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Last.FM To Require Subscription For Mobiles and Home Devices

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-thine-foot-offend-thee,-shoot-it dept.

Music 173

Hummdis writes "If you, like so many others, listen to Last.FM on your mobile or home entertainment devices, then you're going to need to pay for this once-free service effective February 15th. It remains free to listen on the Last.FM website, Xbox Live, Windows Mobile 7 phones and the desktop app, but if you want to continue to listen on Android, your Blu-ray player, or any other device, you'll need to spend the $3.00 per month to be able to do so."

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173 comments

Died when they dropped Canada (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130550)

Last.FM died for me when Canadians needed to start paying while Americans didn't.

Non-US alterantives (2)

IDK (1033430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130628)

Last.FM died for me when Canadians needed to start paying while Americans didn't.

That was also the case for europeans. Are there any alterantives to this for us non-us folks?

Re:Non-US alterantives (3, Informative)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130686)

Slacker radio is one of the best as far as I'm concerned.

Personally, SomaFM is what I use for streaming, as it suits my needs for music that can play in the background while coding/gaming/whatevering. I only listen to actual music on the road, and I don't stream that.

Re:Non-US alterantives (2)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130898)

Pandora moved to an hour cap per month right around the time I was at the Blackberry developer conference and met one of the Slacker devs. I checked it out and loved it.

Since then I've tried other services but continue to use Slacker. They seem to get what people want.. .free service with commercials or paid service.

The only downside is I can't find Trailer Park Troubadours or Sisters Morales (two bands I played with) on Slacker while I could on Pandora... but in due time I'm sure.

Re:Non-US alterantives (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131010)

I subscribe to both, last.fm and soma. At three dollars a month each, they're a fantastic bargain. With last you have to invest some time and energy into personalizing it, but in my experience it's well worth it. Just the other day I was thinking to myself, "never have I had access to so much good programming for so little money".

Re:Non-US alterantives (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35132296)

I think I'll do that too. I still don't understand why Europeans must pay and USians must not. Sounds a bit unfair if you ask me, but well, there are no international jurisdiction on these kind of things. I think it compensates for having crazy things like the DMCA and software patents...

Re:Non-US alterantives (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35132046)

>>>Slacker radio is one of the best as far as I'm concerned.

I just listen to standard AM or FM stations. Since HD multiplexing has arrived, most of them carry advertising-free channels which specialize in various formats (disco, club, alternative, album rock, etc).

Here's the one I listen to while at work (since everything else is blocked):
http://radiotime.com/station/s_52398/Mix_2_1065.aspx [radiotime.com]
Or Radio Jackie in London - www.radiojackie.com/listennowpage.asp

Re:Non-US alterantives (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130702)

Last.FM died for me when Canadians needed to start paying while Americans didn't.

That was also the case for europeans. Are there any alterantives to this for us non-us folks?

Grooveshark kicks *ss. The radio may not be so great, but I like it a lot.

Re:Non-US alterantives (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130996)

Grooveshark costs money for the mobile version also...

Re:Non-US alterantives (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131184)

Yeah, I thought he could meant the mobile version, but since Last.fm on my desktop only allows 30 useless seconds of music (at least on my country), he may have been talking about Last.fm in general. I would rather give redundant information than stay silent. :)

Re:Non-US alterantives (1)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130708)

I use Grooveshark but they charge $3/mo for their mobile app as well. Pandora is still good and free, though

Re:Died when they dropped Canada (2)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130920)

Ahh... I was wondering why this was news..
Apparently it's not news or stuff that matters until it affects the USA.

Not that it affected me much, I just tossed my MP3 player back on the charger and carried on.

Re:Died when they dropped Canada (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131146)

"Apparently it's not news or stuff that matters until it affects the USA."

Err...well, Slashdot.org IS a US centric website/forum you know...

Re:Died when they dropped Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131220)

Err...well, Slashdot.org IS a US centric website/forum you know...

Err... no, it's not.

Re:Died when they dropped Canada (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131382)

Actually it is. If you go to slashdot.org/faq and look under the editorial section you'll see:

"Slashdot seems to be very U.S.-centric. Do you have any plans to be more international in your scope?

Slashdot is U.S.-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem. Slashdot is run by Americans, after all, and the vast majority of our readership is in the U.S. We're certainly not opposed to doing more international stories, but we don't have any formal plans for making that happen. All we can really tell you is that if you're outside the U.S. and you have news, submit it, and if it looks interesting, we'll post it. "

Re:Died when they dropped Canada (1)

mattcsn (1592281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131772)

Canadians can't get it streaming on Android at all, even if you have a paid account. It's about mobile broadcast licensing being different from desktop streaming, apparently. Frankly, it sounds like a load of horseshit.

I'm not losing any sleep over it anymore, though. I canceled my lastfm subscription entirely after that and never looked back. Three bucks per month was worth it to me, but only as long as streaming worked on all devices for which there's a working client.

Pandora it is then (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130570)

Good call, dopes..

Last.Time.I.Use.Last.FM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130582)

That is all

Re:Last.Time.I.Use.Last.FM (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130722)

Yep...I'd just recently discovered them and didn't really see much difference between them and Pandora.

I sometimes throw one or the other one while at work with the headphones on...and it is ok for that.

However, from time to time...it is hard to get signal, etc. And the time or two I tried to plug in and use it in the car was less than pleasant with all the dropouts.

A fun toy if you're sitting in one place...but not something that works consistently enough to pay for.

On the other hand...I can see that putting ads on the last.fm iPhone app like Pandora does is pretty useless, I mean.. who looks at the ads?

Heck, the screen blanks out after a few seconds to conserve battery power while it is playing. Who clicks the screen to have it come on just so you can see an ad?

Re:Last.Time.I.Use.Last.FM (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131234)

Yep...I'd just recently discovered them and didn't really see much difference between them and Pandora.

You would if you lived outside the USA.

Fair Enough (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130588)

Content costs money. They've been providing it for free for a long time, and will continue to provide it for free in many cases. Asking a small fee to support their efforts hardly seem unreasonable. I already pay for Pandora (also $3/month) and it's well worth it.

Re:Fair Enough (1)

mywhitewolf (1923488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130792)

so why only slug particular users though? why not everyone? does it cost the company more money to host to android devices? i wouldn't think so, certainly no more than off the internet.. maybe its harder to survive on advertising income stream on android devices?

Licensing (5, Interesting)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130862)

Because of draconian content distribution licensing schemes. Buying a license to stream over the internet is probably per-device, so computers require once license to distribute, handhelds/phones need another license fee, set-top boxes need another fee...

I used to work for a radio company and we ran into the same problems. Some content we paid for could be put over the airwaves and over the streaming internet station, some of it could only be put over the air, depending on the licensing. The company even got into trouble for having a pause button on the player, as that constituted downloading internet content which fell under a separate license than internet "streaming."

Re:Licensing (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131694)

Because of draconian content distribution licensing schemes. Buying a license to stream over the internet is probably per-device, so computers require once license to distribute, handhelds/phones need another license fee, set-top boxes need another fee...

That doesn't seem to be correct.

The rates seem to be based on the kind of service you provide and the amount of content you stream.

You'll pay more if you honor specific requests - streaming tiles from a catalog like Rhapsody's. Less if you look more like a radio station - building playlists around user-defined artists or themes. Licensing 101 [soundexchange.com]

There does seem to be an "enterprise cap."

The license will be a more or less a fixed and managable expense for something the size of Last.fm or Pandora.

But distribution costs and the general user experience will differ. The Berlin Philharmonic streams its concerts as a commercial free HD video subscription service with audio quality as high as 320 AAC.

You get what you are willing pay for.

Re:Fair Enough (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130864)

There is less value to advertisers when you don't see the ads. Computer screen? Xbox? $$$ is higher per impression. Note why Hulu requires a subscription for your iPad, PS3, etc while it doesn't on the web. Different platforms effect the value of the ad displayed.

Re:Fair Enough (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131002)

There is less value to advertisers when you don't see the ads. Computer screen? Xbox? $$$ is higher per impression. Note why Hulu requires a subscription for your iPad, PS3, etc while it doesn't on the web. Different platforms effect the value of the ad displayed.

That argument would have merit if the subscription fee included WP7 phones, which it does not.

Re:Fair Enough (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131058)

Microsoft may have made a deal to negate the need for the fee on the Windows phone platform. Capitalism 101. Personally, I'll stick to Android, but some people may see it as a perk.

Re:Fair Enough (2)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130852)

Someone linked to this from the Ars article on the subject, seems quite relevant: How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online? [informatio...utiful.net]

Re:Fair Enough (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131144)

Quite interesting. Aside from the financial side, I think getting stuff played via internet radio and the like is more about exposure, though it is good to see that self-pressed CDs make the most for the artist (not that this wasn't obvious already).

The problem is that you will earn a lot less by changing from free to pay for (even if you only charge $3 p/m) due to people's perception of value. You've already set the value of the service at free, to charge feels like the subscriber is getting ripped off. These internet radio stations do make money via advertising, so there is no need to charge.

I have stopped using sites/services that have either changed what is available to non-paying subscribers or started charging for the service. I see my friends doing the same thing. It's better to make a little off a lot of users than make a lot of a few users. It's a lot harder to expand your user base if you charge for something they can get elsewhere for free.

Re:Fair Enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130968)

Content requires money.
And $3 a month isn't too bad depending on the number of users and the fixed costs.

However, entertainment costs are *way* too high given the huge glut of entertainment available. A fair price might be $1 per month.

I know cable TV has gotten too high. Look a way for a second and it's $80 without premium services.

Re:Fair Enough (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131028)

Content costs money. They've been providing it for free for a long time, and will continue to provide it for free in many cases. Asking a small fee to support their efforts hardly seem unreasonable.

OK... fine then... as long as there is no advertising, a small fee is quite reasonable.

Re:Fair Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131236)

Maybe when they can make their app work, I'd consider paying for it. As it is the Ban button has been broken for many users for ages and they refuse to even acknowledge it. Fat chance I'd ever pay for it. Note, Zune Pass is effectively the same price if you consider the 10 free songs per month to be worth 10 dollars.

Re:Fair Enough (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131540)

Great point, for you and the one other guy that bought a zune. To this day I still have not seen one in real life.

Re:Fair Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131636)

You know Zune Pass works fine without a Zune, right? I don't have one, but during the trial I was able to make it work on my gaming PC (my only Windows rig) and my XBox 360 fine. The Kinect integration is kind of meh, I expected better, but you can get everything out of Zune Pass without a Zune that you can get out of Last.fm, save an Android app.

Re:Fair Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131896)

To this day I still have not seen one in real life.

Yeah, and you're a whole fucking statistical universe, you are.

Ok, Next (4, Informative)

bobjr94 (1120555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130604)

Shoutcast has thousands of streams, Pandora , Maestro.fm, if you have satellite radio you can listen for free online, there are hundreds of sites on Itunes radio, etc...Shouldnt be much of a problem to ditch them.

Re:Ok, Next .... or not cause your stuck. (1)

tecker (793737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130990)

if you have satellite radio you can listen for free online

You can listen online for free? News to me. My Sirius package doesn't have internet access last I checked. Maybe I need to try logging in.


Oh, and just how do you get any of those services on your XBOX360 or other device that ONLY has Last.FM?

Re:Ok, Next .... or not cause your stuck. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35132134)

Xbox Live still gets it for free, so those individuals don't need to move anyway.

Re:Ok, Next (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131208)

if you have satellite radio you can listen for free online

Not on SiriusXM. $3 a month for internet or mobile access.

Re:Ok, Next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131666)

I can listen to local radio over the computer too. Where I live the government allowed too many fm stations (the band is super-crowded). Its closing in on 50 FM stations. I think many of them are owned by single companies (3-4 formats owned by company A, 3-4 formats owned by company B, etc). I'm not eating up bandwidth running software that's capturing data from my computer tuner card either. 50 stations to chose from... then like the parent posted, stream sources over the internet (shoutcast, etc), also streaming radio over satellite (about 200 stations there, again, with no bandwidth surcharge). LastFM is going away, OH No! I think I listened to them once. Imagine someone sitting on a beach on the ocean, charging for salt water. They own this section of beach, and if you want salt water there, then you either have to pay, or own a certain kind of "LAST FM" bucket... now replace salt water with songs, beach with internet, and this section of beach with their website. I think I might have a stroll down the beach.

Re:Ok, Next (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35132090)

Shoutcast is hard to beat and when I'm driving I listen to XM nearly all the time. Between those two I get all the "radio" I need.

If XM should raise their rates again, I may drop 'em.

Bleh. (4, Informative)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130606)

Only reason I had the Last.fm app on my phone was because I could listen without either a) having to pay or b) getting stuck with a skip limit; though, to be honest, I haven't used it much as of late, being that I can get an actual decent radio station stream via TuneIn. Still sad to see it go this way though.

So How Do They Know? (2)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130626)

So how do they know if you're on Android listing through your browser? Change the ID string to Internet Explorer (or Firefox if you can't stomach Microsoft anything) and keep on listening.

Re:So How Do They Know? (3, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130710)

So how do they know if you're on Android listing through your browser? Change the ID string to Internet Explorer (or Firefox if you can't stomach Microsoft anything) and keep on listening.

I'm guessing if you're doing it that way it's fine, but if you're using the Last.FM app itself, then you'll have to pay. If you leave it at default it'll just take you to the appropriate place to download the app. If you fake the browser ID you get the desktop page which can take forever to render and the flash thing can be as slow as anything (and thusly drain your battery faster).

Re:So How Do They Know? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130840)

You need to access a page? Rhythmbox has last.fm support built-in and it doesn't render html at all.

Flash Player (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130870)

The Flash Player can report your system info.

Re:Flash Player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130888)

Not if you're using a hacked version of the Flash Player. People are watching Hulu on Android devices in this way.

Re:So How Do They Know? (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131338)

Flash reports what platform it is running on.

Re:So How Do They Know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131606)

Shh! You're not supposed to tell them that...

Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130630)

I wonder how much Microsoft kicked them to keep access from their devices free.

Enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130640)

Every project not being able to resist the temptation to go with the devil will burn in hell in the eternity!

Re:Enough! (4, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130680)

sheesh. Wanting compensation for your efforts does not imply the devil is involved. Get a grip.

That clucking and flapping sound ... (3, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130648)

... that's the chickens coming home to roost.

All you folks who ditched the eeeevil "traditional" services that wanted payment because stuff on the internet was free: this is your wake-up call. Now that you've had a taste of their wares, it's time to pay up if you want the good stuff.

It wasn't going to be free forever, so you need to start thinking about which businesses you want to support, because the big media conglomerates are about to roll over the web like the juggernauts they are.

Re:That clucking and flapping sound ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130880)

nay! nay! nay I say! naaaayyyyy!

There, fixed that for ya Much love, AC

Re:That clucking and flapping sound ... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130932)

I don't think so.

As long as thees dumb companies make it so you can get it free one way, and have to pay using other ways, it'll be pretty simple to get it free the other ways, using technical hacks.

For instance, if you're on your PC, using an open-source audio player, how can they keep you from getting it for free? All you have to do is make it look like the audio player is a web browser, which is trivial. Writers of these free audio players will have no problem writing plug-ins for these services which fool them into thinking you're using their website and looking at ads, even though you aren't.

Now, if they make it so that EVERYONE has to pay, then that's not so trivial to get around. However, if they do that, it's likely that they're going to fold, because they're not going to get enough people interested off the bat to pay up. That's why they want to preserve the free-access methods, so that they can get people hooked, and then con them into paying for access with their mobile devices.

Re:That clucking and flapping sound ... (3, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130940)

Or we'll just wait for some other small startup company to come along and broadcast free radio over the net again. We'll switch to that until they get big and start charging, and then it's on to the next service. Welcome to the web. Things move fast here Sweetheart. ;)

Re:That clucking and flapping sound ... (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131088)

I've probably been on the web much longer than you, Sweetheart. I think the days when small startups offer things for free is coming to an end. The time to choose who you want to support with your payments is coming fast. Don't confuse the web of your youth with the web of the future. I have not, and I haven't been wrong so far.

Re:That clucking and flapping sound ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131486)

You mean like Shoutcast? Which has 46,171 stations broadcasting as of right this second? And that's not even counting the ones not listed on that directory?

Free will always find a way. If last.fm wants to cut off their nose to spite their face, they're welcome to. Nothing of value was lost.

Quality is the issue for me (4, Interesting)

Lyrata (1900038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130656)

I've used Last.fm for a long time, but on my Android phone (Droid 1) the quality is mediocre at best and cuts out on occasion. I won't be paying for this.

Re:Quality is the issue for me (1)

Qlither (1614211) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131974)

I have to agree, it also seems to make the media player open and being playing a song after closing it some times. I have yet to see a pattern, other than with 10 minutes of closing the Last.fm app it may play a random song, perhaps scrobbling issues?

Either way, i mainly use Last.fm to store all the data on songs i have played since 2008. To save/backup that data you can use *Last.fm Scrobble Mapper. Which after pulling the data can then save it to either windows media player or itunes. I tend to find it a horrible waste not to do something with that data.

So you can also make cool background images of all the bands you have listened too using **Music Quilt Screensaver or get even more stats using ***Last.fm Extra Stats.

I plan to carry on using last.fm, it is a good service (crappy app aside). Though i will mainly only scrobble to it. I will think about paying just to support them.

*http://build.last.fm/item/498
**http://build.last.fm/item/455
***http://www.last.fm/user/C26000/journal/2006/07/30/383m_last.fm_extra_stats

Not relevant because of grooveshark (4, Interesting)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130672)

Last.fm is hardly relevant today, because of grooveshark.

Grooveshark is like last.fm, except that you can play any list of songs you want in any order that you want, and you can rewind/fast forward as you wish. Oh, and it lets you play music all day long (there is no limit to number of minutes you can be connected).

I'm surprised that the RIAA hasn't come down like a ton of bricks on Grooveshark yet. It is different from limewire and napster-classic in just two ways:

  • The music you stream cannot easily be downloaded for storage for offline play.
  • Anything that looks like Pink Floyd is removed. That's the only band that Grooveshark admins fear.

Re:Not relevant because of grooveshark (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130752)

The music you stream cannot easily be downloaded for storage for offline play.

A quick glance at the search engine of your choice shows that doing exactly that is trivial.

I keep wondering what keeps Grooveshark going. (1)

techvet (918701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130790)

The kids listen to Grooveshark, which has no commercials and no limits (of which I am aware). When is the hammer falling on it?

Re:Not relevant because of grooveshark (3, Informative)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130882)

I thought I'd check out your recommendation. Unfortunately, according to the android market at least, grooveshark requires $9 month for a "Groovshark Anywhere" subscription if you want to use it from your mobile, although it does have a free trial of unspecified length.

Re:Not relevant because of grooveshark (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130978)

I don't know if it's just a buggy implementation of flash on Linux or what, but I've been having issues with the Grooveshark website for about two months now. Quite specifically, the login feature seems to fail to register button clicks at all for me. I hope I can get it figured out soon, I really did love that site (and just before it bugged out, I has spent a good 5 hours perfecting a nerd-rock playlist).

Grooveshark Retro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35132068)

They still have their old interface up and running: http://retro.grooveshark.com/

Thank me later :)

Re:Not relevant because of grooveshark (2)

HazE_nMe (793041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131108)

If you want to use Grooveshark from your Android device without paying for a Grooveshark Anywhere account just get TinyShark from the market. It looks like it just streams through HTTP and Grooveshark doesn't know you are listening on a mobile device.

Grooveshark also plays non-US music (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131288)

This is a godsend for those of us with foreign music tastes (at least I could find many French artists). Too bad that Apple is still shackled by the music industry into not allowing cross-border music sharing... then grooveshark it is.

Re:Not relevant because of grooveshark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131790)

No Beatles either, but I like Grooveshark.
You can record stuff as it streams of course.
I like the playlist functions.

Re:Not relevant because of grooveshark (1)

zeroeth (1957660) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131872)

Grooveshark and Last.fm have a large area of non overlap.

* Last.fm provides a great social aspect to your favorite music, as well as to the band/song bio pages.
* Last.fm's tag/artist/genre stations are great for honing in on what you want to listen to.
* Last.fm has great coverage of indie artists (Especially 8-bit chiptunes)
* Last.fm lets artist songs to be aired in full during streaming, but only sampled for 30 second previews (if they want to sell them for instance)

Grooveshark and Pandora are great for things more mainstream. Soundcloud and Last.fm are hands down the best, for the rest.

Re:Not relevant because of grooveshark (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131950)

Anything that looks like Pink Floyd is removed. That's the only band that Grooveshark admins fear.

That's because Pink Floyd have their own air force. They bought RAF Mildenhall in the 1980s. Although it's techically a US Air Force base, it's privately funded by a shadowy organisation headed up by Dave Gilmour.

Wonder who's sponsoring this... (3, Interesting)

lowlymarine (1172723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130714)

Free on the desktop, XBox Live, and Windows Phone 7, eh? Gee, how inconspicuous. But seriously, with all the stuttering the Android app was worthless unless you were ONLY listening to Last.FM and not trying to actually use your multitasking anyways; if I had to guess, they didn't give the audio stream the right level of priority. Since no other media player had those kind of problems, I wasn't sure whether it was merely incompetence or an attempt to drive people away from using the radio on their phones. I guess now we know?

Re:Wonder who's sponsoring this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131270)

Free on the desktop, XBox Live, and Windows Phone 7, eh? Gee, how inconspicuous. But seriously, with all the stuttering the Android app was worthless unless you were ONLY listening to Last.FM and not trying to actually use your multitasking anyways; if I had to guess, they didn't give the audio stream the right level of priority.

Yeah microsoft probably got in and sabotaged the Android app too.

Google Listen? (3, Interesting)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130756)

There's always Google Listen [googlelabs.com] . It's not live streaming, but it has a large library of "casts" (should I really use the word "pod" for non-iOS centric speech?) available for your to peruse. Just sayin'..

Re:Google Listen? (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131250)

Good call! Mod parent up.

Fun fact: the term "broadcast" is a farming term referring to throwing seeds over a tilled field.

Inevitability (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130810)

I wonder if this will lead to more features in the last.fm Android client.

I used to use last.fm's radio a lot, but since I discovered subsonic, I just stream from my desktop. $13 bucks for lifetime usage (at least as long as they're still around) vs $3/month is a no brainer. Of course I realize the differences between a streaming 'predictive' radio and streaming from my own music, but I'm more of a whole album kinda guy anyway.

Re:Inevitability (1)

mariasama16 (1895136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131212)

*psst* Check out audiogalaxy, free to stream from your own collection. I've stopped listening to the streaming radio apps anyways, mostly because my own tastes are rather eccentric. Plus, listening to music I know I'll like rather than having to skip or downrank a song when in the middle of a task is a bonus.

Error in summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35130830)

It remains free to listen on the Last.FM website, Xbox Live, Windows Mobile 7 phones and the desktop app,

FTFA:

Last.fm Radio will remain free on the Last.fm website in the US, UK and Germany and for the US and UK users of Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 phones. We’ll also continue to offer radio for free via the Last.fm desktop app.

The summary did not guess correctly where I live.

Say what? (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130962)

This news surprises me. Last.fm has always been $3/month, with a very short free trial. I'm guessing it must have only been free in North America or something.

Earlier this year they also cut a number of "channels", including the option to listen to "my collection". They offered no discount for the reduced services so I gave up my subscription. I got the distinct impression that this was under pressure from the usual RIAA types.

Re:Say what? (1)

zrq (794138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131124)

I did the same. I used to listen Last.fm a lot, and I discovered several artists that I hadn't heard of before, and bought quite a few albums as a result.

I had a monthly subscription, and I thought it was well worth the money. I wasn't that interested in the big name bands, what was interesting were the less well known artists from their huge database of music from around the world. But like you, I cancelled my subscription when they cut the "my loved tracks".

It was nice while it lasted, but .. the world moves on.

Subsonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131032)

It's really easy really! Just download and install Subsonic to your online server, and stream your own music files from wherever, www, Android, iPhone or Windows 7...

http://www.subsonic.com

(I'm not affiliated with Subsonic, only a massive fan and heavy user)

Re:Subsonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131152)

oops, I meant subsonic.org =)

Re:Subsonic (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131196)

It's really easy really! Just download and install Subsonic to your online server, and stream your own music files from wherever, www, Android, iPhone or Windows 7...

http://www.subsonic.com

(I'm not affiliated with Subsonic, only a massive fan and heavy user)

I think the majority of folks don't want to listen to their "own" music via streaming (that's what flash-memory is for), but want services like Last.fm for streaming from a much larger library with recommendation services (and the occasional purchase option for the best songs).

Re:Subsonic (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131296)

Hmm....all I saw on this website were gaming controls and related stuff for xbox, ps3, wii.....nothing I saw about streaming music...?

What, people use it to stream lo-quality music? (2)

TheoGB (786170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131048)

I've only ever really used it as it was intended, as a scrobbling device for massive muso-geeks. Basically it's all about showing how fucking cool your music taste is.

http://last.fm/user/TheoGB [last.fm]

Read it and weep, crap music fans.

Re:What, people use it to stream lo-quality music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35131444)

Fuck yeah, scrobbling is where it's at! (I'm coming up to the big 200k soon!)

You're taste is very low to me, but the sentiment in your message is all that matters.

(I would like to add that the occasional listen to your recommend music station is worth it!)

I decided that free was too high a price for it (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131210)

It is not very good at all. It uses my juice and processing power "Scrobbling" whenever I play my own mp3s, it takes forever to load even though I have a high-end phone, it spends more time not playing than actually playing, and it keeps playing Breaking Benjamin and similar bands no matter how many times I tell it not to. Pandora isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than last.fm and my own library is best.

WAAAAAAA (0)

rabtech (223758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131398)

Waaaaaaa! Give me something for free! I hate commercials and advertising but I refuse to pay! Waaaaaaa!

In all seriousness there are definitely things to complain about (paying for cable TV but still having to put up with commercials; I'd be happy to pay for fewer channels and ditch the commercials). Or artificial restrictions... I'd be happy to pay the $150/yr license fee to get access to BBC here in the states but due to artificial geographic restrictions I cannot (and thus the incentive to pirate).

But complaining about paying for a service that delivers commercial-free music? One that you can *still get for free* on your computer? That's just being an ass.

ATTN: Any Last.fm engineers reading slashdot (1)

Paolomania (160098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131774)

Please add some form of adaptive (or configurable) quality to your streaming service. I currently find it unusable (and therefore not worth paying for) due to occasional audio gaps. I would FAR prefer lower quality without interruptions to a high quality stream that cuts out once or twice per song.

Alternative (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35131930)

Are there any alternatives that feature a tag system, and the ability to search the intersection between two tags (as Last.fm did, briefly, before inexplicably removing the feature)?

(i.e. return everything tagged with both "foo" and "bar")

Not news (1)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 3 years ago | (#35132382)

Last.fm has been requiring a subscription in other "less-civilized" countries (for all devices, computers included) like Canada for a while now. $3/month isn't bad for premium services. Additionally, Pandora won't even show us Canadians their home page, let alone stream music to us.

I'd rather pay $3 to have music than try to search around for stuff I want.
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