Last.fm is a revolutionary music website that records what you listen to and organizes it into most played artists, tracks and albums plus tons of other features.
How it works is simple. You download an application called the Audioscrobbler. This “scrobbles” plays as you listen to music. Basically, it tracks your iTunes or Windows Media Player or whatever other program you use to listen to music, and every time you play a song it is scrobbled. The program sends the song to Last.fm where it can begin organizing your music and developing your tastes. In order to scrobble on the go, you can download a plug in sepecifically for tracking songs played on your iPod. If you rather have a whole program, you can download the Last.fm client which will do these things automatically. If you prefer something that works as well and doesn’t take as much space on your computer, you can just download the plug-ins.
Everyone who uses Last.fm finds it a little weird at first. You feel very conscious of what you listen to and you might find yourself skipping songs that are embarrassing lame and playing certain songs that are cooler. After a while, you just forget that it’s there. How the site works is like this. At the end of each week, you get customized charts which list your top artists and songs by number of plays. After you’ve been on the site for a while, you can really start to see your favorite artists.
The cool thing about the site is not just that it tracks your musical tastes, but that it then uses these to bring you other great features. One of the best things about Last.fm is the customized recommended music calendar. You can search based on location, which of the artists you listen to are going to be touring in your area. This is a good way to find out about shows and also keep track of shows you want to go to or have been to. You can often find concert reviews from other users to help you determine if the price of admission is worth it.
Last.fm also recommends music based on what you listen to. On your home page you can see artists you would like and often times you can hear full songs on the site. This is a great way to be introduced to new music. You can also visit artist pages and see what artists are similar. If you really like a certain style of music, this is a good way to find artists that play it. Additionally, Last.fm shows you your “Neighbors.” Neighbors are those users who have similar tastes in music to you. Browsing neighbor pages can help you find artists you might like as well.
If your friends are also on Last.fm you can have even more fun. You can see what your friends listen to and even listen to their radio. Every user on Last.fm has their own “radio station.” It is compiled from their favorite songs and artists. You can share music and listen to other people’s play lists to expand your music collection.
You can also blog on the site. Most people who post journal entries keep them music specific, but it’s your page, you can write about whatever floats your boat. And since you can tag music to organize it into genres or moods, you can also tag your journal entries. If you are writing about a concert you attended, you can tag the opening acts and headliners so others can find it, too.
Last.fm is a great application for music lovers. If you take full advantage of all its features, you are sure to love it.