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This article was published on January 8, 2021

Love music? Now’s the time to get a Last.fm account

A website from 2002 is still better than Spotify Wrapped

Love music? Now’s the time to get a Last.fm account
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Editor of Plugged by TNW

Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He w Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He writes about gear, gadgets, and apps — with a particular focus on Apple — and also makes the occasional odd video. Basically, he's halfway between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy.

It’s the beginning of the year and that means resolution season is upon us. And I have a suggestion — nay, a command — that’s both easy to achieve and satisfying: get yourself a Last.fm account.

At this stage, you probably have one of two questions: what’s Last.fm? Or, why the hell should I use that stupid old website? Well, friend, let me explain.

Effectively, Last.fm is a service that tracks what you’re listening to, something it refers to as scrobbling. It then uses this information to build out your music profile, which consists of reports and personalized music recommendations. That’s Last.fm in a nutshell.

Now to answer the second part: why? Well, let me throw a question right back at you: do you enjoy Spotify Wrapped? Getting to see what you’ve been listening to over the year presented to you in a pretty way? LAST.FM IS LIKE THAT BUT ALL THE TIME!

last.fm last fm top artists rolling seven days
This is an example from my Last.fm profile, which is customizable. This is a rolling 7 day update from the date publishing (January 8).

You have access to a genital-tingling amount of information, something you can access in these fleshed out weekly reports:

last fm last.fm weekly report
This is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s a lot more information below. Plus, there are monthly and yearly ones available too.

Last.fm is particularly useful if you listen to music across different services, as it has an array of plugins that help you keep track of everything. I’ve been using it since 2006 (I know) and is a core part of my internet life. It’s far better than Spotify and other services when it comes both to analyzing your listening habits and exploring new music. Plus, I just love staring at all this delicious data.

So why am I writing this piece now? Well, it’s because it’s the start of 2021. If you create an account and start scrobbling today, you can have a wonderful report at the start of 2022 that’ll break down 12 months of beuatiful listening. And, unlike Spotify Wrapped, Last.fm’s report is actually released once the year is over. What a treat.

Is Last.fm perfect? Nope, it’s buggy, the features haven’t been updated for what feels like a decade, and the social aspect is simply ignored. In other words, it’s a mess. But it’s a beautiful mess. Importantly, it’s my mess. And, if you play your cards right, it could be your mess too.

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