Spotify garners a lot of the headlines as far as music streaming services are concerned. Rdio, Slacker, and Pandora enjoy a pretty healthy amount of attention too. Last.fm, however, is like an obscure 3rd string player always sitting on the bench. Ironically, though, I find Last.fm to offer one of the best online radios as far as artist/album/song based stations are concerned. Pandora is too repetitive and Spotify way too sporadic, routinely going far outside of the genre I’ve chosen. The ability to track what I’ve listened to and “scrobble” listened tracks back to Last.fm is another feature a music junkie such as myself just can’t live without.
I can’t really explain why Last.fm has remained out of the main limelight while others have filtered up other than updates to the service and front end that users interact with are few and far between. Take for example, the main Last.fm website. It’s been a couple years since anything meaningful has been tweaked. But new changes are coming soon.
A new page has popped up on Last.fm’s beta portal that is allowing some users to try out the new user interface which bring subtle enhancements to the artist, album and track pages, as well as a new, more minimalistic now playing page. That said, the artist pages are where the most improvements are coming, with improved listening data/habits of friends and more detailed graphs of said data.
TNW believes the new UI should begin rolling out to more people “in the coming weeks”, though no official timeline has been given so far.
The changes are minor and perhaps far short of what some Last.fm users on the fence of switching to another service were hoping for. For Last.fm loyalists, however, it’s an evolution of an already loved service.
Tried out the new Last.fm UI during the beta? Let us know your thoughts at tips[at]gadgetsteria[dot]com.