Launched: 2002, redesigned in 2005
With applications like Pandora (profile) getting some attention from the blogosphere, it’s time to shed some light on another music-related project that’s been around for some time now and that I’m quite fond of – Last.fm. Last FM (now merged with the Audioscrobbler project) allows you to generate a profile of your musical taste based on what you like or listen to the most. Here’s how they put it:
You get your own online music profile that you can fill up with the music you like. This information is used to create a personal radio station and to find users who are similar to you. Last.fm can even play you new artists and songs you might like. It’s addictive, it’s growing, it’s free, it’s music.
Last.fm, like Pandora, suggests bands and tracks based on your current taste, but it is Last.fm’s social network-based approach that makes it interesting. Last.fm generates recommendations from your musical tastes by compiling a list of your musical neighbours (people who listen to the same things you do) and suggests bands they also play and that you don’t. This organically built ecosystem of relationships between people and their musical tastes is what makes Last.fm stand out from the competition.
Being out there for longer also has its advantages like the huge user-base and the amazing extra capabilities of the system like the stand-alone player, that keeps playing new music for you until you grow tired of being suddenly so musically rich and go back to your own tracks.
A lot else could be said about Last.fm because I’m one of those guys who’s completely in love with the system but there’s nothing like the joy of discovery, so I’m going to leave it to you to click this link and explore it yourself. People who are curious about the architectural diferences between Last.fm and Pandora can read this post on my personal blog, that talks about just that. And if you’re really curious, you can check out my own profile up at Last.fm.