Last.fm

Actually, badly designed websites* were not the only thing encouraging me to get broadband. A few weeks ago I ran across last.fm. It looked as thought it might be the kind of music service I had wanted – streaming (don’t have to buy CDs all the time), no commercials, and capable of making suggestions. I started recording CD playing history immediately, hoping to get some recommendations. So I was seriously considering broadband for the first time – it had always been too expensive for my limited use, and some kinds still are. It was only then that the slow web sites pushed me over the edge ;^)

So, I’ve finally played though all of my CD’s and have started using the radio for regular background music. The last few years I went through a long time of not listening to music very much. I suppose mixed results is what I should have expected. A lot of it is no doubt due to a limited selection – for instance, the global tag radio for anything with ‘harp’ has either one or no playable songs. I’ve had slightly more success with the celtic tag, (despite some decidedly mis-tagged tracks) which is a little better represented in popular music. I suppose it’s called popular for a reason, but it leaves us niche listeners out. I suppose I have my CD’s when I need them.

There have been a few discoveries. I heard one good piece from Hans Zimmer, so may keep an eye on him. I’m definitely going to check out the Mediaeval Baebes. (Boy, that sounds bad. Good music, but I might have liked a different name.) There were a few other interesting things, but I’m mainly treating them as outliers so far.

Meanwhile, I’m learning to lower my standards for using ‘love’ and ‘ban’. I might like a more finely graded scale, but I think that last.fm’s rating is based on quantity, (of plays) not quality.

I may also look into Pandora, which appears much better for exploring related music – but one thing at time. I’m also not too keen on the fact that they want a credit card up front, even though there is a free version.

Anyway, I’m on last.fm. Is anybody else?

*(and yes, I’ve found several kinks in my recent site update that escaped me earlier while I was worrying about the flyout menus. The kinks will be fixed… um… eventually)

One Comment

  1. mandydax says:

    I’m not there. I have Yahoo!’s music service. The Launchcast radio is free, with commercials and limited skipping, and it doesn’t really let you pick too much what you want. Since I was listening at work about 40 hours a week, I shelled out the $3/mo for the plus service which lets you set genre-bases moods, lose the commercials, and skip as much as you want. Free or paid, rating songs, artists, albums, and genres lets it pick better suggestions better. (Oh, and if you think Mediaeval Baebes is a bad name, they were Miranda Sex Garden before. Their last [I think] album under the old name was Madra and it’s a capella is the same vein as the MB stuff.) I now have a portable device that works with the subscription service, so the ratings I have there help that tell me about music I might like. is on Pandora, or she posted about it once.