Martin SFP BryantFounder
Martin SFP Bryant is the founder of UK startup newsletter PreSeed Now and technology and media consultancy Big Revolution. He was previously Martin SFP Bryant is the founder of UK startup newsletter PreSeed Now and technology and media consultancy Big Revolution. He was previously Editor-in-Chief at TNW.
Last.fm may not be the disruptive upstart of a startup it once was, but it’s still a force to be reckoned with in the online music space.
If you’re not keeping a record of all your music listening by ‘scrobbling’ it, you’re missing out on a wide range of apps and services designed to make your musical life more exciting. Here are ten of our favourite mashups, apps and hacks for Last.fm, created using the service’s API.
Music and love go hand-in-hand – after all, favourite songs are something it’s easy to bond with someone else over. Tastebuds builds on this idea by using Last.fm to create a dating site based on music taste.
As we’ve previously reported, simply sign up and you’ll be matched with ladies or gentlemen of a similar musical persuasion. So, if you like gangsta rap, and that hot guy/girl from the site also likes gangsta rap you could be skipping merrily off into the sunset together to a Snoop Dogg gig before you know it.
As great as Spotify is, its music discovery side could definitely do with a boost. Luckily, Spotibot, from UK-based developer Andy Smith, offers a range of services that use Last.fm data to help you find music you’ll love on the still-not-available-in-the-US streaming music service.
Spotibot’s headline feature lets you enter the name of an artist you like and have a Spotify playlist of related music generated automatically. If you enter your Last.fm username it will generate a playlist based on your listening history, too. Once you have a playlist you like, you can simply drag an on-screen icon into Spotify itself to start listening. Other Spotibot services let you receive recommended Spotify songs via Twitter and transfer your Last.fm account’s ‘Loved’ tracks to a Spotify playlist.
Last.fm Extra Stats
Visualizations of your music taste are a popular use for Last.fm data. Last.fm Extra Stats is a Windows app that can create charts, tagclouds, graphs and more from your listening history.
As long as you have the .NET Framework 2 installed, you’ll be able to run this neat app and be visualising in no time.
If you want to share you excellent taste with your non-Last.fm using friends, Last.fm Social will post a message to your Facebook news feed each time you mark a song as ‘Loved’. The service promises to post up your message within ten minutes of you clicking the ‘Love’ button and will include album artwork and a personalised message if you choose.
Wallpaper and screensavers that reflect your taste
While some may find them cheesy, there’s clearly demand for automatically generate wallpaper and screensavers that reflect personal music tastes. There are a number of options if you’d like to visualise your Last.fm listening history as a ‘quilt’ of album artwork. Gijsco’s Desktop Generator (Windows only) has you covered for wallpaper, while the Motorola-sponsored Music Quilt Screensaver will generate similarly themed screensavers simply by entering your Last.fm username.
My Music Habits
My Music Habits analyses your listening history and generates bar and pie charts showing just how varied (or not) your activity is. Do you always listen to the same few albums, artists or songs – or do you like to mix it up a bit more? This app will break it down for you.
Last.fm for Skype
On one hand, this mashup seems a little odd, but at the same time it makes perfect sense. As the name implies, this (Windows-only) app will fuses Last.fm and Skype, letting you share the song you’re currently listening to as a ‘modd message’ on Skype. Sharing details of the soundtrack to your day with your Skype contacts might brighten up their days, serve as a conversation starter, or just have them worrying whether they ever really knew you in the first place.
The Last.fm development team shares some of the projects and fun tools it’s been working on in the Playground section of the site. Some Playground projects are free to use, while others are solely open to subscribers. One such treat only for those who pay up their monthly subs is a colourful visualisation of trends in your listening history. That two month period you went crazy for Lady Gaga is sure to be all too apparent.
As well as letting you track your listening history, Last.fm is also a good place to find concerts from your favourite artists. This map lets you peruse relevant entries in the events database by moving a circle around. You never know, you might stumble upon a great night out completely by chance.
Most Unwanted Scrobbles
Last.fm lets users remove songs from their listening histories if they choose. After all, that Spice Girls track only accidentally played all the way through in iTunes, didn’t it? This interesting tool lets you see the top ten songs most commonly removed from users’ accounts in the previous calendar month. At the time of writing Lady Gaga is faring particularly poorly. Bad Romance tops eight(!) entries for the singer in the chart.
Are there any must-try projects using the Last.fm API that we’ve missed out? If so, let us know by leaving a comment below.
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