I recently discovered last.fm, also known as Audioscrobbler. Seems they’ve been around for a while now, I wonder how I could have missed this great service until now.
Basically, Last.fm lets you record your music listening habits and in turn provides you with a “personal radio station” only playing music you might like. In addition, there’s a good portion of tagging and socializing, and a play me music like U2 feature.
This is a really cool way to discover bands playing music you like but you’ve never heard of before. Not to mention their great support for people with better operating systems: the (GPL’d) streaming client is statically linked to QT4 and works out of the box, and the XMMS plugin, that feeds data into your profile while playing your own local music, comes in full source code and compiled flawlessly. Well done.
I think the we give you the source code of our player thing is especially important in this case. It’s the simplest and most effective way to tell your users: We’ve got nothing to hide, this is no spyware that sends the contents of your MP3 collection right to the RIAA.
They also have lots of webservices offering the profile data to non-commercial applications. But that’s another post…