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Tag Archives: Spotify

Alternatives to the Last.fm Radios…

Image representing Spotify as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

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.

Image representing Last.fm as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

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.

English: Screenshot of the Last.fm software pr...

English: Screenshot of the Last.fm software program. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

 

 

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Last.fm to Quit Their Radio Services in Most Countries, Damn..

English: Screenshot of the Last.fm software pr...

English: Screenshot of the Last.fm software program. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been an avid Last.fm user since 2004. Well, back then the thing we now call Last.fm was two (almost) separate systems: Audioscrobbler and Last.fm. Last.fm was basically just a radio and Audioscrobbler was the one responsible for writing down and keeping “in mind” what the users had listened to.

Things changed a couple of years later. Audioscrobbler and Last.fm merged. Which was a good thing and in my opinion made the service one of the best music-related service in the world.

I found their personalized radio channels years ago but didn’t start listening to them until I wanted to find completely new bands and new genres. This is why Last.fm is the best tool in the world. Three euros a month for a great service was extremely inexpensive.

But a couple of days ago, we heard sad news. People in most countries in the world will not be able to access the Last.fm radio channels anymore. They will shut down the service in mid-January 2013.

http://www.last.fm/announcements/radio2013

Last.fm is making some important changes to the radio services we offer around the world. We have considered these changes carefully, in response to various factors that affect our business differently in parts of the world.

[…]

Unfortunately, in all other countries, we are no longer offering a radio service after this date.

English: Availability of Spotify in Europe

English: Availability of Spotify in Europe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, the world always changes. And fortunately, we still have Spotify here in Finland. It just takes some time to get used to Spotify again. You know, with the Last.fm personalized radio it was easy. I just needed to press Play and I got to listen to some great songs. Now, with Spotify, I need to make some decisions. One of my playlists or a radio? And if a radio, what should it be based on?

Well, anyway, Last.fm will remain one of my favourite services. It is an archive of which bands I’ve been listening to. Not bad for a free service.

 
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Posted by on 14.12.2012 in In English

 

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It’s One of Those Saturday Mornings…

…When you have the chance to sleep ’til ten or eleven and you wake up at seven.

This is one of those mornings.  And I’m irritatingly perky. Damnit. Now I’m just waiting for the sun to rise to get the energy to clean up my home. Meanwhile, some coffee and today’s newspaper. And good music. Like Anneke van Giersbergen‘s brand new album and brand new video:

P.S. The album can be found on Spotify, too.

 
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Posted by on 21.1.2012 in In English, Music

 

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