.. and - touch wood - not sold out to CBS.
What a cliché...
I can't speak highly enough of last.fm but the way it's been described by non-users has been amusing me all day.
No, last.fm isn't recommending anything to me but I can understand why people think it does.
I have used it to find, mainly, older music which I love but have lost touch with. I'm describing their (or what was their) target audience. Oh, I'll say it then: middle-aged geeks.
The BBC gets it right:
It allows users to connect with other listeners with similar music tastes, to custom-build their own radio stations and to watch music video-clips.I've used tagging to build up my own 'stations' and and 'gamed' it a touch in order to do that. I get to hear new things when I turn on 'Discovery' mode or I tune into another's 'station'. Usually in order to get something tagged which isn't otherwise available so I can hear it again.
I don't tend to just listen to another's 'station' but I do look at my 'neighbours' pages, those with similar tastes. It's not a very good word 'station' though: I ain't broadcasting.
Music clips leave me cold.
But it took months to get a real taste match (a couple I've found after 1,800 plays have spookily similar taste) and there's a lot of music which isn't available including from the likes of Aretha Franklin. I also have no way to save anything except by stripping info from my webpage (and remembering to).
I can only hope that the playlist expands as a result of the sale and that the marketing remains unobtrusive, though it's so good that I'd put up with a lot.