Sadly, another complaint about the new web site.

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I have been a subscriber to last.fm for years. Why? Well, I recognized the value that you provide. As a software developer, I understand databases, and, to me, that is what last.fm is, a database that keeps track of all of the music I ever listen to.

This is valuable because I can then go back and rediscover music that I have listened to in the past. I have listened to over 3,000 artists. Many I may never listen to again, but in this era of streaming music services, there is so much more music that is accessible, and being able to cull through all of that and find new music that I like is not easy.

Except it was with the old last.fm web site.

You see, your database, coupled with people's tagging, made all kinds of links, links between related artists, links between people with related musical interests, etc. Further, the old web site provide a means to search those links and find new music. Today, I am no longer able to do most of that.

Here are a few examples.

  • The search no longer provides tags as results. Often I am in the mood for some genre. This is one of the areas where last.fm excelled, because genres are created by the community, not some default subset of genres that all of the streaming services provide, and most music I listen to would just fall under "electronic" or "world" and be lumped in with millions of other songs that I really am not in the mood for.
  • There is no longer any access to neighbors. I can see my followers, and that is it. I have often discovered new music by seeing those people who have similar musical tastes, and what they are listening to. In fact, I think that is the only way that I have built up a list of followers. I do not connect last.fm to any social media, and I shouldn't need to. I already know my real-life friends and family do not share my musical interests.
  • The list of tags on a given artist is much smaller. There are now only about five tags listed for an artist, even if there may be many more. I have found some really wacky tags which have then allowed me to discover new music, and with the limited list of tags displayed, that will no longer be possible.
So, the gist of the above is that functionality that I depended on is no longer available.

The next biggest issue I take is that I feel that the usability factor has gone down. Now, I studied human-computer interaction in college, so I will try to elucidate on that point.

As many have stated, there is a large amount of white space. It's kind of a web 2.5 or something that's going on here, but it really is a large waste of space, and I think a lot of us have enjoyed the original layout.

I was going to write more in this category, but now I can't find much more usability issues to write about. The format is basically space-wasting and inefficient. There are plenty of missing features, and plenty of changes, but I can't count either of those as usability issues.

I will end with this. Though I came to last.fm for the database and its features, I did also make use of the last.fm labs, including "Blasts from the Past," the feature to see what areas of the site you've visited, and the tags filtering of my library. I have also used third-party features. I would love it if these things made a comeback, but getting the basic functionality that I describe at the beginning of this post is of utmost importance to me. I'll even deal with the usability issue if the functionality is there. For now, there is no alternative.

I'm hopeful that the folks at last.fm will take our complaints to heart, and at some point I can be a last.fm subscriber once again.

Thank you for your consideration.
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ProjectPitchfork

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  • horribly disappointed, frustrated that there are no alternatives

Posted 4 years ago

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ProjectPitchfork

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I also liked the ability to sort my library of artists alphabetically. Sometimes I could not fully remember an artists name, but for some reason my brain remembers first letters. Also, by sorting alphabetically, the music styles are all jumbled up, and that's kind of nice for randomly selecting some music to listen to.
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ProjectPitchfork

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I discovered that recommendations are available if I click on the last.fm logo. Normally I would do all of my browsing of the last.fm web site from my profile page, and in the previous version of the site, this was sufficient, so I didn't think to use that, and didn't realize until recently that recommendations still exist, and how to find them.

But, actually, recommendations aren't the best way for me to discover new music any more. When I first started scrobbling to last.fm, they were great. But now, the only recommendations left are for bands that are not available via my streaming music service of choice. I suppose I should hide those recommendations and see if new ones show up that might be available.
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ProjectPitchfork

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There is another usability issue with the new site. It is much harder to navigate through your library of artists if you have a large collection. The old site had a drop-down to quickly take you by ten pages through the list, and all of the information was contained on one page without the need to scroll, so it was quick to scan the list and click the forward and backward buttons.

With the new site, more artists are shown per-page, but you must scroll, and there is no way to get to the end of your list except to scroll to the bottom and click next, over and over again. I have over 3,000 artists in my library, and that adds up to 78 pages. This makes it too difficult to discover artists that I have not listened to much of and I'm sure most people will never be encouraged enough to try to get to the end of their list.

This, coupled with no ability to sort alphabetically, or to filter by tags, makes library navigation very much less useful than it was.
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Erik Qbaliqh

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More damage done. No hotlinks to the pages in our artist libraries and no capability to alphabetize ANYWHERE in this new format. 

No word from the powers-that-be if any are " returning soon" or "under consideration."

I have 26 artists I scrobbled to Last.fm with almost 100 tracks that had time-date stamps & album info in the old format which have not yet appeared in my library--and they came from Spotify!!

And they were, and....~SHRUG~
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Zach.S

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I agree with pretty much everything. The number one thing I miss is the giant list of similar artists, that's what I used the most.
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Robin Stenerlöv

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"There is another usability issue with the new site. It is much harder to navigate through your library of artists if you have a large collection. The old site had a drop-down to quickly take you by ten pages through the list, and all of the information was contained on one page without the need to scroll, so it was quick to scan the list and click the forward and backward buttons.

With the new site, more artists are shown per-page, but you must scroll, and there is no way to get to the end of your list except to scroll to the bottom and click next, over and over again. I have over 3,000 artists in my library, and that adds up to 78 pages. This makes it too difficult to discover artists that I have not listened to much of and I'm sure most people will never be encouraged enough to try to get to the end of their list.

This, coupled with no ability to sort alphabetically, or to filter by tags, makes library navigation very much less useful than it was."

This is my number one biggest issue with the new website (although I have issues with basically everything) and I have been adressing it lots of times before but you really nailed it with your explanation. The deconstruction of the library is what will most definately make me leave lastfm, it has killed any interest I had in visiting other people's profiles or scroll through my own library for that matter. Totally hideous and I fail to see any logical reason for it.
(Edited)
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rionka

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Thank you guys for the excellent analysis. I agree with the waste of space problem, search/tagging problems, navigation problem in the library, endless scrolling.. It was stupid to think that the loss of my bio/sidebar data & my events was the main issue. The accessibility is everything. Some of these points frustrate me even more but i appreciate the feeling that I'm not alone.
(Edited)
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Michel Ranzijn

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The most frustrating part is that there is no alternative. I loved last.fm because of the scrobble functionality and the collective memory of my listening habits. It seems that last.fm owners didn't understand this part of uniqueness. Hopefully that they will at least launch a couple of the basic functionality the coming days. But the lack of any really communication don't give any hope of good improvement. 

About the usability, I completely agree. This is a good and structural way of analyzing. 
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James Usill

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"The most frustrating part is that there is no alternative."
now THAT is a damning comment about a website redesign!
The worst part is there isn't an alternative, because we'd ALL be there right now if there was!
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James Usill

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Yes, tag search was a HUGE part of music discovery for me!
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Uncle O'Grimacey

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Great thread.  I'd comment more, but I'm not sure what last.fm's target audience is any more, since they seem antagonistic toward the old target audience.  With the old site, I'd have gone to commenter's profile pages and maybe made friends, but now we're so disconnected with this satellite forum, I can't even tell who's who.
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James Usill

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I don't think its an accident that we dissidents have been put here away from everyone else...
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Tom Stephen

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ProjectPitchfork - first, I like you so much for your nickname. Spilles and PP are my love 'til my death. And above this, very good post. Sad fact is that no one listen us in this forum except users.
(Edited)
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Ilpo WG

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I would love to see lots of subscribers cancelling the service. I just did it myself, after been a subscriber since 2012. I encourage everyone to do the same and to show last.fm that we are not happy at all with their silence, with their new broken website. It's hurting them where they seem to feel, not with words lost in a forum they will never see but touching their pockets nd credibility.
They had a very unique website and decided to become just like the hundred others out there.... sad, sad move.
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Ilpo WG

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All these big internet corporations bet on the idea that we are all highly addicted to their services, which is true in many cases. That how facebook is making millions and others are following the same path. They believe that no matter what the do with the website we users will at some point give up on complaining and accept, simply because we cannot live without them. I heard a lot about all the changes fb underwent a while ago and no one of the comments were stressing how good and pleasant they were but how more addictive they made the whole fb experience. A similar matter happens here i guess. last.fm is betting that we will all, albeit our current complaints, end up accepting their market-orientated changes and go back to using their service and help their pockets getting bigger and bigger.
This posture drives me mad because it implies they, and only them, can tell us what we like, what we want. The crushing majority of users from last.fm, users that have been using the website for many, many years now, have been trying to tell them what they really want, even during the beta phase, to no avail.
Attitudes like this are intented at supressing all potential for change in rebellion that lies inside each one of us, companies like these turn our fun, our entertainment in a merchandise and they get inside of us to start change what we want. They change our desires and expect to get away with it.
They believe in a while all this revolt about the new site will be silenced, and they took good care of it by putting all discussion outside last.fm website, so they can trash it at some point.
I'm here to say that no, that you won't silence my voice. That my wishes and what I love are way more important than kneeling down to your market aspirations, to your hunger for money and to your disrespect towards music in general (thinking of how obscure artists will perish in this new website). They treat us like sheeps, like stupid ducks swimming in a bathtub controlled by no one more than themselves. And I'm here to say this duck here can fly and will no longer stay here. To hell to your corporativism. Long live the rebellious heart!  
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Tom Stephen

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Ilpo WG, well said.
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Kat May

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I miss my old bio. I miss my list of friends. I miss the recent activity list. I miss my journals. I MISS THE ENTIRE SIDEBAR. Also, why'd I have to sign in with Google plus to "like" any of these comments? Why can't I just leave a shout like before? What the Hell even is this?
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rionka

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i miss being emotionally invested into the lastfm community. all i feel now is that i don't care anymore.
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Tom Stephen

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Same here. I spent hours a day in last.fm, and I was not passive (having last.fm in one of tabs in browser), I spent it searching music, editing bands' wiki or seeing a lot of users profiles. It was addicting like drugs, but now.. now I'm disappointed, sad, and confused between staying or leaving.
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laís

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i miss the satisfaction after a week of listening to music in my cellphone because I can't have my computer always with me and then looking at the charts and being like ohh Monday i was sad so that's why...
I would like the app to work, like, I use quietscrob for iPhone and it worked like heaven and I could "love" a track or another and "unlove" them and unscrobble them, and I have the full app I paid for it and now it won't login because some API key or something won't work properly and I just miss it, I would like to get it back before I lose my scrobbles
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Dargor Dt

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The way the library is set-up, is a nightmare.

Imagine 100 books, all placed neatly on the shelf as books are usually stored. You can see the sides and are able to get the book of your liking in one second. That was how Last.fm showed the library music-wise.

Now they have turned it 90 degrees. The books are on top of each other, like you sometimes collect and order magazines (weekly or monthly). To get a book that is near the bottom, you have to remove books on top of it first. Very annoying. Very inconvenient. 

If this system on the new website was deliberately created to annoy users of the website, I'd say mission accomplished.
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clark_

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I prefered the charts rather than images... There is no way to personalize it, it's frustrating. The recommendations page has become a huge mess where albums, events and artists are blend together. I got recommendations that I have already scrobbled before... It's disappointing. The old last.fm was so much better.
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James Usill

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Yes, reccomendations is pretty much unusable now, which is sad after I've always championed it to any musically minded people I meet
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c88mileshome

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I don't get why we can't have HTML even within the 200 character limit.
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He's dead, Jim!

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There is a difference between filing a bug report and starting ten threads complaining that a feature not currently working, but is promised in a later version will never come back and you will delete your Last.fm account and it's the fault of shape shifting aliens or something.
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Firstneim Lastneim

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I haven't said anything about deleting my account or about shape shifting aliens, nor have i started ten threads complaining about the same thing. You try so hard to be derisive, but instead you only managed to write a delirious, ridiculous, grammar-defective, useless and somehow amusing phrase. Which is a great accomplishment in and of itself. Me likey alot!
(Edited)
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He's dead, Jim!

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Perhaps not you, but way too many have.
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c88mileshome

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I think most of the complaints are valid. Some people have spent years curating their collections and profiles, and it was a particular pleasure to stop by and get involved. The sudden and wide-ranging disruption to features like events, music libraries, groups, neighbours, shout boxes, the about me section and so on has made stopping by a pleasure very much postponed.
(Edited)
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He's dead, Jim!

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There is a difference between "OK, feature X is not online right now. I guess I'll just have to wait a bit for it." and "Oh no! Feture X is not online right now. It will never come back. Everything is destroyed. My life is total misery because feature X i missing."
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Berthold von Stauffenberg

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I count myself also in the camp of the disappointed - to many things that do not work... except a somewhat more modern look, nothing is better (or, where there is a new feature, it does not seem to work (such as the link to spotify)
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Whispered X (Spineshank155)

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It's been like 2 months and the site is still incomplete. And just like a week ago or so the shoutbox pages have returned, but still no bbcode. Even the shoutboxes are dead though.. =\

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