January 15th, 2006
I’m always somewhat late in discovering new cool music sites. This is probably a sign of aging . Anyway, I discovered Last.fm a few days ago and it left me speechless, it’s what I was waiting for for a long time. Although the main idea is similar to Pandora’s (find out the music that you might like based on what you already like), Last.fm wraps this into a cool social aspect. It is based on a little cool app, the “Audioscrobbler” which sends information about the songs you’re listening in your player to Last.fm. This enables them to provide excellent statistics, like “The most popular Offspring’s song is Self Esteem” or “People who listen to Molotov also listen to Control Machete or Cafe Tacuba”. Now, this is really useful info since it is based on real user stats and it is just plain cool and it also really works - I discovered a few new excellent bands and found some fantastic songs of artists I already know, all in just couple of hours.
A weak point is that Audioscrobbler can’t run on my Creative Zen Nano (apparently they don’t support Creative at all) which is where I listen 90% of my music, so my stats are based only on the stuff I listen on my PC, which is not very accurate.
Last.fm also follows Web 2 trends, providing groups, tags, APIs and RSS feeds for many things such as the lately played tunes, top played artists (check my sidebar), and so on. The API and RSS are still in the works, so they are not yet perfect (the top artists are refreshed once a week). Oh, and it can stream a personalized radio station specially for you, based on the songs you listen to.
In brief, this is one of the coolest and most useful sites I’ve seen in a long time.