January 10, 2007


The new love of my life: LastFM.com. (Thanks, Nicq in LA, for passing along my latest at-work temptation.) All day, I’m just a click away from discovering—and raving about, and downloading, and tagging—tons of new music, while finding people with similar musical taste with whom to exchange recommendations (read: whom I beat down with my opinions, which are obviously right).

Very cool.

There’s an option to stream radio all day with a tiny toolbar on your desktop, which is lovely – and when you hear a song you love or have never heard before, you can just click to “love” the track or “tag” the track, making permanent note of the title and artist. Later, you can then browse your loved tracks or tagged artists and either listen to a personalized “loved tracks” radio station or seek more music by/similar to the artists you’ve discovered.

Best (and weirdest) of all, once you create a profile and synch it up wtih your ITunes (great feature -- so you don't have to create a whole 'nother music library to use it), the site keeps track of what you love, what you hate, what you tag, and what you listen to, and it learns your musical preferences. The more you listen, the more it learns, and so the more tailored its recommendations become.

This “teaching” your LastFM account part is a little addictive, and can be tricky. Something about knowing it's paying attention to every last song I listen to makes me feel like I'm always being spied on -- and silently judged.

In essence, because it publicly shares everything you're listening to, you have to be okay with everything you're listening to being publicly shared. Which means if you listen to that really catchy but mortifying Eiffel 65 song "Blue" on repeat while dancing around drinking rum and cokes, (I'm looking at you, M.) in the comfort and privacy of your own home, you're not as comfortably private as you thought. And if your preferences up to that point have been more Black Rebel Motorcycle Club than Kylie Minogue, you may have some 'splainin to do when Last FM fills up your recommended tracks and neighbors lists with techno songs and E-dropping club kids wearing shiny shirts and wielding/chewing on glowsticks.

Be that as it may, it's worth checking out. It takes a week or so before the site starts to really understand your musical taste (and about another week after that to re-teach it what you like after your old roommate discovers what you're doing and plays 4 hours straight of Dashboard Confessionals, just to fuck your profile up).

Password protect your computer, is all I'm saying.

You can thank me later.


nico said...

sleep kisser eh?

missy&chrissy said...

i've been on last.fm for over a year now...its amazing!

Trebuchet said...

SleepyKisser is from a Wilco song I love. Missy&Chrissy: look at you, you early-adopter! Very ahead of the curve, aren't we?