You’ve probably already got a ton of music in your pocket. But if you’re like me, you’ve also played every song from every album from every band on your iPod a minimum of 6,000 times. So what to do? Search the interwebs for hours on end, alone in the dark, spilling crisps all over yourself just to find maybe one or two new bands you might like? Nay!
Last.fm does the work of internet trolling for you. The idea is similar to the Music Genome Project: create your own radio station using a band you already like, and they’ll play music that is similar in sound and scope. But beyond just playing the music, Last.fm will also show you whether that band is currently on tour (and if so, where and when), what tracks you recently listened to (helpful if you’ve zoned out and suddenly want to recall the name of that really great tune they played three songs ago), and music stations they recommend based on your preferences.
My favorite feature, though, is “Events”: Last.fm uses your geographical location to determine any live music events occurring within a 50 km area. It also provides descriptive “tags” of what genre of music it is, as well as a bio of the artist. It’s a nice way to check out up-and-coming musicians or just do something different on an otherwise boring Tuesday night (or, you know, any other day).
The only thing keeping Last.fm from reaching 5-star status is that the free radio feature now has a 50-song limit. Once you’ve reached fifty, you must sign up for a paid subscription service – it’s only £3 per month, but knowing it used to be completely free does make forking the money over chafe a bit.
Whether you decide to purchase the subscription or not, the app itself is free so it’s worth a download. And hey – it beats playing that Arcade Fire song 6,001 times.