Last.fm? More Like Longevity.fm! Arf…
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had several artists ask me about “this Last FM malarkey” and what it’s actually all about so here is definitive breakdown of everything* you need to know.
*it’ll probably be a helluva lot briefer than that but you should get the overall jist.
The first thing that is worth pointing out is that Last.fm is not just another social networking site as it offers much more than that. It genuinely has the potential to be the death of radio in years to come when the general public become more technically savvy then they currently are (and I’ll come onto why later).
Last.fm is a social networking site that is purely based around your music tastes. Every time you listen to music on your computer the Last.fm software makes a note of it (or a ‘scrobble’ as they call it) and registers it with your profile. Over the course of a couple of weeks it begins to profile your musical tastes and starts to recommend you to other music it believes you will like.
Check out Sentric Music’s last.fm profile page: www.last.fm/user/sentric
(Note; this account is on my personal computer so it reflects my tastes rather than Sentric Music’s!)
As you can see, this week I’ve been loving the Raconteurs new album and also have been going retro with some early Weezer albums. From using clever algorithms and the like Last.fm has now told me that in ‘theory’ I should like artists such as AC/DC (which I do), Jimi Hendrix (who doesn’t?) and The Horrors (2 out of 3 ain’t bad eh?).
It will also introduce me to other Last.fm users who have similar musical tastes to mine just in case I come down with a sudden case of agoraphobia and need some new digital friends who won’t judge me by my general wonky appearance.
Faux friends and such aside; the reason Last.fm could be the potential wireless killer I mentioned previously is due to its on demand streaming service.
Regular readers may have noticed that I’m quite fond of music. I do find it pretty nifty to say the least and one of the main reasons why I like it so is due to the fact that whatever mood I’m in there is a piece of music out there that will match it to either a) heighten and accentuate said feeling or b) subjugate and oppress it.
Using ‘tags’ you can start playing your own customised radio station to match whatever music you’re in the mood for. For example the other day I was in a rather vivacious mood so I entered the tag word of ‘happy’ and all sorts of audible delights came streaming my way; Wham!, Girls Aloud, Abba, Prince, one after another they relentlessly came, harmonising their way into my subconscious until I drifted off into a sugar-like coma.
This also works for genres; rock, indie, pop, Japanese doom jazz etc they’ve all got their own streaming stations on last.fm.
So with this in mind; could this spell the end for radio? Surely the only thing we’d need it for is spoken word (news, panel shows, quizzes etc) or for the DJ’s individual personalities? Why put up with regional radio’s advert breaks or Radio 1’s repetitive A-list when you can skip any song you don’t like with a simple click of the mouse?
I’ve got quite the love affair with radio as it plays a decent role in my life (current favourites are; Adam and Joe, Russell Brand, Russell Howard and Radio 4’s ‘Banter’) so I can always see a place for it for me, but with sites such as this I wouldn’t be surprised if I only ever listened to podcasts of my favourite DJ’s in the near future and completely dismissed live radio altogether.
So what does this mean for us all?
To all the artists out there reading this; get your arse to Last.fm quick-sharp and update all your info on there so when someone plays you’re track it’ll get noted and potentially recommended to likeminded folks.
To all you other readers out there; go and have a gander and sign up. Make sure to have a browse around the ‘Listen’ area of the website and don’t forget to add Sentric as a friend so you can audibly tut when you see that I’ve just listened to ‘Right Here Waiting For You’ by Richard Marx for the third time in one hour.
Another important bit of info was announced the other week; apparently more people go to Wikipedia to discover information about artists rather than going to their Myspace profile so make sure you’re all up to date there.
What I’m reading this week; Only the spanking new Sentric Music Website!!!