Posts Tagged ‘lastfm’

MixTape.me – Slick Browser-Based Music Player

March 24, 2009

I’ve just this minute discovered MixTape.me, a new music-based mashup (via ReadWriteWeb).

For those wondering, it’s a little bit like the now partially-defunct Muxtape, except far more flexible in its ability to create, manage and share playlists. It sits in your browser happily playing away, but the interface feels like a desktop application (like Spotify). In short, it’s very slick and seemingly has access to a large number of copyrighted tracks. As RWW puts it:

And the music.. where does the music come from? Good question.. the answer is, a lot of places; cloud storage, web sites, SeeqPod. In fact, the site is careful to keep that information behind the scenes. What you are left with is a clean, very desktop music player-like experience.

It’s in open beta and the main feature it’s missing for me is last.fm scrobbling integration. However, it wasn’t long before Spotify introduced this feature after they went into beta, so here’s hoping it might pop up at Mixtape.me soon!

How long until the RIAA pounce with their crack unit of highly trained copyright lawyers? Anyone’s guess. Until then, I suggest you enjoy it while it lasts.

10000 Tracks Scrobbled On Last.fm

March 9, 2009

In the grand tradition of my two previous posts on this topic, I’ve just passed my latest milestone on Last.fm – 10,000 tracks scrobbled! And which song marked this grand occasion? Why, this one:

RobynBe Mine!

Since I last wrote about scrobbling milestones in September 2008, Last.fm have significantly expanded their selection of full tracks so you can listen to this one for free at least three times before they cut you off. Or else you can download Spotify (assuming you’re in the UK or Europe, that is) and listen to it all you want. Or you could just buy it I suppose… Hey, it’s a great album.

5000 Tracks Scrobbled On Last.fm

September 17, 2008

A landmark event! Earlier today I listened to my 5,000th track on Last.fm:

FeistThe Water

And what a fittingly awesome tune to mark the occasion! My last major Last.fm landmark was back in January, at which point I’d listened to 1,000 tracks.

Interestingly, between the time I passed the 5,000 mark this morning and the time of writing this, Last.fm has altered the way it displays your track count. It now looks a little like an old-school tape deck counter.

Nice touch!

Additionally, when you hover over the count it tells you your average number of tracks per day. Mine currently stands at 13 per day. Not bad – equivalent to roughly one album’s worth of songs consumed every day. But could do better! Actually though, this data is skewed because I didn’t really use Last.fm much for the first couple of months back when I installed it. Also, since January I’ve been listening to a lot more music!

If, like me, you’re a stats-fiend and you also love Last.fm, you could do worse than checking out the Last.fm Stats group! This includes links to all sorts of tag cloud generators and eclectic music/open-mindedness calculators based on your listening history in Last.fm.

See you back here in about 8 months when I hit the 10K mark. By my calculations, I’ll need to up my listening game to an average of just 20.5 tracks per day to reach this within 8 months.

Audiosurf: Music + Puzzles = WIN!

June 4, 2008

A couple of nights ago I ventured back to Steam – Valve’s online digital content delivery system – for the first time since I completed Half Life 2: Episode One a year or two ago. At first, I was shocked at the range of titles you can buy – anything from Bioshock to Warhammer 40K; RPGs to insane psychedelic puzzle-action games.

And in that last category I found a gem: Audiosurf.

Audiosurf 1

The idea is simple: hover along a track with three lanes and collect coloured blocks by flying into them. Collect three or more blocks of the same colour and you’ll score points.

Hotter colours (red and yellow) score more than cold colours (blue and purple). And there are powerups scattered along the route which have various helpful effects, from painting all of your accumulated blocks one colour (thus bagging you a larger bonus), to sorting your colours out into neat stacks.

The harder the difficulty setting, the faster blocks fly at you and the trickier it is to make stacks. At some of the harder levels it gets to the point where it’s as much about your reaction speed as planning ahead. But it’s still ludicrously colourful fun.

Audiosurf 2

So where does the “audio” come in?

Audiosurf’s tracks and environment are generated from any digital music file you’ve got on your system. Essentially, it reacts to whatever song you throw at it. The tempo and feel of the song you select determines how the game plays out.

At it’s most basic level, this means a fast, upbeat song will beget a frantic downhill track, with loads of colours and hazards, while a mellow, acoustic number produces a correspondingly chilled uphill track, with fewer blocks.

Of course, there’s a range of characters to choose from, all of which have different abilities. But that – in a nutshell – is what £6.50 ($9.99 + VAT) of your hard-earned crust will buy you: a virtually limitless supply of lo-fi puzzling-action goodness accompanied by great music (assuming you actually like the stuff you’ve got on your hard drive). And it’s maddeningly addictive.

Even better: the latest update incorporates Last.fm scrobbling of all tracks played, so you can share your music while gaming. Perfect!

There’s a taster below if you’re not sure. Some lunatic attempts a run through of DragonForce: Through the Fire and Flames (remember them?) using the Mono game mode. Rock symbols at the ready: \m/

Last.fm Weekend Power Troubles Finally Over

April 23, 2008

So it seems that the troubles experienced at Last.fm HQ in London over the weekend are finally over. To be fair, things had started to return to normal by Sunday evening – after a day of occasional weirdness and disappearing tracks on Saturday.

In fact, none of my scrobbles were lost; the worst damage is a missing shout from the weekend, which isn’t exactly the end of the world. Top marks to the server guys who kept users updated on the blog as the (planned) power outage struck.

It took a few days for everything to iron itself out, but this evening I logged on to a reassuring sight:

Lastfm tracks played

My “tracks played” count, of course! It’s been MIA for a few days so it prompted an incredibly geeky and obsessive sigh from yours truly when it finally reappeared… Must. Play. More. Songs.

Last.fm Really Does Keep Track Of What You Listen To

March 19, 2008

I wrote a couple of months ago about Last.fm‘s new service which allows you to listen to a wide range of full tracks, with the catch being that you get a maximum of three listens to any one song.

Well, I just tried listening to Shakira – Underneath Your Clothes for what was apparently my fourth time and, sure enough, up popped a box saying, pretty much, “that’s your lot”. Here it is, in case you don’t believe me:

Shakira on Last.fm

So Last.fm really does keep track of everything you listen to. Okay, so if I was desperate for more Shakira I could create multiple new accounts (presumably indefinitely) to effectively have unlimited plays. But, really, who’s going to go to that sort of trouble?

1000th Track Scrobbled On Last.fm

January 29, 2008

Earlier this evening (at 8.17PM GMT to be precise) I scrobbled my 1000th track on Last.fm. And here it is:

Six by SevenNew Year

I’ve only been using the software since the end of August last year, so that works out as about 200 scrobbles per month. It’s nothing really, especially when compared to the 1000-songs-a-week mega scrobblers which seem to comprise the majority of my Neighbourhood.

Still, never let it be said that I don’t allow a minor occasion to pass unmarked!

Last.fm Frees The Music!

January 24, 2008

Lastfm LogoAs of yesterday, anyone can stream full-length tracks and albums for free on the Last.fm website:

Official announcement (via Mashable)

All the major labels are on board, and on their blog they mention that they’ve got similar agreements from “thousands” of independents.

Wow! Free music! So what’s the catch?

Simple: you’ll only be able to stream each track a maximum of three times before you’re asked to sign up for Last.fm’s new subscription service. According to the comments on the blog post, this will operate alongside the current basic subscription service, rather than instead of.

Details are sketchy on the price, but we do know that it will be more expensive than the current price of €2.50 per month. Once you’re subscribed, you can stream anything an unlimited amount of times. Here’s the lowdown on Last.fm:

“We’re publicly beta testing our new free listening service. You can listen to most tracks up to three times for free.

When the beta is over, we’ll offer a subscription package with unlimited access to a catalogue of music built on partnerships with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner, EMI and over 150,000 independent labels and artists.”

For music lovers like me, this is a really tempting option, although the lack of a download option and the open question of quality will no doubt be off-putting factors. It’s also worth mentioning that not every track ever is available to stream. Even so, free music… It’s difficult to complain about that!

It turns out that the announcement could also be great news for artists and labels. Last.fm has announced a payment system which sends money direct to artists every time a track is played. The success of the business model will depend on advertising, of course, and I suppose they’re banking on more people signing up for the premium service.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on this over the coming weeks, and will no doubt subscribe when the option becomes available just to try it out.

Addicted To Scrobbling

November 25, 2007

Since joining social music sharing site Last.fm a few months ago, I’ve experienced a fresh love for all things musical, and I’ve been listening a lot recently. But I’m starting to wonder about my motivation.

Being a male and a bit of a geek, I’ve definitely got a stats-obsessive side to my character, and I think Last.fm feeds that. I’ll often be surfing with my Last.fm profile page open, constantly refreshing after every song to check it’s been added (‘scrobbling’ is the terme d’art). I also love the funky graphical depiction of your recent tracks, which I changes as you play music:

Lastfm recent

I remember several years ago when I first heard about it — back when it was called Audioscrobbler — thinking how strange it was that people would willingly install a form of spyware to track their listening habits. Now, after the web 2.0 revolution, here I am obsessively broadcasting every track I which passes through my eardrums to whomever wants to know.

It’s actually turned out to be a halfway-decent way of discovering new music, either by listening to my recommendations, or through checking out what music my friends and ‘neighbours’ are listening to. Most tracks have at least 30 second clips, and there are many good quality full-length mp3s available to play or even download.

Still, as good as it is, I need more friends if this is going to be something that lasts long-term. So, if you’re reading this and are desperate to know about my incredibly refined musical taste, add me as a last.fm friend. Come on: let’s make sweet audio stats together!

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