Amarok and last.fm

I recently started using last.fm, which if you didn't know is a service that records the songs you listen to, provides statistics and recommendations, finds others with the same music taste, and allows you to sample music and music videos from related artists. I also just switched to Amarok from Rhythmbox because it seemed much more featureful.

Amarok is a great piece of software, although it takes a little getting used to. Here's a screenshot:

Last.fm is quite nice as well. Here's my music profile, which shows tracks I've recently listened to, as well as top artists and that sort of thing.

How the two integrate is pretty neat. When you play a song in Amarok, it gets "scrobbled" (to use last.fm terminology)—that is, sent to last.fm and added to your music profile. Here's how Amarok lets you reap the benefit of sending last.fm your data: Amarok has "dynamic playlists" that provide an automatic playlist of songs based on some criteron, like random selection or most-played tracks. But one setting allows you to put a few songs on your playlist and then enable the "Suggested Songs" dynamic playlist (it's enabled in the screenshot above). This allows Amarok to ask last.fm for suggested songs based on the current playlist and your account information. So you can leave it running and not have to keep refilling the queue with manually selected songs.

For more thorough documentation of Amarok, see the Amarok Handbook at docs.kde.org.

Note that Amarok is not associated with last.fm in any way except that it provides an open-source implementation of its client. It is the default player included with KDE.


Aleksey said...

It... looks like iTunes, and I dislike iTunes because, as a music player, it's so freakin huge and slow, and doesn't have many options for actually playing music, which is what you would think a music player would do.

Of course, I wouldn't know anything about Linux and it's players, but I know that I prefer to use Winamp, because it basically gives you full control over what comes out of your speakers and what is shown on your monitor. Also, you can make it itty bitty and it's very responsive.

I use a service called IMEEM which is a browser-based music player. Because I'm clever, I don't have to search for songs to download: I just look them up on IMEEM (which has a very large selection and hi-q files) and record via stereo mix. Then export as mp3 and add IDv3 tags. Takes some time, but, hey, I think it might be pretty legal!

Ankur Dave said...

Yeah, they designed it to be similar to iTunes to ease people's learning curve. I completely agree with you on iTunes—I can't stand it. Unlike iTunes, though, it's really fast :)

I haven't used Winamp; thanks for the tip (good for if I boot into Windows).

Mildawg said...

coldplay, lovely. xD

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