Last.fm decided to sharpen their business model, so they quit their radios in most countries. I suppose 3 euros per month wasn’t profitable enough. Even Spotify has had problems with the profit – and their services are even more expensive, five to ten euros per month. So, I don’t blame Last.fm. They did what they had to do. Online music services – or cloud music services – are tricky in many ways.
Naturally, Last.fm’s sudden strategic change made me change my strategy, too. I needed to find a new way to listen to music, at home and wherever I go with my mobile phone. Earlier, I just needed to press a couple of buttons on my phone or computer and I got to listen to songs I liked (or might have liked).
I like this way. I like exploring new bands and new songs – but I also have my favourite bands and albums that I want to listen now and then. Sometimes it is quite hard to find a perfect balance between these two things – well, naturally the cloud services don’t know when I have the urge to listen to new music and when I am in a more nostalgic mood. But that’s a small problem, a first world problem, so to say.
Last.fm isn’t gone. It still has many great services, including the scrobbling plugin, which is what they are best-known fot. Then, there is the Last.fm plugin for Spotify, which is not perfect but has three nice ways to create Spotify playlists easily. (All of these ways are based on what you have scrobbled to the Last.fm database, by the way).
Create a playlist based on 1) what you’ve listened to during the past three months. 2) what you are listening now and 3) what Last.fm recommends to you.
Using these three functions, it is relatively easy to create a Spotify playlist that is somewhat similar to my personal Last.fm radio channel. Not as simple, not as handy, but it’s still possible. And most importantly, to make the playlist more Last.fm-like, I use the playlist radio function on Spotify. The system isn’t perfect but I suppose it is sufficiently good for me now.
But some day, some day the cloud music services know exactly what I want to listen. And that will be a scary day. I don’t want computers to know too much or to know me too well.
Would I have other alternatives? Of course. Rdio, Deezer, Rhapsody. I don’t know if Rhapsody works in Finland, though. But one cloud service is enough for me now.
- Last.fm to Quit Their Radio Services in Most Countries, Damn.. (goashem.wordpress.com)
- Good bye last.fm radio! (noisythameera.wordpress.com)
- Last.fm going paid-only, will shut down in most countries (slashgear.com)
- 3 Neat Web Services To Visualize & Analyze Your Last.fm Profile (makeuseof.com)
- Last.fm to move desktop radio service behind paywall in UK, US and Germany (guardian.co.uk)
- Last.fm: Share your music & create your online profile (arabellla.wordpress.com)