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simbo
2011-02-07, 06:05
We want to share with you an important update about our radio service:

From February 15 you will need to be a subscriber to listen to Last.fm Radio stations on devices, including your Logitech SqueezeNetwork player and Last.fm Android app.

No other features are affected by this change.

In taking this decision, we have given a lot of thought to how this impacts some of our early adopters and long-time users like you. We truly appreciate what you have meant to our growth and success, and offer you the following as a token of our thanks;

A free 3 month subscription to Last.fm
This will start automatically on February 15th 2011. As a result you will continue to be able to use Last.fm as you do today until the end of your subscription. If you'd like to see the other benefits of your free subscription, please visit the subscription page.

We appreciate you may have questions about this announcement, so visit our blog to read more about these changes and offer feedback.


:-(

toby10
2011-02-07, 06:41
That bites. :(
Is this universal for all free Last.fm accounts? Or is this for EU/UK accounts only?
It's been a great free lunch for years, I suppose it is time I go on a diet. ;)

pippin
2011-02-07, 07:02
Well, given that I found it's quality to deteriorate recently it may help to put their business case on more solid ground and maybe improve again.

OTOH, since I do already mostly use Pandora instead I doubt I will subscribe...

simbo
2011-02-07, 07:08
OTOH, since I do already mostly use Pandora instead I doubt I will subscribe...
I thought Pandora wasn't available outside the US, or am I behind the times? This is why the loss of last.fm is a bigger loss for non-US users, as we have little else like it.

iPhone
2011-02-07, 07:14
Oh well. Don't use it that much anyway as I have a huge library, but I do see how others will dearly miss this. It was handy to listen to new music to decide whether to make a purchase though. One less way of finding new CDs to buy. Yes I am one of those people that still buys the little silver buggers.

I will continue to use Last.FM as long as Scrobbling remains as a free service. When and if I am forced to have a subscription for that, I will discontinue using Last.FM.

I guess the big company that bought them now sees them as a drain without paid subscriptions or as an alternate revenue stream. This is about as stupid as Netflix raising its rates on long term customers that want to still receive DVDs in the mail while almost giving away the service to those that want to only stream. And the streaming service as gone to crap in the evenings with programs being unavailable or stopping because of an over busy server. If the rates went down for streaming only, why didn't my rate go down or stay the same for 4 movies out at a time plus streaming?

Paul Webster
2011-02-07, 07:26
I think that regions other than UK, DE and US were already paying.
More detail at
http://blog.last.fm/2011/02/07/lastfm-radio-becomes-a-premium-feature-on-mobile-and-home-entertainment-devices

pippin
2011-02-07, 08:07
I thought Pandora wasn't available outside the US, or am I behind the times?

Yes, you are right.

toby10
2011-02-07, 09:39
Well, given that I found it's quality to deteriorate recently it may help to put their business case on more solid ground and maybe improve again.......

Are you referring to the audio quality? Content? Or streaming reliability? Or all of the above? :(
Thanks.

pippin
2011-02-07, 10:42
Are you referring to the audio quality? Content? Or streaming reliability? Or all of the above? :(
Thanks.

Content selection.
I more or less gave up with Last.fm after they threw the 10th Pussycat Dolls song at me even after banning all of the previous nine.
I also got the impression that I always got a very limited rotation.

This looked a lot like they are sending out bought content.

dmbfan36_23
2011-02-07, 12:06
Just got this email myself... huge #Fail... they better not start charging for scrobbling.

toby10
2011-02-07, 12:56
Just got this email myself... huge #Fail... they better not start charging for scrobbling.

Got my email notice as well. :(
The blog link in the email specifically stated that scrobbling and computer web access is not effected. But who knows down the road.

Last.fm blog:
"This change only affects the radio component of Last.fms services on mobile and home entertainment devices. Other features of our service like scrobbling, music and event recommendations, social networking and community forums, and Last.fms wiki-based artist information pages remain free to users worldwide."

mortslim
2011-02-07, 15:12
The disappointment over this news is probably derived from the expectation by a big percentage of the listening public that all music all the time anywhere should be free. We have become spoiled to the overwhelming free music opportunities available to us.

However the days of "free" music are slowly coming to an end, at least if you want some measure of choice in what you want to listen to and where you want to listen to it. That is why spotify is having trouble debuting in the US. It's business model is not viable (at least in the eyes of the record companies).

The more choice you want, the more you'll have to pay. I use Rhapsody and I consider the $10 per month charge a bargain for any song, album, artist, genre, playlist, channel and station on my squeezebox and on my cellphone.

Lastfm has to start becoming economically viable too. It's charge of $3 per month is eminently reasonable. The record companies are slowly adjusting to the new world order of making their music available for a reasonable price and the streaming radio services will be adjusting as well.

mortslim
2011-02-07, 15:22
The lastfm fee is "not expensive".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGRrnRvMpTU

simbo
2011-02-07, 15:51
I don't believe that services like last.fm should be free and to be honest I'm surprised we were allowed to continue this long with an ad-free service via the Squeezebox. I do think, however, that other business models need to be explored.

I'm more disappointed that yet another service has become unavailable. Outside the US we have few options as it is.

Also, the wonders of currency conversion translate $3 to be 3 (almost $5 at today's rates). Still not a lot, but at that price the value becomes questionable, especially when 5 can give you a true on-demand service like Napster.

I'm a Napster subscriber, but last.fm offered a much better way of finding new music - a concept the industry should be embracing.

pippin
2011-02-07, 17:17
I also don't believe everything has to be free but services like Last.fm have to decide where they fit in the music universe.

I currently subscribe to Napster and will probably even add Spotify. But they are music services that give me random access to a library.

To _ME_, Last.fm was always more like a radio then that. As is Pandora.
I would be fine with them sending commercials (actually Pandora now does so). I might even pay for one of them. BUT: That's not very likely going to be Last.fm, given my recent experience with them so the only effect that move would have for them would be to completely pop off my radar screen.

Does that help their business case? I don't know, they will know better.

Will it help the record companies' business case? Definitely not. I recently bought quite a bit of music I heard on Last.fm and Pandora first (mainly Pandora). These services are really good music discovery tools that fit right alongside radio and where MTV used to be. Back then. You know: Record companies NEED that if they want to sell music, people are not going to buy the stuff again that they already have...

JJZolx
2011-02-07, 18:51
I guess the big company that bought them now sees them as a drain without paid subscriptions or as an alternate revenue stream.

Why should any company be expected to offer a service that costs them money and generates no revenue?


This is about as stupid as Netflix raising its rates on long term customers that want to still receive DVDs in the mail while almost giving away the service to those that want to only stream. And the streaming service as gone to crap in the evenings with programs being unavailable or stopping because of an over busy server. If the rates went down for streaming only, why didn't my rate go down or stay the same for 4 movies out at a time plus streaming?

This also makes perfect sense to me (even though I don't like it). Netflix sees their future as a video streaming service, and less and less as a DVD exchange system. I would venture that streaming is much more lucrative for them in comparison to operating their DVD distribution centers and then adding in all of their postal fees. The costs of physically processing and mailing discs can only go up, while streaming costs are likely to fall.

mjm2705
2011-02-08, 06:13
I'm torn on this ... I love last.fm as a means to scrobble stuff and see what I'm listening to (I know that no-one else cares but it keeps me amused) ... yes this will continue to be free, for now.

I also love using last.fm as a music discovery tool and have lost count of how much I have spent on CD's and downloads of artists I discovered via Last.fm that I would never have heard of otherwise. But I only ever investigated new music via last.fm sporadically and at times when nothing else seemed appropriate to listen to at the time ... this would have been a few times a month but those sessions could have made me explore 6 or 8 artists and buy the same or more CD's / downloads.

Am I willing to pay 3 a month for the ability to be able to go and search out new music? Possible, I subscribe to Q and NME in print to effectively do the same I guess ... am I likely to? probably not ... I might explore Napster instead as I can at least then listen to the stuff Q & NME tell me is worth listening to.

But I have to say that my life would be worse off without Mono, Explosions in the Sky, Kevin Devine, Manchester Orchestra, The Radio Dept, Air Formation, Malory etc whom I would never have experienced without Last.fm

I think the record companies should be funding last.fm to encourage people like me to find new sources of listening and therefore create new sources of revenue ... now that's a business model !!!

jhonsberger@msn.com
2011-02-08, 15:45
Just deleted Lastfm.There is only so much I'm gonna pay.

Rhapsody,Mog,etc.

Mog would blow Rhapsody away if it ever comes to the Squeezebox.

paulster
2011-02-10, 16:35
I occasionally listen to Last.FM in order to hear some new music that I might want to buy, so I'm using it as a radio. As others have noted, it's different to a service like Spotify or Napster that lets you choose exactly what you listen to, and therefore the radio comparison is far more valid.

Am I going to pay a subscription to occasionally listen, to maybe hear something that I might purchase? Er, no. I don't think so.

Back to regular radio for me.

iPhone
2011-02-10, 18:30
Why should any company be expected to offer a service that costs them money and generates no revenue?

I didn't say they should and who said the old way wasn't generating revenue? I said the take over company 'probably' sees a NEW place to generate revenue. Additionally, because I didn't set up their business model years back when they were offering it for free. It was their decision in the first place to offer it for free and for as long as it has gone on, it has to have been making money somehow some place. If for nothing else all the free information they were able to mine from us, the user base. I am sure somebody in the recording or radio industry was and is willing to pay to get that info.


This also makes perfect sense to me (even though I don't like it). Netflix sees their future as a video streaming service, and less and less as a DVD exchange system. I would venture that streaming is much more lucrative for them in comparison to operating their DVD distribution centers and then adding in all of their postal fees. The costs of physically processing and mailing discs can only go up, while streaming costs are likely to fall.

And yes that makes perfect sense if NetFlix's business model is changing and they want to force it, profits be damned. To me, it makes no sense to alienate the people that made you successful. I do stream NetFlix on my Roku players, but I also like to have access to movies via DVD on the Tuesday they are released. I don't want to wait another 18 months to two years to stream them for $8 a month. Hell by that time, I can see it on Network TV for no cost! So I am looking for other companies to give my dollars to for just released DVD rentals.

Part of NetFlix's problem is to much success. The movie companies only allow X amount of new DVDs to be bought as rental releases. NetFlix has become so successful that their customer base far exceeds the number of DVDs they are allowed to obtain. I had "Gran Torino" at the top of my Queue in position 1 for a month before its release and it took them 9 weeks to finally send me a copy to watch.

Not that its all bad, because of Hula Plus, the better half can watch any episode of "Grey's Anatomy" from any season except the current season when before only Season 5 and 6 were available via streaming.

Goodsounds
2011-02-10, 23:38
And yes that makes perfect sense if NetFlix's business model is changing and they want to force it, profits be damned.

As I understand it, Netflix' customers' preferences are shifting to more streaming and fewer physical disks. There's been lots written about this in the press. Assuming there aren't royalty rate differences, that's cheaper for the company too.

I'm not I understand your comment.

Blisteringblue
2011-02-11, 04:39
It is worth pointing out the subscription is only to play via devices such as squeezebox, if you want to listen to recommended music via the webclient then it will continue to be free.

However when looking into the subscription details I was amused at one of their selling points. "You get a prestigious black dot above your username"

Come on guys, that is a BLACK DOT we are talking about here, surely worth the subscription in itself :-)

paulster
2011-02-11, 12:58
However when looking into the subscription details I was amused at one of their selling points. "You get a prestigious black dot above your username"

Come on guys, that is a BLACK DOT we are talking about here, surely worth the subscription in itself :-)
I don't know how I managed to miss that in the email they sent.

So that changes everything for me. Subscription funding on its way! :-)

rayring
2011-02-20, 00:36
Although I can no longer receive last fm on my squeezebox boom, I can still receive it on my musicpal internet radio for free.

Phil Leigh
2011-02-20, 01:20
[QUOTE=Blisteringblue;610290]It is worth pointing out the subscription is only to play via devices such as squeezebox, if you want to listen to recommended music via the webclient then it will continue to be free.

...QUOTE]

See, where's the commercial logic in that? - just seems dumb to me. What's the ratio of web client to hardware device users?

paulster
2011-02-20, 02:03
See, where's the commercial logic in that? - just seems dumb to me. What's the ratio of web client to hardware device users?
Because they misguidedly think people have bought hardware to be able to listen to Last.FM radio and will therefore pay to continue to be able to listen to it, whereas computer users would just move onto something else.

I haven't heard of anyone that purchased a Squeezebox to actually listen to Last.FM radio, as opposed to some of the other radio services.

Philip Meyer
2011-02-20, 02:29
>Because they misguidedly think people have bought hardware to be able
>to listen to Last.FM radio and will therefore pay to continue to be
>able to listen to it, whereas computer users would just move onto
>something else.
>
No, I think it's because their web client can deliver adverts, whereas you don't see adverts within media players.
So web client doesn't need a subscription because it's paid by adverts.

kc5f
2011-02-21, 06:47
I haven't heard of anyone that purchased a Squeezebox to actually listen to Last.FM radio, as opposed to some of the other radio services.
True, I bought my Duet and Boom mainly to listen to Slacker and Pandora, and only then discovered that Last.fm has more depth than either of them. Having paid over $500 for the hardware (not counting the Android phone I use to also listen to all three services), I don't see a big deal paying $3/month for what's really a pretty amazing service.

treefern
2011-02-24, 15:49
This site has been instrumental in exposing me to many artists I had never heard of and unlikely to do so. I have then gone on to buy CDs (always cheaper than download) and download single tracks. UK radio is dreadful. Thanks Last FM and I have subscribed but suggest UK people select dollars as cheaper and works out at 1.92 through Paypal and it was accepted.

Blisteringblue
2011-03-01, 01:35
but suggest UK people select dollars as cheaper and works out at 1.92 through Paypal and it was accepted.

Interesting, we normally get stung with the exchange rate. I might think about it for that amount especially if it's paypal too, there is always something in my account from ebay trading.

I'm currently enjoying my free 3 months subscription so will see exactly how many times I use it.

phildeeze
2011-03-01, 07:21
As mentioned above I also feel the quality has been slipping. This may be a lack of funds effecting the amount of time put into the station. I would say they will have to up their quality if they think they will be charging. I certainly wont be paying for low quality service so I hope they use our money to make improvements.

Blisteringblue
2011-03-19, 04:48
While I am currently enjoying my free 3 months as a subscriber I think it caused my squeeze devices to stop scrobbling when they changed my account.

Can't prove it for sure but just noticed I was not scrobbling from any device. Looking down my scrobbles iPod and Foobar were scrobbling fine, but it seems my squeeze players stopped around the time I was upgraded?

I just deleted my Last.Fm account in advanced settings on SBS and added it straight back in and it started working right away?

I'd check your scrobbling if you are a Last.Fm user too.

isaacc7
2011-03-21, 19:40
I had a problem with LastFm not scrobbling. I tried the various fixes I've seen on various forums but it didn't seem to help. Checked a few days later and it was working. It might have been some problem a their end.

kc5f
2011-03-22, 07:19
I just deleted my Last.Fm account in advanced settings on SBS and added it straight back in and it started working right away?
I just checked on mysqueezebox.com and mine showed "free account". I removed it and put it back in and now it shows "subscriber". Thanks!

MikeekiM
2011-03-23, 07:15
I had a problem with LastFm not scrobbling. I tried the various fixes I've seen on various forums but it didn't seem to help. Checked a few days later and it was working. It might have been some problem a their end.

Mine stopped working as well... And as others have reported, I went into the squeezebox advanced settings and deleted my user and re-added back and last.fm started to recognize the songs I was trying to scrobble...

And by trying, I mean that my last.fm page shows the latest song currently playing, but does NOT keep the track in my scrobble history at all...

Anyone know how to fix this?

fillmore
2011-03-27, 16:17
just noticed my squeeze devices quit scrobbling yesterday morning. i havent tried fixing anything yet... it may be coincidence, but ive had no issues with scrobbling in two years.

ghostrider
2011-03-30, 12:35
Over the course of the free trial, I've found that the quality of the last.fm streams is very poor, even compared to Rhapsody which streams at 192k. It's a handy radio station but I'd never pay for this service on my main rig.

Blisteringblue
2011-03-31, 04:17
just noticed my squeeze devices quit scrobbling yesterday morning. i havent tried fixing anything yet... it may be coincidence, but ive had no issues with scrobbling in two years.

Mine have also stopped again, and I can't delete and add myself again this time. Says cannot find the ip address?

Also just synced up my ipod after a couple of weeks in the car and it only found 37 scrobbles, there should have been hundreds.

Something is a foot in scrobble land

Update: Working again, had to restart SBS too and remove and add my last.fm account again

paulster
2011-03-31, 10:18
Also just synced up my ipod after a couple of weeks in the car and it only found 37 scrobbles, there should have been hundreds.
One of the limitations of Last.FM is that it will only sync the last two weeks of scrobbles when devices have been disconnected, so this apparently applies to iPods that haven't been synced in a while.