My Love/Hate Affair With Last.FM

I’ve been using Last.FM shamelessly to advertise my somewhat awesome music taste for years. I had an account back when it was called Audioscrobbler, and that account has thankfully since been completely wiped from existence and acknowledgement. But my latest account, I’ve had since 2006, and it’s worked out pretty well so far. However, Last.FM can also be a bit of a bitch, as many social networking sites can and will be. So, as I reach 20,000 plays, allow me to take you through my sometimes tentative relationship with Last.FM.

NB: None of these dates are entirely accurate because I have no idea when features appeared in Last.FM. It’s about as close as I remember, but seriously, I don’t know.

August 2006
I have bad music taste. Let’s start again! Let’s use a Misfits song name, like always, to show how cool and punk I am, and totally throw a spanner in the works by having a Michelangelo avatar (the Ninja Turtle, duh).

December 2006
Last.FM is just kind of there. It’s fun to look at, but the recommendations are awful. Hello, I already listen to Pencey Prep? I have no idea what neighbours are. They listen to lots of AFI like I do, but otherwise, I don’t get it. They’re not even next to me geographically, they’re all American and have better hair than me. I try talking to them but they don’t reply apart from ‘awesome taste!’. People on this site are not here for friends.

It’s clear that Last.FM is just kind of boring. It scrobbles, there’s not that much there. I sometimes post in the shoutboxes for bands, shyly saying how much I like a certain song. Last.FM is much like any other music site – there’s a ton of assholes. I make a group for a forum I visit. We all go on there and bitch about how everyone else sucks and complain about the group charts. I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I contributed to Fall Out Boy being number one. I generally ignore the site for the time being, and instead, I just use it as a signature on a couple of forums I visit. Everyone applauds my underground taste. It’s elitist as hell to have a Last.FM signature and everyone knows it, but who cares? It’s hip, but it’s not that hip yet and you have to pay for most of the radio stuff. Paying for stuff is lame.

One of my top 15 is Cute Is What We Aim For? Holy shit, what was I thinking? The Fueled By Ramen honeymoon is over now, I’m too old for this shit. Hooray, there’s a reset function, I am saved once again from having to display mediocrity. The community seems to be booming a bit more, so I join a few more groups. Someone invites me to one – exciting! I soon find that discussion in these groups is excessively limited and dies pretty soon. Shoutboxes are generally quite shit. Still really subscriber heavy, so signature fodder it remains.

Last.FM suddenly gets interesting. The compatibility thing could be super awesome – note to self, must use this in order to hit on guys with good music taste. Radio is free! I find that recommendations actually work now – Andrew Jackson Jihad and Defiance, Ohio suddenly become part of my listening, and I pretty much just like everything on my recommendation station. I discover Last.FM scripts and the wonders of the OMI and feel validated; yes, I do have an open mind! Groups still suck. Shoutboxes still suck. Journals do not! Since I created TwoBeatsOff, Last.FM and the artist tag function in said journals has provided a wonderful opportunity for free advertising. Sweet. What does the future hold? More free advertising and an obsession in checking my average tracks per day. Oh, Last.FM.

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