Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Last.fm beta. Again.
May 21, 2008 8:30 AM   Subscribe

Last.fm is inviting subscribers to test the new Last.fm beta. Features include a fully visible library down to individual tracks and charts updated in real time. People seem to dislike the new visual design. There's more discussion at the Last.fm beta group.
posted by nthdegx (39 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, no kidding. The beta layout makes me want to throw up. they chucked a rainbow into a blender and turned the saturation down, and used that as their guide. Ugh, ugh, ugh.
posted by mkb at 8:52 AM on May 21, 2008


Hey that's great guys, really terrific....

NOW WILL YOU PLEASE COME UP WITH A FIX FOR IPOD SCROBBLING SO IT WORKS CONSISTENTLY FOR MORE THAN A COUPLE OF DAYS AT A TIME?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:03 AM on May 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


First thing I noticed was that music player looks very MySpace inspired. eek!
posted by theiconoclast31 at 9:04 AM on May 21, 2008


Anybody expecting design from last.fm hasn't been paying attention. I use the site regularly despite the design not because of it. They are maybe the worst designed of my favourite sites.

NOW WILL YOU PLEASE COME UP WITH A FIX FOR IPOD SCROBBLING SO IT WORKS CONSISTENTLY FOR MORE THAN A COUPLE OF DAYS AT A TIME?

Buy me an iPod and I'll do it. They have an API. I'll even code it in all caps if you like (except the api calls of course).
posted by srboisvert at 9:07 AM on May 21, 2008


If someone could post a screenshot it would be nice for those of us who aren't last.fm members.
posted by loiseau at 9:18 AM on May 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ever since the last update to the client iTunes crashes anytime I scrobble a song, So I had to uninstall Last.FM.
It's probably my fault (some bad uninstalling of older and conflicting plugins), and an easy fix, but until I take the time to fix the problem no scrobble for me.

What was bad with the old layout? I'll probably get used to the new one, but I don't understand the change.
posted by darkripper at 9:20 AM on May 21, 2008


loiseau: give me two minutes ^^
posted by darkripper at 9:21 AM on May 21, 2008


Is there a reason to check out Last.fm if I'm a content Pandora user?
posted by Perplexity at 9:23 AM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I see the "dislike" link has a user profile, but I'm failing to see how it could be offensive... boring maybe.
posted by loiseau at 9:24 AM on May 21, 2008


My iScrobbling has been futzed for a few weeks now. It's a little disconcerting how much that bothers me. It feels like the songs I'm listening to "don't count" or something. Clearly, I am a weirdo.
posted by joelhunt at 9:28 AM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Buy me an iPod and I'll do it. They have an API. I'll even code it in all caps if you like (except the api calls of course).

There are already alternate iPod Scrobblers for Mac and Windows. The Mac one even plays Last.FM radio.
posted by mkb at 9:30 AM on May 21, 2008


The beta userpage (original resolution: 1085 x 2880). Also, yeah, my favourite band suck.
posted by darkripper at 9:33 AM on May 21, 2008


The current design is nothing great but the beta is just terrible. Are we going back in time?
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 9:36 AM on May 21, 2008


Seconding the question in re: Pandora.

I was actually on RadioParadise at first, but then a Flash upgrade broke sharing the sound device between the browser and my mp3 app. Long story short, I came to Pandora because it has a Flash client and stayed for the music matching. Hard to tell how well that's working, though, and besides I'm a poor candidate for a matching algorithm since I'll love wildly different songs and hate their nearly identical siblings.
posted by DU at 9:39 AM on May 21, 2008


Wasn't there a way to scrobble pandora tracks in Last.FM? Never tried because I can't access Pandora anymore, being italian.
posted by darkripper at 9:43 AM on May 21, 2008


My iScrobbling has been futzed for a few weeks now. It's a little disconcerting how much that bothers me. It feels like the songs I'm listening to "don't count" or something. Clearly, I am a weirdo.

I've been feeling exactly the same way, so you've got some weirdo company at least.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:52 AM on May 21, 2008


There was a big commotion the last Last.fm significantly redesigned their look. It didn't take long to get used to it and realize it was more functional than the previous one.

So I'm going to assume this new one will also probably turn out the same way. Though this will be the first significant beta that I'm not able to use since I let my subscription run out a while ago and just haven't gotten around to resubscribing.
posted by evilangela at 10:19 AM on May 21, 2008


Oh, and to you "I use Pandora, why use Last.fm" folks - they're significantly different.

Besides having streaming radio, Last.fm allows you to track your listening when playing your own music on your PC. It uses this information to build your profile, allowing the site to recommend new artists to you based on your listening habits. It also uses the data to generate the "similar artists" list on the site - they're not determined by preset genres or some small group of people, but what people actually listen to.

It'll also generate a personal radio station based on your listening history - listen to your music on your PC at home, then go to a friend's house and play your personal radio there. Or for that matter, a friend or neighbor can listen to your personal radio.

You also get matched up with "neighbors", people whose musical interests most closely match yours. View their profiles to get ideas for other artists to check out, or just click "neighborhood radio" and listen to streaming radio based on the listening habits of those closest to you.

Finally, any artist can upload their own music to the site, and it'll be made available for streaming. There's no "gatekeeper" like with Pandora - a small indie artist can get their stuff up there entirely on their own. And a lot have.

Pandora does what it does quite well, but it only does a small portion of what Last.fm does.
posted by evilangela at 10:30 AM on May 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thanks, I'll try Last.fm out. (And I don't think the UI is so awful either. I mean, I don't love it but it isn't the "worst image on the Internet".)
posted by DU at 10:37 AM on May 21, 2008


The biggest reason I stopped using Pandora was their contract only allowed a certain amount of skip-this-dumb-song clicks. As a fickle and shallow listener, I'd fast forward through a whole mess of songs then get a warning about how sorry they were that contract obligations prohibit them from skipping this song and you're gonna hear it and enjoy it, by gum. There is no limit on last.fm neighbor radio.

Left 'em after that. Don't know if they still do that but it's KCRW, OPB, Radio Paradise and last.fm for all my streaming needs now.
posted by Tacodog at 10:40 AM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm shallow and intolerant as well, so being able to skip unlimited numbers is a big deal to me. (Seriously--I've had to ration my skips on Pandora.)

Also, I'm both fickle and complex. I'm glad I can change my scores for songs (on Pandora at least, but I assume on Last.fm) but I'd also like to:

1) say that I like a song without ever being required to hear it. Like, I want to put the Beatles in as seeds for other music, but I'm sick of Paperback Writer. (On Pandora you can request a moratorium on a song fo a month, which is close.)

2) express approval of a song in something other than binary values. Do I really want Bach and Weird Al ranked equally in making further choices of listening matter?
posted by DU at 10:52 AM on May 21, 2008


Boys, boys! We don't need to fight--you can use Pandora and Last.fm at the same time!
posted by youarenothere at 10:56 AM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Is there a reason to check out Last.fm if I'm a content Pandora user?"

Pandora doesn't handle some of the more obscure artists out there. For example, they think that the Norwegian Black Metal band Borknagar is a Windham Hill artist, because they released one acoustic album.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:59 AM on May 21, 2008


express approval of a song in something other than binary values.

This is something I've wanted in Pandora for a long time. And your other point as well, actually. I wish I were somehow preternaturally familiar with their algorithm so that I could ration my skips and thumbs-downs with less anxiety about how it truly affects a given station. *sigh*
posted by youarenothere at 11:00 AM on May 21, 2008


Sorry if this is somewhat of a tangent, but I last used last.fm about a year ago. Could someone explain to me how its legal? Seems like free music for free. TIA.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 11:03 AM on May 21, 2008


Oh, wait. I apologize. Looks like it's not free anymore. Nevermind.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 11:05 AM on May 21, 2008


I enjoyed last.fm and scrobbling for quite a while, and then some upgrade to foobar broke the scrobbling plugin. I haven't been able to summon the energy to fix it, and I now find that I listen to whatever I want to instead of thinking "I cannot listen to Tears For Fears as it will reflect poorly in my last.fm profile".

Happily, the last song I ever scrobbled was the "Benny Hill" theme, which my sister had just sent to me for some reason. And yes, sometimes I like to hear Pharaohs: I am not proud.
posted by everichon at 11:16 AM on May 21, 2008


everichon: I know some people that delete songs from their scrobble database.

yeah, that's unbelievable
posted by darkripper at 11:38 AM on May 21, 2008


What?

I refuse to believe this is at all accurate.

Unless there are only 7 subscribers to last.fm, there is no way Radiohead and Death Cab for Cutie account for all of the top 13 songs in the last week.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:56 AM on May 21, 2008


Another cool thing: you can link your metafilter user account to your audioscrobbler/last.fm account. Click on my user name below to see how indier than thou I am (spoiler: I am not.)

There's even a Metafilter Scrobblers group you may want to join. Link up to it, pollute it with your crazy listening habits, and grief someone's neighbor radio experience.
posted by Tacodog at 11:58 AM on May 21, 2008


But can you export your listening information yet?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:18 PM on May 21, 2008


Spotted the best new feature:
There is a page that list all the free mp3s recommended to you. You can subscribe to the feed or download the tracks directly trough a podcast manager.
posted by darkripper at 1:19 PM on May 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have a Nano 3G. It only scrobbles tracks one time per ... scrobble. I believe that's part of the way it's built. Are you guys having problems with the big iPods? Because if not and there's a goddamn fix for this, I'd love to know.
posted by griphus at 1:35 PM on May 21, 2008


But can you export your listening information yet?

I created this listening habits graph for myself with exported Last.fm listening information
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:56 PM on May 21, 2008


BrooklynCouch: Last.FM is owned by CBS, and they have licensing deals with anyone whose music you can listen to on their site. It is free, but you can subscribe and skip all the ads.
posted by mkb at 3:24 PM on May 21, 2008


The most useful thing I've found about Last.fm is that you can easily get your information out of it via RSS, so you can export that information to something like SonicLiving, which can email you if a band you listen to is about to play a show nearby.
posted by whir at 4:15 PM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Sorry if this is somewhat of a tangent, but I last used last.fm about a year ago. Could someone explain to me how its legal? Seems like free music for free. TIA."

Sure. You stream audio, and can't select what you listen to on demand. It meets all the criteria of radio, but offers customisation in a variety of ways. To me the question is not how is it legal, but rather, how is it illegal?
posted by nthdegx at 4:30 PM on May 21, 2008


"Sorry if this is somewhat of a tangent, but I last used last.fm about a year ago. Could someone explain to me how its legal? Seems like free music for free. TIA."

It passed almost the sole real test for this - they managed to persuade the labels to sign a licensing agreement with them.
posted by jaduncan at 10:08 PM on May 21, 2008



>"Sorry if this is somewhat of a tangent, but I last used last.fm about a year ago. Could >someone explain to me how its legal? Seems like free music for free. TIA."

>Sure. You stream audio, and can't select what you listen to on demand.

I am able to listen to a good proportion of their music library on demand. [I am in the UK and happen to be a subscriber although I do not think I need to be to do this]. Until a few months ago attempts at listening to a track on demand would get you a 30 second clip only. Since earlier this year most on demand listening allows full tracks to be played. A track can be played in this manner up to 3 times before the system suggests you might like to go and actually purchase it.
posted by rongorongo at 4:18 AM on May 22, 2008


« Older Tom Waits interviews Tom Waits....  |  The Most Curious Thing... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments