Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Last.fm - the last word - for now!


There's been quite a lot of talk about Last.fm on the 'Spill in the last few weeks and some of you may know that we've set up a Readers Recommend group over there.

We currently have ten members and we'd like to increase that number - the Last.fm gods dictate that the real benefit of having a group on their website (in other words, the 'fun') only starts when a group has 'more than ten members' and even my basic O-level maths tells me that we're one short of that total! As soon as we get there, Last.fm will start to generate group charts and in the fullness of time we'll get to know which are the most popular artists among the 'Spill fraternity/sorority.

I don't see this group as in any way a rival to the 'Spill - in fact the two complement each other very well as there are some things you can do with a group on Last.fm that you can't do on a standard blog-type thing. For instance, there's a section for 'articles' which would be a good place for us to post stuff about artists that we're particularly fond of and want to share with fellow 'Spillers with the benefit of a greater sense of permanence than a blog provides.

The main thing I like about Last.fm is that you get to discover music that you might otherwise not ever come across - the website automatically links you to 'neighbours' who are listening to similar music to you and shows you waht they're listening to. I can almost guarantee that you'll find some stuff that you've never heard of but will love when you do. Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab for Cutie and The Decembrists are all discoveries I've made through my Last.fm neighbours.

A word of warning. Some of us have different identities over there which can be a bit disconcerting - for example I'm TalkingScarlet, mnemonic is Mnemosene and nilpferd is whatIsay. Some of us also have real names!!!

Here's the link.

Or you can go straight to the Readers Recommend page.

By the way, the picture has no relevance - it just happens to be my all time favourite painting of all time and I couldn't think of anything appropriate (or even humourously inappropriate) to use.

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

36 comments:

steenbeck said...

plus you get to see Ejaydee's ridiculously cute profile picture. And Darcey's Dad's profile picture has a dangerously cute thing going on too. Watch out!!

DarceysDad said...

Cheers, steenbeck. When are you going to put a pic up?

I have one gripe with Last.fm which may or may not be my ailing PC' s fault: it won't hold my log-in. As soon as I want to do anything other than look at my Dashboard, it asks me to login again. My "scrobbling" [Ugh!] is enabled, but doesn't seem to be picking up more than a couple of songs per week!?!?! It's driving me scatty, but anyway, I am over there more often than it looks.

Mnemonic said...

I don't know why it's not scrobbling butif you log in from that little "red tick" icon at the bottom of your screen and then open last.fm by going to "View" "My last.fm page" you shold stay logged in. It's worth subscribing to get your hands on the beta version, which is much more user-friendly.

It's the blog that refuses to keep me logged in!

ejaydee said...

Nope, I hardly ever speak English to Brazilians, but if I did I might catch it. Since English is not my mother tongue, I have no natural accent, so I'll mimic anybody's I'm talking to.

ejaydee said...

Oops, wrong post, sorry.
Thanks Steenbeck, I was a big bowl of cute, it's true.
I think everybody can see the beta site now, just put beta. before the "last" like http://beta.last.fm/user/ejaydee.
My favourite feature is listening to other people's radio station and playlists, I haven't checked the "Neighbourhood" yet though. It's taken me a long time to figure out the point of last.fm, as it's not that user-friendly, but I get it now.

BTW, group radio not starting yet, I guess it'll start in a few days.

nilpferd said...

and how cute.. I almost broke the laptop screen instinctively trying to "muss up" your hair...;-)
Upon further investigation I wonder whether my listening will make it onto Lastfm at all.. I mostly use realplayer and it doesn't seem to be recognised by the scrobbler.. and how do tracks actually become available for others to listen, is there a scrobble threshold or do you have to upload things?

ejaydee said...

Nobody touches the hair!

On Windows, it'll scrobble if you use Winamp WMP, iTunes or Foobar. Tracks can become available for others to listen in different ways. In theory, there's your radio station, your playlist, your neighbourhood, etc. Since you haven't listened to enough music yet, we can't hear your music.


Dsd, I just read that there's a plug-in in WMP that you have to enable that might fix your issue.
http://www.last.fm/help/faq/?faqsearch=scrobbling+software&submit.x=0&submit.y=0
It's point 4)

steenbeck said...

I tried the beta thing, but it said I have to subscribe, which seems to cost 2.50 in euros a month. Why would it talk to me in Euros, I wonder?

ejaydee said...

That's strange, it's asking you to subscribe (I think there's button to change the currency) to see the beta, I must be on it a lot if they've invited me to check it out, I can see everybody else's profile in beta form though.

Mnemonic said...

steenbeck, it's a European (originally English) site.

bethnoir said...

I'm in, if you'll have me :-)

ToffeeBoy said...

Well we're now up to 14 members on the Last.fm Readers Recommend Group so the fun will start to happen over there shortly.

steenbeck said...

Whaddaya mean, Darcey'sdad? That IS a picture of me. Were you thinking I seemed a little grey and generic-looking? Yeah, I get that a lot. What's strange though, is that it seems like other Last fm members are using my picture.

I think I managed to join the Beta group w/out subscribing, but I'm not sure I understand what it's all about.

DarceysDad said...

@ ejay - Ta, la! That patch worked a treat, on both the scrobbling and sign-in issues.

@ steenbeck - yes I can see it now: it was the different hair that threw me!

;o)

@ anyone - anybody know who timcowlishaw is??

ToffeeBoy said...

I assumed it was Tim(Kalyr) but I might be wrong...

el derino said...

I'm in too! My profile doesn't usually show much of what I've been playing though since I've got goddamn SonicStage on my computer and last.fm won't recognise those files even when they're played through Windows Media Player.

Shoegazer said...

I'm in the pending queue over there looking sad & lonely.

CaroleBristol said...

You're not pending any more Shoey.

steenbeck said...

You're in the US, Shoegazer? How bout that. American or ex-pat?

ejaydee said...

I doubt it's Tim (Kalyr), music tastes don't seem to match. This Tim is younger than me though, does this mean I lose my position as 'Spill "baby". I wish Alexa made her presence felt more often though, on any of the RR outposts.

ToffeeBoy said...

A bit of research (OK, I asked him) reveals that it's t1m0thy.

16 members and counting - but still plenty of absentees. 46 names on the 'Spill list (how sad, I just counted them!) So, Fragproncess, goneforeign, AliMunday, shivsidecar, barbryn, gordonimmel, saneshane, tracyk, TonNL ... and dare I say it, BLIMPY! ... where are you?

Shoey said...

@Steenbeck
I'm an alien in sunny Orlando.

bethnoir said...

Apparently I have very little in common with any of you musically (according to last.fm's taste comparison), but that is the joy of RR, we come from different places but find common ground. By the way, if anyone is missing Dorian he's appearing in this month's Word magazine.

DarceysDad said...

Sorry ToffeeBoy, I'm confused. Does that mean it is or isn't our resident prog fan? Like ejay said, the play history doesn't match what we know.

Shoey: Orlando, huh? Right, see you in February then!

DarceysDad said...

Sorry, I also meant to say - we won't get Gordon on last.fm until he gets a better PC and a lot more spare time.

DarceysDad said...

Sorry, didn't mean to apologise twice, it's just been a shitty day, OK?

Sorry.

Sorry for the extra sorry ...

DarceysDad said...

Ach, apologies once more TB (I won't push the sorry joke any further): I've just twigged what you meant about RR-er t1m0thy. Off to add him to my list ...

Shoey said...

@DsD Sounds like an excuse for one those infamous "socials". Anyone else coming?

steenbeck said...

Darcey's Dad, keep up with the apologies, Ejaydee was lamenting AlexaK's absence from the blog, but you're filling in nicely.

Never been to Florida, and I regret to say it's pretty far down on my list of places to see. (Primarily because if I'm getting on a plane, I'd better be leaving the country!) But Mr. Steenbeck's sister is moving down there next month, so I suppose we might have to visit some day...

Did you ever see the Bugs Bunny cartoon where he saws Florida right off the country? Classic!

Shoey said...

@Captain Toffee & DsD
Would love to be your "friend" on last FM (as long as no house moving is involved), but the e-mail links are not working for me yet. Will try to sort it out later. Consider yourselves friended in the meantime (as if you didn't know).

treefrogdemon said...

So, two people have asked to be my friend (thanks!) - but does this mean I'm also their friend, or do I ask them back?

treefrogdemon said...

Oh, OK, I worked it out myself!

goneforeign said...

I'm a bit late getting here, but being a Sunday morning with not much going on I scrolled down the Spill 'til I happened on this one, Ejay had recommended last fm some time back and it was still lurking in my memory banks.
What a nice surprise!
I just spent half an hour over there learning about my fellow Spillers, I clicked on each of you and it was most interesting. I'm a bit like Bethnoir in thinking that much of my taste doesn't coincide with the rest of you and much of what you talk about is pure Greek but always interesting.
I share much of what Steenbeck has to say about Florida, I was only there twice, passing through en-route to and from Jamaica, there's a quality there that's hard to pinpoint, but I was glad to exit the place; I think it might have something to do with the anti-Castro group there that dominates their politics. I've never felt the same way anywhere else in the US.
Ejay, last time I saw a picture of you I said you were bigger than I'd anticipated, this time I think you're younger.
I'm going to go back to last fm and do the right thing but right now I've got several other things on my mind so it might be a day or so, but this posting is in immediate danger of sliding off the Spill, can I suggest that it be reactivated up to the top again. I'd like to see a feature at last fm, a group playlist where each member contributes their one all time favorite cut, is that possible, I'd love to hear it.
Love you all, really enjoy this group.
Toodle-oo for now.

a ps. I LOVED that picture of DD, I burst out loud laughing at it, what a great photo. Such deserved pride on Rich's face and that cutie in the bottom corner peeking in must be the famous Ms. Darcey?

darceysdad said...

No, gf, you got my girls the wrong way round. Darcey's my younger (nicking my sunglasses on the photo; the peeker in the corner is Jess aka DarceysSis

ToffeeBoy said...

@ goneforeign - looking forward to welcoming you over at the Last.fm RR group.

goneforeign said...

One last thought, this lot right below us just now, 'how often..', which version...' 'who has' etc;
How long is that lot going to stay and what does it all mean? It just keeps getting bigger! Does anybody have the magic eraser? Can we lose it?