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Many users have mentioned using the beta for several months and giving lots of useful feedback, none of which seems to have been implemented in the new site. I just wonder if there's any explanation, as it seems any feedback you see on this forum is the same exact feedback you received in the months preceding the launch.
Since the launch of the site has been quite unconventional, it would also be helpful to address the reason for launching in its current state. Did moving data to the new server cause thousands of scrobbles to disappear on the old site, causing panic among users, leading the new site to be launched early in order to solve the scrobble problem - at the expense of other features?
As I read the support team's responses to many of the users' legitimate concerns, it very much seems that last.fm is imposing their own preferences on users:
"We want artist name - song name" No, long song names cut off
"We want top 50 charts" No, check your library for the list.
"We want 2 top artist lists" No, you only need one.
"We want square avatars" No, it's circle now
"We want friends not followers" No, it's followers now.
Given the contrarian nature of the support team's responses, I get the impression that the developers are designing the site for some imaginary group of users rather than the users on this forum voicing their concerns.
I believe the new site should not be a collection of arbitrary changes imposed on its users, asking them merely to adapt - but a well-researched site expertly designed to accommodate its users thanks to the invaluable feedback of the community. With all the data already collected on this forum, I have no doubt that this is possible.
I'd like to conclude by saying that for many of us, last.fm is not merely a statistics database - or a place to discover new music, or a place to meet friends, or to find shows. As you can see from the 700 topics gathered on this forum over several days, last.fm is a spiritual home that is synonymous with our music experience. By telling us to expect changes over the next "weeks and months" you are actually telling us to abandon our music experience for this indeterminate amount of time. As exaggerated as this sounds, it really is true - and perhaps the only way to see from our perspective is to be a daily (hourly?) user for close to a decade - which is the case for many of us.
I'm not trying to pass any blame or feed the fire, I'm only trying to help the last.fm team understand the true significance of the site and thus the cause for the apparent backlash.
Thanks for reading and hope to hear some detailed responses from the last.fm team.