Spotify <3 Last.fm

A common theme amongst websites and bloggers is to position Spotify as a competitor to that other popular music streaming service, Last.fm. While there are some superficial similarities, the case is oversimplified since Spotify and Last.fm each provide many unique features. The more I use both, the more I see how they can work together. Last.fm helps me discover new music and track my listening habits through the years, while Spotify sits on top playing most of the actual music.

I don’t really use Last.fm to play any actual music these days however, apart from genres and artists missing from Spotify of course. Instead, Last.fm has become my musical social network of choice: its network and recommendation algorithms are second to none. Last.fm provides a social service that Spotify insist they don’t want to get into themselves, so there’s never a feeling of using one over the other.

All sorts of apps and groups have appeared to take advantage of the Spotify + Last.fm love: I’ve listed them all below. Before you begin though, if you’ve not already done so be sure to sign up to Last.fm to enable scrobbling:

In Spotify, select Edit > Preferences then tick Enable scrobbling to Last.fm

This will make sure anything you listen to in Spotify is logged (or “scrobbled”) to your Last.fm page.

Spotify + Last.fm Apps

  • freshspotify – Tracks newly released music on Spotify and compares it with your favourite artists on Last.fm. Subscribe to artist RSS feeds (or email) to be notified of updates. This is a really useful service: you can browse the site (which nicely summarizes the new Spotify releases) and sign in whit a google account to add artist alerts based on your Last.fm profile (up to a maximum of 100 artists).
  • Spotify.fmFrank Quist’s new and improved webtool to list the latest Spotify releases of all your favourite artists on Last.fm. Also has a neat RSS feed and the ability to search based on both username or tag and search on similar artists.
  • Spotify updates from Last.fm – This app can look for any artist in your library (not just your top 50 artists) and lets you specify the playcount range to consider too. It will also return recommended artists, so this is a great way to discover more music from artists you’re perhaps not too aware of, and complements the other apps well. Developer OnDistantShores (who is also responsible for the excellent Universal Scrobbler) promises more updates soon, including the option to specify a tag and search new releases by artists with that tag: brilliant!
  • Last.fm Spotify Search – Script that adds a wee green note icon next to tracks, albums and artists on Last.fm’s website. To use, install Greasemonkey then add the script. You can then click the note icon to search in Spotify. I find this one really useful, it saves on typing and binds Last.fm and Spotify together nicely.
  • Lastify – I’ve already blogged about Lastify, a plug-in that bolts onto the regular Spotify client and lets you Love, Ban, and Tag tracks back to Last.fm. I don’t use it much myself (I have my Last.fm page open in a browser usually anyway) but you might find it useful.
  • Last.fm + Spotify + Find new albums – Newly updated, this webapp tells you what’s new in Spotify based on your Last.fm Top 50 artist favourites. It can also match against recommendations: a great way to discover new bands. Results are grouped by when they were added to Spotify and let you click both the album/single and artist. There’s also an RSS feed you can subscribe to, and the app now lets you filter to view only singles or albums as well as as “show tracks” dropdown for each album.


Groups

  • Spotify – The best Spotify group on Last.fm, leader Faz regularly checks in and updates the Shoutbox, and there are always active discussions going on.
  • Scrobble for Spotify – Originally set-up before Spotify had a scrobble feature, the Scrobble for Spotify group continues to attract new members.
  • larris

    Thanks for the presentation.

    What I would dearly like to have is something enabling me to take someone ELSE’s Last.fm library or loved list and generate a Spotify playlist from it.

    The Greasemonkey plugin doesn’t quite cut it (and besides, I don’t use FireFox anyway).

  • James_Ink

    I can’t see why people seem to want to choose between the two either. They really do compliment each other. I’m a bit fan of Last.fm, and continue to use their radios as a subscriber from the UK. But sometimes I want to listen to a bunch of tracks from the same artist to make a decision about whether I like their style or not. It is difficult to do this from one track randomly played on the radios. So Spotify beautifully fills that gap.

    I’ve been using freshspotify for a while now, but I really like the links you’ve posted that use my Last.fm recommendations too, which is exactly what I want to use Spotify for, to listen to artists that Last.fm thinks I might like.

  • norz

    @Afront: Lastify is for Mac OS only, here’s an addon that works for Windows:
    http://www.srdl18217.myby.co.uk/lastfm/SpotifyLastFMButtons/

    (Requires .NET 1.1)

  • Afront

    Nice find norz, thanks I’ll add that to the main article.

    I find freshspotify very handy too James_Ink, and I agree 100% with your comments.

    As for someone else’s library: true there’s no direct tool to auto-generate a playlist for you, but I usually just paste a friend’s username into Vilhelm’s or OnDistantShores apps, then dump the results into a new playlist for later listening. Seems to work quite well and I’ve already discovered several great new bands this way.

  • Afront

    There’s some very rudimentary play stats (Home, Top Lists tab, select “for me” from the pulldown) so Spotify is definitely keeping track of exactly what you’ve been listening to. It’s just a case of whether they think it’s worth expanding that in the client or not.

  • norz

    The last.fm greasemonkey script now runs with the latest version of Google Chrome:
    http://dev.chromium.org/developers/design-documents/user-scripts

  • larris

    Nice. Thanks. I look forward to trying that.

  • Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Spotify <3 Last.fm | Pansentient League [pansentient.com] on Topsy.com()

  • Pingback: Spotify.fm – New Last.fm Mashup | Pansentient League()

  • Pingback: Back with Last.fm, thanks to Spotify – jukka.niiranen.eu()

  • Pingback: Pansentient League Top 20 Posts | Pansentient League - a Spotify Blog()

  • Another great group on Last.fm is http://www.last.fm/group/Extra+Stats+ftw! (Extra Stats ftw!) that imports your complete listening history on Last.fm and makes Spotify playlists based on: other users http://lastfm.shikaka.net/?stat=compareSpot or friends/neighbors http://lastfm.shikaka.net/?stat=topTracksNeighFriend

  © 2016 Jer White / Pansentient League.
Runs on WordPress. Theme by Theme Junkie