist history for all the Sirius stations. A quick Bing search revealed http://www.dogstarradio.com/search_playlist.php. It has a bunch of search parameters and best of all, they are dumped right into the URL so you can easily build your own searches just by modifying the URL.
Next I built a function inside of Power Query that takes an artist name and returns one page of results. I wrote a function on top of that which calls the first function multiple times to collect each page of data. (Unfortunately there’s no way on the website to view the entire result list at once.) The last step was feeding in a list of artists I’m interested in. I grouped the data by radio station and the count of the songs that were played. Voila. I should be listening to channel 31 “The Coffee House” which features singer-songwriters, or as I call it “guy with guitar.”
I wish Sirius offered this feature directly on their website, but it’s really cool that I was able to answer it myself with Power Query in a few minutes between meetings at work.