...or can it?
July 26, 2004 11:03 PM   Subscribe

LastFM "is a personalised online radio station that plays the right music to the right people. Songs spread from listener to listener." Using data from the groovy Audioscrobbler, this is pretty damn cool. But, like #1 said, it can't possibly be legal...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken (22 comments total)
See also the AskMeFi thread about the same.
posted by riffola at 11:15 PM on July 26, 2004

It's not at all illegal to stream online, you just have to jump through the hoops (and there are many) and pay the dollars -- which can obviously be difficult for a free service. Here's jwz's take on it for the US, from a couple of years ago.

LastFM isn't in the US, so I'm sure the details are completely different.
posted by smackfu at 11:15 PM on July 26, 2004

Er, whoops. Double post.

I'm calling you out, wonderchicken!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:16 PM on July 26, 2004

See also the AskMeFi thread

(Crikey, I'm having a bad day.)

I'll confirm dg's note about the backdoor from the AskMe thread, though. I forgot my old Audioscrobbler login, but signing up with LastFM got me an account with the same login/pass for Audioscrobbler. Hoopla!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:23 PM on July 26, 2004

Since I hear no sounds, I'm assuming last.fm doesn't work (a) in Opera (b) over a 56k modem. Oh well. Still looks cool, and it's good to see Audioscrobbler's still going strong. It's been sitting in the background of my Winamp for months and I'd forgotten all about it.
posted by Jimbob at 12:56 AM on July 27, 2004

The first "song" it played for me was some Bill Cosby stand up. The next several songs were all classical recordings (public domain I'd imagine...) then came a U2 song I'd never heard (two U2 albums in my audioscrobbler history, but very little play counts) then a Lori Anderson tune. It sounds like a great idea, I just wish they had more music in there, or had a better way of knowing what I liked... 100,000 songs, but all of them are classical it seems. I'll give it another try in six months.
posted by pwb503 at 1:28 AM on July 27, 2004

I'm not quite sure what's happening with last.fm, but my experience so far has been this :

I logged in with my existing Audioscrobbler account, which has a fairly hefty amount of data behind it now, and it started playing me a sound effects record (the sounds of a beach). Every time I hit 'ban', I got a classical record (I do not listen to classical). So, I did an artist-based search, and found a similar user to me, and started up their profile radio, and got Marvin Gaye and Radiohead, which is much closer to my tastes. Then I hit my profile radio again, and now it's playing a lot of stuff that, while I don't recognise it, seems to fit pretty well into my listening habits/taste.

So I'm not quite sure why, but the initial launch of 'your' radio seems to pull out any old random weirdness, but once you explicitly click on 'profile radio', you start getting what you'd expect. I think.

Anyway, this is good.
posted by influx at 3:51 AM on July 27, 2004

Does the total songs played ever update? Mine's been at a standstill for days, possibly even weeks.
posted by iconomy at 4:10 AM on July 27, 2004

I wondered the same thing, iconomy - I signed up (as therealdg, because someone stole my user name) and installed the iTunes plugin and everything (twice, because I thought something must be wrong the first time), I listened to the radio thingy for about 7 hours and iTunes has been playing constantly ever since, but not one single song shows. Then I notice that I have to listen to 300 songs to try out the profile radio and 100 songs to have any "neighbours" allocated to me. I could go off this real quick.
posted by dg at 5:16 AM on July 27, 2004

Woo yeah! Feedback loop!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:52 AM on July 27, 2004

It looks like they queue the updates. The stats show that they have a heinous backlog of submissions to process: "120146 submissions in the queue." And I don't even think that's accurate, because the chart says that they have 200,000 submissions per hour and are processing about only 30,000.
posted by smackfu at 6:18 AM on July 27, 2004

Audioscrobbler looks really cool, not so much last.fm though. I wish new memberships were open, that is totally something you could expect people to pay for, maybe they should if they're having problems. I would pay.
posted by rhyax at 6:21 AM on July 27, 2004

rhyax- I signed up for last.fm, and it migrated my info back over to Audioscrobber. Go nuts!
posted by mkultra at 6:53 AM on July 27, 2004

last.fm does pay online radio fees (based on the little fundraising thermometer)
posted by lbergstr at 10:21 AM on July 27, 2004

This could be good. I remember vaguely hearing about this, but never trying it out. Thanks Stavros.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:22 AM on July 27, 2004

this is good. Does audioscrobbler count the last.fm songs, though? This could create a feedback loop that would seriously skew the results.
posted by sauril at 11:44 AM on July 27, 2004

ok I'm sorry. posted without reading earlier posts. bad sauril
posted by sauril at 11:46 AM on July 27, 2004

They noticed us noticing them. RJ writes

here is a short statement clarifiying a few of the points that were raised:

Audioscrobbler.com and Last.fm are run by the same team, on the same hardware. Musical profiles work across both systems, so you can login to Last.fm with your 'scrobbler profile to listen to your radio station. Last.fm is 100% legal, paying a license fee to the MCPS/PRS in the UK, who distribute the license fee to the appropriate labels/artists.We're aiming to provide a useful service to indy labels and artists (and the music industry in general) at the same time as building up our user-facing free services to help music reach the right people.Last.fm style intelligent radio will be coming to Audioscrobbler.com soon. We've recently finished an upgrade to the Last.fm auto-DJ to make use of data from 'scrobbler profiles. (Last.fm is 128kbps broadband only)
Also, dg and iconomy, the "queue-muncher", as they call it, was busted for the last few days. It's back up, and new submissions are added to your profile.
posted by gleuschk at 12:03 PM on July 27, 2004

Yeah, the list seems to have updated, although songs played from iTunes don't seem to be getting added to the list.

I like a web site with a sense of humour. From iconomy's Audioscrobbler profile:
iconomy has no friends. Ha ha.
(Yeah, I know, small things ...)
posted by dg at 4:26 PM on July 27, 2004

Could anyone with experience on both Last.fm and Yahoo! Launch compare the two? I'm pretty happy with Launch, although it doesn't go very far down certain alleys, such as older mid-label artists (e.g. J.J. Cale, Animal Logic). I've found it works best when you choose a certain artist's "radio station" and get soundalike fare. There are other features, such as moods and influencers, that I haven't been able to explore fully.
posted by dhartung at 11:13 PM on July 27, 2004

Wow. I too had sort of heard of Last.FM on Audioscrobbler, but didn't actually try it out until I saw this thread. How cool!
posted by dalryaug at 3:12 AM on July 28, 2004

I don't care if it's a double post. This is so cool!
posted by spacewaitress at 8:48 PM on August 1, 2004

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