Have you heard of scrobbling?I just discovered this past time a few months back and only started to seriously play around with it recently. I feel so dated compared to the rest of the world but I am now so addicted to it !
The company that is most famous for this concept is, of course, last.fm. They have this software that you can install into your personal computer and when you listen to your music through iPod or through iTunes, the songs are tracked by the software. The key tags (song title, artist name and album name) of the song are then automatically sent to last.fm database and linked to your music profile in last.fm. As an user of iPod or iTunes, you may not realized it but when you skipped tracks and frequently listened to your favourite songs (or type of songs or singers), these information are kept in the database in iPod and iTunes. Hence, when you start scrobbling yourself, you can then, after a period of time, see what artists or type of music you really listen to the most. Songs you listened to will also appear on your last.fm profile page for others to see.
For me, I use another different software (called Lastpod) because it gives me the most flexibility for my circumstances (too many PCs, too many software, too many locations to listen to music). It is slightly more troublesome (I have go through several steps to run the script to upload the scrobbling results from my iPod to last.fm database). It is a necessary evil for me though 🙂
Whichever software you uses for scrobbling, the most important part of the scrobbling is obviously the social networking component. Last.fm creates your music profile page for you to share your listening taste with the rest of the world.
My music profile page is: Chinese Album Art Music Profile at last.fm
And of course you can then look for people with similar tastes in music, or listen to free music on the last.fm web site or even joined groups of different interests in the music world. The ever perfectionist in me will go around, updating the album art for different albums or artist pictures when they are missing in the last.fm web site (and of course, as usual, the Chinese albums/artists tend to be a little less complete compared to the English world).
But of course, no web site is going to stop at that anymore. It is just not enough in Web 2.0 world.
Last.fm also created different kind of widgets to be added to your web page (e.g. blogger, LiveJournal) or to your different social networking web sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo). There are different kinds of widgets such as charts which shows what the user (and even his friends) are listening to now, the user’s charts of top albums, artists etc, a Radio Player, a Playlist Player and even different type of Quilts which shows the ALBUM ART of the top albums an user has listened to. I told you that Album Art is so important !! 🙂 🙂 🙂
So today, I have added a widget (on the left hand side of the web page) to share what I am listening to now or recently. In the near future, I might also add a quilt of my top albums just to display the album art of the music I listened to.
The world of online music is so fantastic !