What last.fm really is now? Protest.

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Last.fm development is slow. The website is in beta for almost three years now. I don’t mind, since I erased last.fm from my daily habits a long time ago, waiting for the return of the SOCIAL media aspect. Today, I was confronted with the anti-adblock banner (while no adblock was active) which made me think that something went terribly wrong along the way. After three years of waiting, the moment to say something about it has come.

I'm a last.fm user for almost a decade now (October 2008, often also a subscriber) and I had a wonderful time using it, not gonna lie. I met A LOT of people here, some of them even became my friends, and they still are to this day. Checking out profiles was great fun due to the users' creativity. You just wanted to scrobble and show off your taste. This is all in the past now.

When the update of August 2015 [?] rolled out, everything, along with many key features, went to shambles. The majority of us had most likely thought that these will be just temporary issues. If we’d only known better at that time. The update not only was rushed but also negatively impactful in terms of what last.fm was supposed to be.

Now it's just a dull database. A database logging what music you’ve listened to and when. There are scrobbles, sure enough, but there is nothing you can really do with them. Nobody cares about neighbor profiles anymore, because they're dull in the exact same way your own profile is; a meager profile picture connected to some band names. There is absolutely no room for creativity. 'About me' was a really strong feature of the 'old' last.fm, which allowed you to express yourself much more freely, perhaps in an unconventional and quirky way. BBCode support, embedded pictures - it made every profile unique. Unique to the owner and people who visited it. There was something compelling about discovering new people; the pertaining curiosity. We could even write our own journal! Ha, nobody even read it, but damn, yet another feature to express yourself, gone. Not to mention the groups (do I even want to?). Hell, what about basic features like age or even country?

Why would I follow more users if there is no connectivity with them? There is no longer even a way to check what your friends (people you follow) are listening to right now without visiting their profiles. And you won't do that anymore, either, because there is nothing that piques your interest like back in the days, when you spotted someone listening to something, and you felt the need to check it out. There are no logs of users activity, which makes it impossible to keep track of what they do. Does your friend happen to be in an interesting discussion about an artist you actually care about? Well, too bad, because you will never know. No connection whatsoever.

The events are back, which is fantastic, but how long did it take? I check the feedback section with update logs from time to time, and all I see is disappointment. Every few months (!) there is just a minor fix or a feature update. Mostly things that nobody cares about. No, nobody cares about colorful charts full of boring, corporate-like numbers that last.fm is trying to shove ahead of the features that we really need back. Perhaps last.fm is trying to only recommend music now? Hell, with all that scrobble history, it’s probably extremely capable to do that, but even then, why would we use it in lieu of Spotify, which is the new king of recommendations. Always in a simple way, always in the same application you listen to music - just a click away. Come to think of it, we’ve come to the point where creating a playlist on Spotify has more social aspects than the entirety of last.fm. Especially when you notice that you can actually keep track of what your friends are listening to now.

As for the good things, look 'n' feel was in dire need of a refresh for ages. But after all these years, we still have a non-customizable background picture which is still nothing but an artist’s forehead showcase. I’ve become very proficient in recognizing artists by their foreheads, I kid you not. Shoutbox improvements were also really welcome.

I hope it's not just me who misses the way last.fm used to be. And I hope it will get back to what we loved for years. As a sign of protest against current policy I suggest to turn on your adblock. If you ever get annoyed by the not-so-easy-to-remove anti-adblock banner, just add this to your filters: last.fm##div[style*="visibility:"]

With really mixed love, Aztek92 https://imgur.com/a/I7qbBXG


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Aztek

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Posted 2 years ago

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carnagexcandy, Moderator

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I had to read a lot to know what is being protested. I think the marjority have been using ad-block for a very long time. Interesting post, a lot has been echoed by people in the past and it's interesting to see frustration is still strong within the community.

Good venting, but the developers will continue to do what they want; "Guts of the site first, social aspect later."
(Edited)
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Bobby Digital

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User since 2006. I used to have all these crazy stats in my about me section, including all of the artists I'd seen live, now it's just a husk of what it once was. This beta is the worst. Sure there have been some interesting additions if you're into stats, but the social aspect, creativity and individuality has been stripped from the site completely. I 100% agree on how the only updates and modifications are to minor things that nobody was asking for. Why not address the glaring issues that the community has been voicing for years now? 

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