Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Musical Voyeurism.

Kiss Atlanta made a post a few months back about this phenomena of last.fm, and naturally, out of curiosity, I went and made myself a profile. And then I let it sit. And sit. And sit. The main reason for not using it was that I didn't quite understand how it all worked. So, out of boredom about a month ago, I finally downloaded the little music player they offer on the site, and the audioscrobbler, though I had no idea what the audioscrobbler was supposed to do. I figured out how to use the radio player, and I was immediately excited.

An icon shows up on your desktop (it's pretty), and when you click on it, it asks you what station you want to listen to. I always type in an artist I like (this usually consists of Depeche Mode, Broken Social Scene, or Doves), and then the radio player searches similar artists and creates a list and randomly plays streamed music. You can skip songs you don't like. The player saves this information, so you can go back and click on the history of similar artist stations you've used.

After using it solid for a month, I began to accumulate charts. The site tracks everything you listen to and creates a weekly chart of what artists and tracks you listened to the most, and how many times you listened to them. Here's the amazing part: the audioscrobbler. As I switched everything over to my beautiful new iBook that I cannot afford, I clicked on the audioscrobbler icon on my hard drive. All of the sudden, when I listened to anything on my computer through iTunes, it was uploaded and synched up with last.fm, which means all of those songs I have in my personal music library are displayed on my charts, as long as I've listened to them. I'm listening right now, and you can see what track I just listened to by visiting my profile page on the last.fm site.

Another fun feature it has is the ability to tag artists, tracks, and albums so you can easily find them. It also allows you to write journals about songs or artists. There are groups you can join, and after listening to enough tracks, the site generates a list of 'neighbors' who has similar music tastes to your own, who you can befriend if you wish. If you listen to a certain artist a lot, you may end up listed as one of their top fans. There are just so many cool features to this site. If you have time, you should check it out.

I feel so dirty...this chart changes every week to tell you what I've been listening to. The code the site gives you automatically updates it every Monday, usually around noon, so you can post it on your website. The guilty pleasures are out, folks.
addict79's Last.fm Weekly Artists Chart
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