Last.fm

The graphic and the charts have been on this site awhile so I might was well post something about them. This post is dual purpose, it serves to explain all this Last.fm crap on my site as well as to add another post to the Social Networking category. So, what is Last.fm you are asking? Well, it is a social network that revolves around music.

Once you are a member of Last.fm, you scrobble what you listen to. Scrobbling is basically sending a list of tracks that you have played to Last.fm so that they can track it. This is cool for a number of reasons. My number one reason is because Last.fm learns what kind of stuff you listen to and in doing so, it can recommend new things. In doing so it puts you in neighborhoods with other listeners that have similar tastes. Pretty cool. Of course, the voyeur in me likes to check out what other people’s listening habits are, so my intentions are not entirely pure.

Another nifty thing you can do is tag your tunes. You can tag artists or individual songs with tags that might make sense to you. For example, I have tagged songs that help me focus at work as “focus”, “work”, “coding”, “sysadmin”…well, you get the point. I could tag by genre however, I feel that defeats my personal purpose to the tags. I can look up other peoples tags as well and see what other people might have tagged as “work” or “emo” for example. I have been introduced to some new music in this non-specific way. I have also been introduced to new music by my “friends” which are people I have added to my Last.fm “friends” list. You can receive and send song recommendations on the fly (while you are listening to the actual song) as well as tag songs on the fly. You can also instantly spy on your friends music charts from your dashboard.

In case this still doesn’t have you jumping to sign up, check this cool feature out: radio. Yeah, I know, streaming music is not new, but how Last.fm does it is pretty darn spiffy. I have a personal radio station based on my song history. Why is this cool? Well, not only can other people listen to it, but I can stream my own music on a PC where my tunes may not be available. See? That’s cool! This stuff is coming from Last.fm, I am NOT streaming this from a personal server. I can also checkout my friends’ and neighbors’ radio and radio based on tags (remember, we talked about those earlier).

Need more convincing? RSS feeds. Yes, each and every user has RSS feeds of not only their recently played tunes, but their weekly track lists, artist lists, and over all lists. And for those incredibly social butterflies, you can join a group of whatever interest you please. Everything from Unix to Harry Potter fans to Evanescence fan groups. Sweet!

So, go check out Last.fm. Check out my nifty subscriber icon (which means it is OBVIOUSLY neat if I actually dug into my pockets and paid for something for a change), signup, and add me as a friend. My personal page is: http://www.last.fm/user/linuxchic/

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