Last.fm and Spotify : Her Ladyship and the Lady In Waiting

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19 Nov 2008, 1:18



Spotify is a lovely little thing. Set and ready to go before you can say "by your leave". Registration is brainless. There's even a widget if you're a Windows user - http://code.google.com/p/scrobblify/ - so you can scrobble your Spotilicious tunes. I hardly engaged a single brain cell and I was good to go.

[edit] There's no need for this as Spotify now scrobbles to Last.fm. See here for more.

I like the design. Very intuitive and requires hardly any thought. Which is exactly what you need because you don't want to be distracted from browsing as you follow your nose and hunches. You do have to do a bit of drilling to find stuff, and unless you know what you're looking for or you have a good memory, there aren't many prompts or reminders.



Of the eight albums on the Home page, undoubtedly the best was Anna Ternheim's Leaving On A Mayday. Is it in Last.fm? Not half. Not only is it here, but there are deluxe versions with bonus tracks too. +1 to Her Ladyship Last.fm.

I remembered there was an album I wanted a while back that wasn't here, The Imagined Village - The Imagined Village (although maybe I couldn't find it because of bad tagging. grrr). I checked Spotify first. A few tracks, all well and good. I checked Last.fm and nearly jumped out of my skin. Not only was the whole album here, but also full tracks. I don't know yet if they're 3 x full play then back to preview, or if they're the old gold on-demand, I'll find out the hard way I expect. Doesn't matter, it's here, that's what counts. Another +1 to Last.fm.

I checked a few more and pretty much found if it wasn't in Last.fm, it wasn't in Spotify either. For example, Monkey: Journey To The West, Kate Rusby, Dehli9. Admittedly, Anna Ternheim's album in Last.fm is preview only, which is where Spotify picks up where Last.fm is forced to leave because Spotify has full tracks. It is very sad that Last.fm can't do what her lesser competitors can, but by using them together, you can achieve a happy medium. So it was, I was able to listen to Anna Ternheim's new album whilst doing something else without having to rush back and click on the next track. I still had that anxiety of listening out for the end but hopefully, I should be able to relax again soon.

So there's the chink in the armour. The threat to Her Ladyship's title. On-demand continuous play. Something Last.fm used to have but was cruelly taken away by idiots trying to control us.

However, Spotify's library is limited and falls completely flat when it comes to obscure unknowns, eg Repi Multimedia. That's the kind of fun madness you'd only find in Last.fm.

Creating playlists couldn't be simpler. The whole thing is a copycat iTunes so if you know what you're doing there, you won't be required to tackle any learning curves in Spotify.

I didn't like Spotify's radios. I'm just really fussy about things like that.

Click on a big name artist, eg Bjork or George Michael and you are given a brief artist biography below which are the top five songs. Below that, in chronological order, are their (incomplete) discographies. Everything is organised for you and couldn't be simpler.

I remember when Bjork was fully streamable in Last.fm. Not any more, sadly. Good old George has been very generous and pretty much given Last.fm everything, but then he would, wouldn't he? One word: Sony. Or should I say Fony. I rated him for that. But I digress...

Coldplay, Radiohead and Last.fm is leagues ahead still. May as well stop there.

As an adjunct to Last.fm, I can see myself using Spotify, which is saying something because I haven't bothered with other copycats or ladies in waiting. I do listen to new releases in MySpace but I'd prefer to scrobble those plays to my Last.fm Profile if possible, and I can now, if those new releases appear in Spotify. Although, I must add, my Last.fm Client kept crashing.

I saw a blog somewhere today, can't find it again now, which said internet downloading has decreased dramatically since the appearance of sites such as Spotify. If bloggers are already noting it, Nielsen's will no doubt do us some stats and tables and make it official some time soon. I was lucky enough to have been given an invitation to Spotify (thank you akrde). I wouldn't have paid the £10 otherwise and I don't recommend that anyone else does either, not just yet anyway, whilst their library is so understocked. I must say, I've been watching Pirate Bay and I notice there are fewer and fewer new releases appearing on there now. It used to be jam-packed with music, now it's mainly rubbish and people complaining they're fakes. I find this about-turn extremely interesting. Spotify, like Last.fm and MySpace, is completely legal. Last.fm were right from the start: free the music.

CBS take note. Stop faffing about creating rivals within your own media portfolio and sort this out. You're meant to keep me here, not drive me away.

Pics from this over-positive blog.

Babs My Gang



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Comentarios

  • akrde

    Hi Babs, i have to thank YOU for sharing your thoughts about the actual Spotify with us! :-) Don't forget: Spotify is still in beta state and it's still a long long way to their goal in creating "the widest and deepest music catalogue" for on-demand streaming! Cheers, Andreas

    19 Nov 2008, 9:58
  • akrde

    By the way: http://i36.tinypic.com/296g4d1.jpg Nice, eh? ;-)

    19 Nov 2008, 10:03
  • Babs_05

    No, thank YOU! I insist. lol :D Ah yes, you're right, Spotify is still in beta, but these things always are and ever remain so. (ie there's no such thing as 'finished') I think its ambitions for an extensive catalogue are good, if it can achieve them, but it is only a fancy music player and nothing more. When I tried to use Spotify again today, I noticed the scrobbler I have to use for it didn't fire up immediately so it took a good 10 minutes, figuring out what I needed to do, waiting for things to load, etc, before I started scrobbling. It's not as seamless as playing something as I normally would. But it's not bad. Spotify opened up on the page I left it last night, on J. Tillman, who has full tracks here in Last.fm too, but I don't have to click for the next track in Spotify and I prefer the peace of mind of auto-advance.

    19 Nov 2008, 13:28
  • akrde

    Some news from Spotify: "We’re really excited to let you know that we’ve added a whole bunch of new content to Spotify this week from some great indie labels. Now you can listen to new artists and albums from the Merlin network which represents the rights of hundreds of independent artist, this week’s updates are primarily from the Beggars and Matador labels. These labels have some fantastic bands such as the Pixies and Belle & Sebastian that we hope you check out. Enjoy!"

    20 Nov 2008, 10:16
  • Babs_05

    EUW!! Adverts!! That came as a shock. Just been told about the Xbox 360. I don't do adverts. I watch TV on timeshift. hmmm...

    20 Nov 2008, 11:16
  • akrde

    You should have known, because as you can read in that same over-positive blog: "Premium access (advertising-free, paid subscription) is available now (October 7), while free, ad-supported access will be gradually made available over the next few months." So the free accounts will have some ads, yes... ;-)

    20 Nov 2008, 14:18
  • Babs_05

    Some?! That was awful. I'm not used to being imposed upon. You can't even force them off. Still, it's a good back up to Last.fm and MySpace.

    20 Nov 2008, 17:51
  • Babs_05

    I have 4 invitations if anyone would like one.

    21 Nov 2008, 22:48
  • thisisall1word

    Not fussed with spotify and I'm very against adverts - if last.fm popped any more on the subscribers pages (and I only get the odd track forced upon me when listening to the radio) then I would probably wave goodbye to this place. Was commenting to say that The Imagined Village were a collective I saw on tv this year - possibly Cambridge folk fest - and thought were really good, but I had near forgotten about them until now. Babs - do you know when the Beeb are going to open up their music archives for UK people? Going through old festival footage or even <<prays>> Peel shows will be ace but not heard much about this lately...

    24 Nov 2008, 1:04
  • Babs_05

    I've never noticed ads as a subscriber and never forced tracks. Mind you, I was a bit blind to them as a non-sub too, so that doesn't mean much! But I seriously don't like the creepy-voiced ads on Spotify. I presume they don't add music because it would interfere with the mood of whatever we're listening to, but hmm... BBC archives - when they made their big announcement, they didn't really give a timeline, just that they will do it "eventually". Here's the original press release: Speech given at the Banff World Television Festival 2008. The iPlayer stuff begins just over half way down.

    24 Nov 2008, 1:41
  • lovemark

    SCROBBLE SPOTIFY LISTENING Been re-diredcted to this journal from several searches for a widget that will allow last.fm to scrobble my listening on here (because despite what is said above, Spotify DOES seem to have quite a bit that last.fm doesn't have, or at least that won't play on my tag stations even though last say it is available to play) so come on then...how do I download a widget to scrobble my spotify stuff onto lastfm????

    3 Feb 2009, 11:54
  • Babs_05

    There's no need for the widget now, Spotify have done the necessary for us. I can't find it now, but go into your Account and enter your Last.fm details where it requests them. (I did try to amend this journal but I couldn't due to Last.fm site updates. Sorry about that.)

    3 Feb 2009, 16:45
  • Charlotte-09

    Hey. How do you get invited to this thing? :)

    3 Feb 2009, 16:48
  • Babs_05

    PM me. :) They keep sending me invitations to share.

    3 Feb 2009, 16:50
  • Babs_05

    Spotify FAQs https://www.spotify.com/en/help/faq/ Last.fm scrobbling enabled from Edit - Preferences. additional Greasemonkey [quote]What countries is Spotify available in? We’ve released our free advertising supported version in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain. In most other countries Spotify Premium is available for purchase. [/quote]

    3 Feb 2009, 16:58
  • Babs_05

    Feb 2 - Spotify added a further 10,000 albums to the catalogue. I should have thought it was obvious that since the time of me writing this journal, more music would be added to the service.

    3 Feb 2009, 17:31
  • Spiral25

    I tried it recently. Still way too limited. The biggest problem is that the average person can't upload their own music at the moment. Last.FM is far better.

    27 Feb 2009, 23:31
  • Babs_05

    You mean artists can't upload their own music on Spotify? I hear Spotify are going to increase their ads to 2.5 mins per hour soon. I did sound comparisons last night between Spotify and Last.fm. I was listening to Berlioz. Spotify's 160 kbps Ogg Vorbis sounds washed clean. Last.fm 128 kbps MP3 sounds warm. Spotify might have auto-advance but a nasty advert for Glasvegas in the middle of an opera album is simply horrible. Fine if I'm not at my PC but if I'm here, I pick Last.fm, even if I have to click the next track myself.

    27 Feb 2009, 23:58
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