Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spilling Away From Home


Lorry full of interesting cheesesThere's been a few mentions of last.fm on the blog in the last couple of days. For those of you who don't know, it's a sort of social networking site for music lovers with a genuinely worldwide )and very diverse) membership. It works by 'scrobbling' the music you play on your PC and then recommending other similar music that you might like. It also links you with potential 'friends' - i.e. people who have been playing the same artists as you. I've been signed up to last.fm for about 16 months now and although I can't say that I've made too many rewarding contacts, I have been introduced to such wonderful acts as Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab For Cutie and The Decembrists - to name but a few.

ejaydee, mnemonic and snadfrod are already members - mnemonic posts as mnemosene and for the same reason (i.e. our 'real' names had already been taken) I post as TalkingScarlet (fp will get the reference!). I've just set up a group on last.fm dedicated to the 'Spill - I've called it 'Readers Recommend - The Overspill' - and I even had the cheek to use the 'old ipod; picture as the group's avatar. blimpy, if you'd like me to change the name and/or remove the picture, I'll gladly do so - I realise that I should have checked before using your idea/work.

So, if any other regular 'Spillers want to join in the fun, you'll be more than welcome - you can find out exactly what we're all listening to and share recommendations in a very easy, straight-forward way.

Join the fun now!

I have a motto for the group:

"And friends, they may think it's a movement ... and that's what it is."

A prize for the first person to recognise the quote - without googling it, please! 'Spillers' honour...

26 comments:

ejaydee said...

"She had a very long neCK"
"I was very, very, very, very, drunk"

goneforeign said...

Well it's Alice's restaurant, Arlo's song that I used to play every Thanksgiving.

CaroleBristol said...

I am on there as CaroleBristol, unsurprisingly.

Feel free to add me.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ goneforeign - congratulations you win the prize - free lifetime membership to last.fm!!!!

@ carolebristol - I'll get right on to it.

goneforeign said...

But I've had no success with last.fm, I couldn't find you nor RR the overspill, plus I don't think they play my kind of music by the look of it so perhaps someone else will accept the prize.
ps. Who's the handsome bloke in the pic?

ejaydee said...

I know what you mean GF, here's a few pointers. If you're searching for people or groups, click on the Users tab first. They play anything, based on what you listen to. What you may have seen is their top charts which will invariably feature Radiohead, Muse or The Beatles, but that has nothing to do with the music they would suggest to you. One day when I was bored I looked around for people who listen to Barbra Streisand and Enya the most. There's something for everyone.

ejaydee said...

Oh, and the handsome bloke is one of my favourite character from the Fast Show, which was on TV around 1995-96

Proudfoot said...

I am proudfoot2. Crushingly original. Worse than 'The English Beat'! Can't find the group, only individual users.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ proudfoot - I've tried sending you a 'recommendation' via last.fm - hopefully it should get to you.

Proudfoot said...

Cheers TalkingScarlet. My exposure to Ben Folds was previously limited to that 'Fence' movie which my kids loved and a KILLER song from nearly 10 years back called 'Narcolepsy'

steenbeck said...

I just joined last FM. But I have to admit I find it sort of a strange idea. Can anyone hear the whole track that you're listening to? Why is is sometimes 30 seconds and sometimes the full track? I do like the word "scrobble" though.

ejaydee said...

HEre's the thing we forgot to mention: you can't search for that particular song you want to listen to and hear it in full, but say you're interested in Salif Keita for example, type it in and they'll start a radio station relating to your search. If I do this, it starts with Yamore by Keita, followed by Horonia by Boubacar Traoré, etc.

DarceysDad said...

I'm in, usual alias! Can't get the hang of the navigation yet though ...

... and as per usual, acted first, read properly second. Note to self - delete toffeeboy at last.fm and replace with talkingscarlet.

Abahachi said...

Absolutely fantastic, simply as a way for me to 'sample' artists whom I've never heard before, to decide if it's worth shelling out real money on them, and the same thrill of coming across something I've never heard of that I used to get from the radio when younger (erm, Tommy Vance on Friday nights, anyone?) with the bonus of being able to direct the search a bit when desired.

When I have a spare moment I now need to try to work out what the Death Cab for Cutie, Drive-By Truckers and Hot Chip fans are on about...

ejaydee said...

I've discovered a new feature I didn't know about. You can play other users' radio station and playlists. Yesterday I was listening to Mnemonic's music, today I'm doing Steenbeck's.

steenbeck said...

How does that work? Do you hear whatever is in their iTunes library? Or just what they're playing? I think we had a good list this morning--Isaac chose the word "baby" to search on and it yielded a long and lovely list. Now I chose "water" mostly because I love that Mos Def song. And I'm a water sign, man...
Malcolm chose the word bionifreak, which, surprisingly, was much less fruitful.

ejaydee said...

My guess is it plays songs you've scrobbled from your iTunes. Right now it's playing Domino's Sweet Potato Pie, which I remember you mentioning before. For example, if you go to my profile page, below my recently played songs, you should see My Radio and My Playlist. Press play or choose "play in software" and it should start.

ejaydee said...

I have no song with the word bionifreak in the title, it turns out.

steenbeck said...

I don't think I've played Sweet Potato Pie since I hooked up to last FM. That must mean complete random iTunes Chaos, not just what someone plays. That could be embarrassing.

ejaydee said...

Nothing too dodgy yet, although Cat Stevens' Peace Train (live I think)...
Last fm has infiltrated you library and "scrobbled" every song you've ever played on iTunes so it's all up for grabs now.

steenbeck said...

I just tried to play yours but it said I don't have enough content. Maybe I have to have more songs scrobbled. I could see what you were listening to, though, and I have to tell you I don't really know what pinback is or how it showed up in my iTunes library.

Off to listen to part to of the bl'ast.

Mnemonic said...

I'm seeing Pinback in a couple of weeks but I don't know anything about them yet. I'm going along to see the support act, Phosphorescent, who's playing with a full band.

My radio station is playing Fred Astaire at the moment, so it's pretty random.

ejaydee said...

I liked the Pinback song I just heard (Boo).

Mnemonic said...

Playing someone's radio station includes tracks recommended for them. It may play something they've never heard.

You have to play their "loved" tracks station to get their actual music.

ejaydee said...

I've checked out the help page ( http://www.last.fm/help/faq/?faqsearch=radio&submit.x=0&submit.y=0 ) and apparently someone's radio "is built up based upon every song that the user gets scrobbled to their profile". To hear somebody's loved tracks, you have to subscribe, something which I might try one day.

ejaydee said...

Also, with 2 more members the Overspill group, we could theoretically listen to everybody else's collection more or less.