Last.fm is a site dedicated entirely to music and the people who listen to it. The application provides users with a place to keep track of all the music they listen to, including songs heard through third party players. The application collects the user’s music preferences and makes recommendations based on that information.
The site also offers internet radio that lets the user create a station based on their music tastes. The application plays songs based on an artist or tag as well as information collected from the user’s friends listening habits. Last.fm also provides a number of social networking features that encourage users to connect through the music they love. Users can find others with similar tastes or bring their friends to Last.fm to enjoy music and share preferences.
The current version of Last.fm is actually the product of two previous applications: the original Last.fm and Audioscrobbler. The merger occurred in 2005. In July of the following year, the new Last.fm was given a makeover and implemented new software that allowed users to track music they listen to through other media players.
The application has grown in popularity and was acquired by CBS for $280 million in May of 2007.
Last.fm combines social networking and music listening in a way that keeps fans interested. The application isn’t just a tool for listening to music. It is an interactive resource that encourages users to expand their audio horizons by exploring new music similar to what they already listen to. The application applies the user’s personal preferences as well as the preferences of the user’s friends. As more individuals with shared musical tastes connect, their play lists grow and become more refined based on their listening preferences.
Last.fm welcomes user with a clean, professional design that isn’t lacking in personality. The primarily red and white color scheme adds a little flavor while a community activity feed entices visitors to see what the site has to offer. The experience is streamlined, allowing users to quickly navigate without any obstacles to slow their pace. Users can easy begin gathering a history of their favorite songs while the site makes refined recommendations to continue growing the user’s listening list.
All users are given access to a free account when signing up. The user can continue using their basic free account or upgrade to a paid membership.
The paid membership costs $3 per month and includes uninterrupted radio listening, the ability to play radio using a mobile app, advertisement free browsing, a black subscriber icon on the user’s profile, radio play on supported hardware platforms and access to the Last.fm VIP zone which includes graphs, charts and other information.
Last.fm is an excellent resource for anyone who enjoys listening to music online or through a mobile device. The application includes a number of convenient tools that track the user’s listening habits and allow them to enjoy music in a number of ways. Users can choose to remain a free member or subscribe for a very low monthly fee.
Fans of social networking can really appreciate the interactive tools included on the site.