08 November 2005


I discovered two rather wonderful new things, well they were mentioned on plasticbag.org and I paid attention this time. last.fm and Audioscrobbler

last.fm is an online radio station or I should say multiple radio stations as you can choose from what seems to be many thousands of music streams. The streams can be by tag, based on the collective taste of a group you might be in or your own personal radio based on what you listen to on last.fm or, and this is the clever bit through audioscrobbler a plug in that monitors what music you're playing on your PC it can build up a database of your taste. In a similar way, but I believe a tad more sophisticated, to how Amazon makes recommendations for purchasing. As the list of music that you listen to on your computer or one of the radio streams builds up it starts to make recommendations, through listing "musical neighbours" who will have similar tastes to you and what it plays on your radio station.

I'm still getting my head round how it all works, the FAQs and Help could do with a bit of expansion to cover every button that can be pushed and even though I'm viewing in Firefox the site sometimes looks awful as the google ads sometimes bleed over into a neighbouring section of the page. These are minor quibbles though, so far I think it is a lovely lovely thing. I've listened to the alternative, indie, trance and techno streams and joined a couple of groups. I can see last.fm seriously challenging Radios 4 and 5 for my listening time.

I like particularly like the radio stream by tag. Like flickr the tagging is done by the general public so occasionally get a weird one. I've been listening to the new wave stream and just had Outkast - Rosa Parks because someone has tagged it as new wave. Kewl!

If you want to mock my musical tastes here is a link to me. The other really cool thing about last.fm is that it's British and doesn't belong to either Google or Yahoo (yet). Oh and it's free.


  1. ...doesn't belong to either Google or Yahoo.
    That in itself makes it worth a look.

    The White Stripes? Skinny Puppy?? Death Cab For Cutie??? Now you're on my cool list... =)

  2. Cool find Jane.

    I think I might have to sign up. Trouble is I only recognize half of those bands.

  3. It is pretty groovy. This is Web Radio 2.0! :-)

  4. Katherine - Oooh Ta!

    Charlotte - That's the beauty of it though it plays the sort of music it thinks you will like based on what you tell it. As you know my music collection is almost entirely guitar based stuff so I've been listening to the trance, techno and electronic tagged radio streams. The stuff I like I've "hearted" (not sure what that will do for me though yet). Its about discovering new music as well as listening to the stuff you already like.

    Becky - I think it is a truely lovely thing. :-D

  5. I'm afraid I'm a radio 2 addict

  6. Jane

    I do hope you were referring to Beckys musical choice there!! :)

  7. Thanks for the tip Jane, I'm going to have a peek. The self learning concept sounds great.

  8. oooh! this is good, and what groovy cool taste in music you have as well :)

  9. it looks great - i may need to get some space on the laptop for it