The Last.fm Good Radio Station

As is my bad habit with many social networking sites, I signed up for a Last.fm account some time ago and never really used the service.  I tend to just plug in my iPod or pop in an audiobook if I’m sitting at a computer for a while, so I thought the whole internet radio thing wasn’t for me.  I was wrong.

Before going any further, let me say that I realize I’m behind the times.  Like 90% of the posts I write, I’m bringing old news, reviews and haikus.  I have actually yet to bring a single haiku to the blog – but that will change.  Anyway, I know there are people who have yet to discover some of the cooler things the internet has to offer.  And that is why I write.

For those that don’t know, Last.fm is a website that allows you to listen to customized internet radio stations.  Simply pick a band, song or genre tag and you’re good to go.  From there, you can fast forward, love or ban tracks from your station.  Every artist you play is automatically added to your library, and Last.fm tracks how many times you have played each artist and song, as well as how many playlists and “loved” songs you have.

profile

If it sounds a lot like Pandora up to now, this is where it really takes off.  First, Last.fm is much more user-friendly and user-fueled than Pandora is.  Users are much more interactive, thanks to things like tagging artists and songs, voting on band photos and analyzing friends listening compatibility.  Sure, knowing who listens to the same music as you isn’t a huge deal.  But it is cool.  Take Lucy, a local friend who is a Last.fm junkie.  Upon adding her as a friend, I saw this:

lovesongssuck

Incredibly useful?  Maybe not.  But still neat.

If you’re not sold just yet, I’ve saved the best for last.  Thanks to my friend (and past guest blogger) Jimmy,  I’m now scrobbling.  With a few clicks and a little piece of software, you can start scrobbling too.

Scrobbling is what makes Last.fm so great.  Basically, it crawls through your iTunes library (or Windows Media Player library) and your iPod to gather information on your listening habits.  Check out a list of supported devices here.  Once completed, it adds this information to your online Last.fm account.  It’s a great way for new users to quickly build a large library.  If you use the Audioscrobbling software, you can synchronize your listening with your account automatically, so as you listen your songs are displayed in your online account and immediately added to your library.

To sum up, you should try it.  It’s real swell.  Check out a few more screenshots below or get up some courage and dive right in.

library audioscrobbling

Enjoy the post? Encourage me by subscribing to the feed, following me on Twitter, and becoming a fan on Facebook. Cheers!