I have been throwing my iTunes playlist data into last.fm since I found about the Audioscrobbler plug-in before the last.FM brand took off. I found it a useful way to add content on my website and get recommendations from friends playlists.
It was only the other week that I really discovered the value of the service as I had been used to listening to Internet radio stations like Unknown FM or using the Yahoo! Launch (sorry Y! Music) service which runs buggy on my Mac.
I tried last.FM’s service and it was a revelation in terms of music discovery. One of my first finds was the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra – a Tokyo band that does what it says on the tin.
I went on to buy some of their albums on Amazon via the in-player link, something I never expected to do.
Last.FM’s approach with its discovery element proved to be much more compelling existing services.
Contrast to this to the tamer playlists on music services and its like the impact that the iPod had on ClearChannel. According to last.FM’s presentation at FOWA 2007 (Future of Web Apps) this service is based on a relatively meager 700,000 tracks, but in the same way that you are more likely to find the image you want on Flickr than on Google Image Search last.FM’s player comes up with the gold.