Late last evening after exploring lala, I tweeted the following:
Wow – you can now scrobble from lala to last.fm – update for the digital natives. Check under beta.
It was kind of a challenge from one 60-year-old to the digital natives of the world.
For those needing a translation (digital natives included) – LaLa and Last.Fm are online music services with interesting features. LaLa allows you to purchase music for download (or in CD format), but you can also play any song once for free and for 10 cents play any song any time. In addition, LaLa knows what music you own (if you enable the LaLa music mover) and you have access to these songs without payment even when accessing from different machines.
Last.Fm is a social music service. It offers streams based on your interests and your neighbours (British company), but the feature I like most is that it keeps track of the music you play on your computers (I guess to be more accurate I also have an app on my iPod and other apps may exist for other devices). I have been a pro member since Nov. 2006 (you need not pay the $4 per month if you want fewer services) and in this time it knows I have listened to 82944 songs. It knows my favorite artists and songs (Guns N Roses – Sweet Child of Mine with 80 plays). I can examine data for the last week, 6 m., year and for the duration of my membership. Lots of data to mine.
The discovery feature works this way. The service uses your musical preferences to identify those with similar interests. You can visit their public profiles and possibly identify new artists/songs you may want to investigate and purchase. When I explain the use of online social tools as opportunities for discovery, I tend to use this example. Imagine visiting the home of someone with similar tastes and browsing through their CD collection. Would you locate something new? Of course! Might it interest you? Perhaps.
Discovery works in a similar fashion across different tools (Twitter, blogs, social bookmarking) and content domains. Identify individuals with similar interests and pick up on what else they are reading, listening to, or viewing.
Scrobbling? Try Wikipedia for a formal definition. I think of it as a centralized accumulation and aggregation of data about your behaviors. LastFM accumulates and aggregates information about the music I listen to whether I use LastFM, PandoraFM, or iTunes. Until recently, Lala did not offer scrobbling and I really liked the LaLa features and cost. Not an unusual tech dilemma – stick with a service you have invested a lot of time in and have used to accumulate a lot of useful information or move on to a better system (think delicious vs diigo). Anyway, LaLa added scrobbling so I am happy (BTW – you find the scrobbling option by going to edit personal information and then selecting the Beta tab (not the easiest feature to discover).
And that, digital natives, is how to get your geek on