The Random Thoughts of a Forty-Something. Films, Restaurants, Theatre, Concerts, World Events and (Mostly) Nice People.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
A few weeks ago, I tried to explain to somebody exactly what Last.FM is. Rather like peanut butter, it's actually quite a tough sell. You really need to try before you buy. Or in this case don't buy at all, as most of it's spanking-well free!
Basically, if you love music, you'll love Last.FM. If you're a chart nerd, a CD collector, an I-Pod owner or want to hear something other than the top 40 crap on the radio, you NEED Last.FM.
To begin on the site, simply download the software (takes just a few minutes), and tell it which genre of music you'd like to hear. This can be anything from death metal to Irish country. Immediately, the site will start playing tracks from your genre, complete with a biography and photo of each artist. With each track, you have the option to save to your 'loved tracks', 'tagged tracks' or simply skip to the next one. You can also name an artist instead of genre and you'll be played dozens of other similar artists, with the same options as above for each track. And the really clever part is that the more you play, the more accurate the site becomes at working out what you'd like to hear.
A small tweak enables you to channel all the tracks you listen to via your PC, CDs or I-Pod through Last.FM, further enhancing the site's understanding of your personal tastes.
I've already discovered a dozen great artists through the site, including Nightwish, Syntax, Covenant, Unheilig and Rotersand.
For the modest sum of £1.50 a month, you get to play your 'loved tracks' in rotation (basically your own personal jukebox), add comments on each track, join forums and have all your tracks filed into charts, showing the number of plays for each artist and song.
It's music heaven, and for the price of a couple of CDs a year, it's phenomenal value. Trust me, you'll love it.
Now why didn't I say all this to that bloke a few weeks ago....