Somewhat selfless shameless plug:


www.last.fm

This is the first time I’ve ever seen an internet music service that
made me think simultaneously 1) These guys have the right idea and 2)
They;ve implemented their product in the way it ought to be done.

The concept:  it gets accustomed to your listening habits and
creates a radio station on the fly, accounting for your tastes and
moods.  This is accomplished first by adding a plugin to the media
player of your choice, allowing it to transmit the titles you listen to
as you listen to them.  It also remembers what tunes you skip over
once you start to tune in.

Creating a radio station feed is accomplished in a number of ways, the
most intuitive being typing in the name of some favourite artists at a
dialogue.

Later, as your tastes are accounted for, you can be shown a
‘neighborhood’ of folks that have tastes just like yours.  Then
you can create stations based on their tastes, and in turn, learn about
new artists.

The engine allows for looking up artists and purchasing materials you hear.

I have a few disappointments for the process, including how commercial
most of the material seems to be, but it’s supposed to be fairly easy
to get indy stuff added…  I wish it was chosen a bit more often
for me.  Maybe there’s a knack for getting more of it to come up…

Perhaps I’ll write a full review of last.fm soon enough.

Thanks for the comments.

People have been auctioning characters and items from the mass computer
role playing games for a while.  What’s it say about what our
global culture thinks of entertainment and laziness?

Recall that the Korean gentleman had recently quit his job to play
Starcraft full time, perhaps practicing to turn professional once and
for all?

Hope everyone is doing well.

Best wishes

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One thought on “

  1. It’s a nice idea, in theory, but in practice I don’t think it works very well. And perhaps this is testament to the diversity of music and strangeness of people, but I find the recommendations/neighbours etc. are fairly inaccurate in predicting what you will like. I just don’t think you can ‘map’ a persons tastes in such a a fashion as to say: JOEY SIXPACK likes A, B, and C — Jane Jones likes A, B and C and D – therefore JOEY SIXPACK should theoritcally enjoy music D. It just doesn’t seem to work. As a tool to simply find one artist and then see what people who listen to that artist also listen to, I think that works well and I found some great new music doing it that way. Like you say, the radio needs a larger and more diverse catalogue to work properly. At the moment I think I’m more likely to find music I like going to a radio station that plays a genre of music. I haven’t really given it a thorough workout so maybe I’m wrong on that. Maybe I’m over analysing this, but hey, I’ve got time and why the hell not. Another point worth mentioning: Data is collected through simple number crunching. Peter Packard listens to Y song, X number of times. Not that I care to offer a solution, but this seems flawed in several respects. Firstly, are one’s tastes defined but the number of times they listen to a song? Might I like one song which happens to contain a catchy hook or tune which lends itself to repetitious listening, just as much as I like a song which I listen to only once? Could I like a song I’ve never heard? Sounds like a silly question but it does have some merit…maybe. In short, different music is to be listened to differently, and in that sense the ‘Peter Packard’ model is very one dimensional.

    Like

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