Last.fm is an Internet radio site for streaming music, founded in the United Kingdom in 2002. It has claimed over 40 million active users based in more than 200 countries.
Using a music recommender system called “Audioscrobbler”, Last.fm builds a detailed profile of each user’s musical taste by recording details of the songs the user listens to, either from Internet radio stations, or the user’s computer or many portable music devices. This information is transferred to Last.fm’s database (“scrobbled”) either by the music player itself (Spotify, Amarok) or by a plugin installed into the user’s music player. The profile data is then displayed on the user’s profile page. The site offers numerous social networking features and can recommend and play artists similar to the user’s favorites.
Users can create custom radio stations and playlists from any of the audio tracks in Last.fm’s music library, and are able to listen to some individual tracks on demand, or download tracks if the rights holder has previously authorized it. For users living outside the UK, US, and Germany, the radio service requires a subscription for €3.00 per month after a 30 track free trial.
Why it’s cool?
The music charts present the most downloaded and sold singles. But where can we find new trends in music? Then we need to look to in subcultures who’re connected to Last.fm. Trends arise by the originals. What do they listen? Are there some new talents or artists who’re already singing for a couple of years? A good friend of mine also listens his music by Last.fm. He gives me new insights in his music library. That’s very interesting and cool. People all over the world can manage their own music library and share it with the rest of the world. The charts aren’t important anymore, Last.fm took over the world and people make their own personal charts and we can react, download and upgrade their and our numbers and playlists.