I only joined Last.fm about a week ago on the X-Box!
CBS-owned music site Last.fm offers Less.fm today, after a decision to stop streaming full length tracks. Instead, it will provide a 30-second preview of a song and a link to other sites carrying the full song, such as Spotify and Mog. The company explains that the new arrangement covers the two million most popular tracks. It …
This can only be a step backwards for last.fm, a service that I used to subscribe to and was a big advocate of. It seems to be disastrous for small artists starting out - no longer can they stream full-length tracks, and they don't have much chance of uploading to spotify, etc.
The whole "you can still listen in full using spotify" thing is a bit of an arse for Linux users, too - though I can run spotify through Wine, it's a nightmare to get it to respond to spotify URIs.
A step backwards, albeit something of an inevitable one, I guess :(
It effected On-Demand plays and also effected full track sampling, as it was uploaded by the artists who own the material. Literally, millions of full track samples were cropped to 30 second previews, without notice to the artists or labels, that intended them to be full stream samples, with unlimited access.
This means, we LastFM listeners can no longer share new music discoveries with our LFM friends. We can no longer build proper playlists or tag radios, without it taking three times longer and several steps more to accomplish.
I think the Xbox Live service is safe. To use Last FM on Xbox live, you have to be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber. I reckon this means that it's considered "paid for", in that MS will be dishing out a cut to Last FM for the service. Or at least I hope so, as along with the ability to stream 720p MP4 files from my media server, Last FM is the second most useful thing to do with an Xbox 360. Joint 3rd are "Waffle Iron" and "Foot Warmer".
Thankfully I almost always use Last.fm in radio mode so it shouldn't bother me too much. However, it was a good way of finding new music. Now I'll probably have to pop over to a band's myspace page for a listen before I bother adding them to my library. Not a deal breaker but a step I'd rather not have to take.
As a consumer, I met a number of artists and label managers and found a bunch of music on Last.fm. There are other locations to find stuff, but being able to go back and review some stuff after hearing it on a radio station or browsing through and listening after seeing something on some friend's charts was key. And the library is large. Just 30 seconds? Most songs develop and change. This is just value subtraction. They have not commented on the reason either. Bandwidth costs? More expensive to pay for user initiated plays? WTF?
We're sorry but due to licensing restrictions, MOG All Access is not yet available in United Kingdom
Very good brilliant and here we go again another god damn service which is not available in the uk like everything else
Last.FM was the only place on the net which was not restricted from people in england and now you've took all this away from us....
Try spotify yea its invite only so thank you very much too since i dont have an invite brilliant just brilliant
oh well screw it back to torrents and p2p this is total crap talk about reason for piracy this is it!!!! why is it everyone else around the world gets to listen to entertainment and watch it for free but not in the uk
If you're in the UK, you shouldn't be seeing links to MOG on the Last.fm site; the integration is tailored on a per-country basis. I'm guessing you browsed to MOG directly.
Spotify invites really aren't that hard to come by - there are dedicated invite-sharing sites out there, and besides, I've got them coming out of my ears - drop me a message on my Last.fm account (append 'UK' to my Reg username) if you want one.
Also, Last.fm are shortly adding integration for We7 (www.we7.com) which is another UK-available streaming site, no invite required.
Just the data collection and processing side of it, never really took much interest in the website itself.
I think they should team up with services like Spotify to integrate the platform into their software. Spotify is great for streaming music but utterly atrocious for recommending it. Last.fm has the best music recommendation engine I've ever seen and it would be excellent if they could integrate that data into Spotify so people could sample a wider range of music
Personally, I find the problem with the xbox 360 service is that you have to load it as a seperate application - you can't stream 'the beats' in the background whilst playing a game. Same goes for the twitter and facebook functionality they added - all one-off applications.
Now I can understand the technical difficulties in trying to cram it all in so that this stuff is always available at a push of the guide button, but none-the-less... disappointing.
I have just been shopping for some music and was frustrated by 20 or 30 second samples from random points on songs from emusic, amazon and iTunes. In many cases the opening seconds of a track is used which gives a poor idea of what the whole song sounds like.
In the end I found a site called trackitdown.net which provides the whole song. The clever thing is that it doesn't provide it all at once. You get an initial random sample but you can see a graphical representation of the whole thing and the option to jump to any point - just like listening to vinyl in a real shop. So you can hear the beginning, middle, end or any significant part before buying.
Shame is that they are more expensive than the other sites so I didn't buy anything - but I thought their preview model was excellent.
Others, such as Warner's boss Ed Bronfman, are skeptical. In an earnings call in February Bronfman said Spotify-type services were "not net positive for the industry", He vowed Warner would not license Spotify and similar services in the US.
And that, Mr Bronfman, is the reason why you and your company deserve to suffer the same fate of the dinosaur... extinction followed by becoming an exhibition in a museum.
Your old business model is broken, kaput, cassé... It's time to wake up, Mr Bronfman. You no longer hold consumers over a barrel. Those consumers you rodgered for oh-so-many years have found alternative ways to acquire your product, and it doesn't involve anal penetration on their part.
Although you don't want to accept it and you continue to try everything you can to delay it, you and your company are now surplus to requirement. For many years artists were unable to distribute their music without your intervention... but then along came the internet and MP3 and iPods and *shudder* iTunes and MySpace and... yes, dare I say it...... Spotify.
Now, it seems as though you're the ones who are 'not net positive for the industry' - the music industry, that is. The music industry managed for centuries without you, and it will survive when you and your cronies are just a distant memory.
Get the helicopter icon ready, but if this is a popular place for unsigned artists to get their music out there, then is that not EXACTLY what Warner et al might not like about it? In their mind, scratchy margin artists from the wild competing for the consumers' ears. Artists that need to be shoved out of the nest before they potentially starve the chosen siblings. Competition for their dying business model and golden children if only in theory. Maintain the status quo at all costs. The idea just occured to me when coming back to see what had been written, and it truly frightens me if such a bastard move is the reason why this has happened since I would not put it past them.
To all those commenting about the X-Box side of things. I've set it up but not really used it yet (the joys of having building work on the house at the moment!) - so the extra info is appreciated.
Not too bothered about not being able to use in-game, was looking for a free / cheap alternative to music channels & radio, as I loathe the adverts & talking bits, and my pc with media library is currently in storage.
I had a couple of their pages in my browser cache. Refreshing the pages, they've just pulled the "full track" facility with no explanation. Muppets.
Rather a pity - it was good for finding half remembered stuff (Dr Strangely Strange) or something you've heard on Shoutcast (Femouses T) or just something you fancy listening to again (Eric Coates Dambusters march)
Don't expect I'll visit the site again so won't be seeing the adverts there any more (sorry Sony). Any reccomendations for an alternative site?
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