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.fm – Frank 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.
- 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.