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hm... while I really like Audioscrobbler/last.fm, it bugs me that the profile editor has been AWOL for so long. It was always my "Get Out of Jail Free" card for weird bugs. For instance, my profile currently says I have listened to Amber by 311 about 139 times, while the other songs in the rotation are at 12 or so. I would think I would remember such an episode of psychotic focus, or at least, if I had blocked it out, that I would have missed the time it would have taken. So, I am guessing that the audioscrobbler plugin for xmms had some issues. While I am not one to expect perfection from a beta service, my lopsided profile still troubles me. I just want my profile editor back so I can make it all betterer...

Despite this gripe, I would still heartily recommend last.fm to anyone who is interested in hearing music they haven't heard before. You build a profile of music you like and then don't get to listen to it. No, you get to listen to other people's playlists. The thing is, the other people are chosen based on how their playlist coincides with your playlist. So, the theory is that you will hear new stuff that is along the lines of what you have liked in the past. In practice it probably would be too weird for most people's tastes, but I like turning to it whenever I am bored by my local stuff. You can build your profile by directly picking songs and albums you like (which is what I did originally), or by using the audioscrobbler plugin to build it from what you are listening to locally (which is what I am trying now). When you are actually listening you can love and hate the stuff you are listening to, and there used to be a profile editor so that you could fix mistakes (like hitting love at the end of a song and accidentally loving the next one instead, or finding out that the plugin had developed a special relationship with one of your songs), but it has been offline for awhile.

Since it is basically a streaming radio station, the music it plays comes right from the actual labels and artists, all nice and legal. Some of the album selections can be odd, like all of that early David Bowie (from his folksingery days... "Come and Buy My Toys" and "Sell Me a Coat" and so on), but that is part of the fun, it seems to me.