Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Spotify vs. Last.FM

 Which do you prefer?

spotifyvslastfmwww.dieseltekk.co.ukSpotify has a massive library and support from lots of major labels.  As a user I am often easily able to find and play music that, firstly, I have had trouble finding elsewhere, and secondly, I have never heard of.

Spotify highlights several albums on the main screen that I have never seen or heard before, and encourages me to listen to music, which I like.  I hate being tied to listening to the same music day in, day out.  That is why I don’t buy albums anymore!

However, the main drawback for me, and this is a big one, is that to use Spotify on my iPod Touch, or my Nokia E71 I have to be a premium subscriber, shelling out £10 (ish) every month.  On the flipside to my praise in the previous paragraph, I don’t listen to enough new music to warrant paying out money for the service. 

Last.FM however is available on my Xbox 360, completely free of charge, and the ad’s are a great deal less intrusive than those on Spotify.

Being able to use the Last.FM service on my Xbox is fantastic, it means I use Sky’s service less and less, I am even considering dropping the music channels from my Sky package thanks to Last.FM on my 360!

However, finding new music to listen to with Last.FM is a chore when compared to Spotify.

Here is how I would like to see the future (given that Last.FM is tied to Xbox, making it unlikely for Spotify to get their fingers in the 360 pie, and that I will not be taking out a Spotify premium account):
Last.FM should apply some of the search functionality of Spotify on the 360, and make available a downloadable client/frontend for the PC to make it a friendlier user experience.  Simple.

By improving the search functions on the 360 client, Last.FM will have me completely at home, therefore the only place I will use Spotify is at work unless they can deliver the client for my desktop, in which case I would likely be persuaded to use Last.FM exclusively on there too!

Last.FM is already available free-of-charge on my iPod Touch, although I will admit, I rarely use it since it requires a network connection to operate.  If I have a network connection then chances are I am somewhere that I am likely to have access to my desktop (well, laptop) and therefore access to Spotify!  Last.FM on the iPhone however, would be indispensable if I owned one (which alas, I do not).

So, Spotify vs... Last.FM?  There is no competition here really, for the moment Spotify is the clear winner, but I hope that with the increased take-up of the Last.FM service on the Xbox 360, Last.FM’s developers will bend a little and offer it’s user base something more to encourage use on other platforms.

I would like:

  • Last.FM search functions on 360
  • Last.FM client on my PC
  • Last.FM client on my Nokia E71 (Symbian)
  • A better Last.FM new music recommendation service.

That will do….as for your thoughts?  leave them in the comments!


  1. You may as well use Spotify, how many circumstances do you have access to an Xbox but not to a PC? And it's playlist functionality is quite excellent. Pity about the payment but it has to happen, the music industry is unlikely to survive on ads alone.

  2. Thanks Anon for your opinion!

    Normally I would suggest you're right, however at home I have my Xbox and a laptop computer. I no longer have a desktop system and therefore at home I have the choice of either Last.FM through the Xbox which I can listen to through my TV's very excellent speakers, or I can use Spotify on my laptop and listen through the very tinny speakers. So at home, Last.FM wins.
    At work I have no Xbox therefore I plug my laptop in to my competent desk speakers and listen with Spotify.
    While out and about however I fall back on my iPod Touch.


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