This video was again posted to my twine by a friend, and I watched it last week. Very interesting talk. Today while playing around with a little project, I constantly had the “Raw Data Now” quote ringing in my head.
A few hours ago, I received an email from the last.fm team saying this:
“Hi Aasemoon, You're getting this email because you have been using Last.fm Radio. Today we're announcing an important upcoming change: Last.fm Radio will require a small subscription of €3.00 /month. You'll receive a 30 track free trial to try before you buy. All other Last.fm features will remain free. Why, you're probably asking? Read on about the change here: http://www.last.fm/about/subscriptionradio We hope you'll continue to support our service, - The Last.fm Team”
Well… I’ve been a very serious user of last.fm since August 2006. There’s much about it that I’ve found very useful and very neat, as I’ve mentioned in some of my previous posts. I’ve used it for discovering new music, looking into the listening habits of myself and my friends, sharing music with my friends and… much more. But well, now I feel that this may be the end of my serious use of last.fm.
I have to mention, €3.00 /month really isn’t that big of a price at all… but that’s not really the point here. For me, it’s mainly a matter of it “not feeling right” any longer. I’ve been having uncomfortable feelings about last.fm for a while now, as it’s been showing symptoms of becoming one of those monster size money-loving companies. I guess it started when they introduced limitations to the number of tracks one could put in a playlist. Then they decided that non-subscribers can’t play the playlists at all. Then as a result, my player gadget stopped working. Very uncool. Then recently I read the rumors that last.fm has been handing over user listening data to RIAA. Of course last.fm totally denies that, but from some of the behavior I’ve been observing from last.fm, it’s not sounding so unbelievable. And now…. now they want to charge us for listening to radio! They’re now requiring subscription for what’s one of the most basic capabilities of this service, and oh yes, they’re giving me exactly 5 days to decide about it. =) Well, thank you very much, I don’t need your 5 days. There’s no way in hell that I am paying you for listening to radio. Most specially since 95% of the stations that I listen to, play FREE music. Yes. I listen to the Demoscene tag radio, Chiptune tag radio, and similar tag / artist stations. And the people who produced this music, uploaded their work to last.fm freely. So why the heck should I pay for listening to it? And I listen to the libraries of my friends. Which I can just as easily do, on other free services. It’s radio for crying out loud. The web is full of radio stations, and last.fm does have competitors. Well as I said… it’s not about the money. It’s about the idea. It’s about a form of betrayal. It’s about all of us serious users being taken advantage of. I would not pay this fee even if it was €0.0000003 /month.
So what happens now… is that I’m going to start seriously looking into alternatives to the last.fm radio. As to whether or not I will still use the client to scrobble my listening data… I will have to see. That capability is till unique, but given how much I’m disliking last.fm right now, I’m not sure whether or not I will care. So well, if any of you my friends reading this article is familiar with some good alternatives, please let me know.
Update: A friend of mine, who thanks to my bad news is now completely ticked off, also posted an article about this. Check it out!
Tomorrow morning @ 7:44 Toronto time, the new Persian calendar year 2568  begins. Apparently this will be a year of the “Cow”, which supposedly means that it’s going to be a good year. =) Well I really do hope so! Cause from what I see… some very important events may occur in this year! ;)
Happy New Year Everyone, with all the best wishes from your little blue friend. =)
After a number of days of severe work and no real rest, I finally lay down and close my eyes... which is when the bulk of thoughts that haven't really had the chance to find their way into my consciousness, through the maze of my chaotic mind, finally get a chance to rush in. Oh, well, much has been happening. Not all of it terribly cute and fluffy. And not really cosmic size issues… [or? =)] Well! I guess the current theme is: "Uncertainty". There are a number of things on my mind right now that I’m not quite certain about what they are, what they mean or where they’re going. Events, people, things…of an amorphous nature. Constantly changing shape… constantly bewildering me. Some of them easier to explain than the others. Here’s one….
Obviously, I love Twine. I joined Twine nearly a year ago, and as I mentioned in the article that I wrote a while back, I've been using Twine as a tool for a whole load of different purposes. A large part of my online activities altogether has been shifted to Twine, due to the fact that it has replaced various online services that I used to use. And I'm sure that most of you already know all of this, hehe. =) But I'm afraid this dearly beloved tool has been giving me quite a bit of pain in the past few months. Useful features disappearing... pages not loading... the bookmarklets not working... and so many other usability issues. Twine in general has been going backwards, and this has been a serious problem for some of us users who have grown quite dependant on it, as well as fond of it. Not to mention that one doesn't really enjoy watching what seems like the slow motioned destruction of something that one has spent a treasury of time and energy on. I'm not going to go into the details of that here... as it has already been done. Another user already took care of explaining the agony in detail, and I shared the article with my twine [Aasemoon'z Twine] resulting in this scroll of a discussion thread. Well that part is actually happy news, because we've been receiving responses from the people in charge, and apparently better days are ahead.
Being an optimist by nature, I'm bound to feel better now and wait to see the promised improvements happen in time. However, perhaps because of everything that's been happening up to the point of our explosion, I can't exactly just say ok, all is good now and no doubts remain. What I have observed, has made me uncertain. Yes, "that". I can't help thinking about ways of backing up the data I've collected on Twine and possibly transferring them into other services. Can't help looking into alternatives. I've noticed it happens automatically and almost somewhat unconsciously. I even went far enough to have a look at Thumbtack. Can you believe that? Me looking at MS' Thumbtack. Sign of true disaster, isn't it? =P Ah well.
And the trail of uncertain things of all sizes and natures goes on forever… As usual there’s the conflict of interest between different projects… which one of these is worth my time… which of of these groups of people are going to be more pleasant to be around… which ones am I going to be more useful to… which ones I am going to learn more from… buy a VAIO again or some other brand of notebook… what exactly is it that I’m going to do for the Persian new year which is less than 20 days from now ;)…. why is it that I can’t get 2 of my friends to finally stop hating each other… shall it be Danish or French for my choice of learning a language that I’ll never use… why is this person I semi-know so confusing and shape shifting sometimes… what brand/model of synthesizer to buy for my mom… MILO or Nesquik =P…. Qucs or EWB…. and… and…. and….. and…… hmmmmm.
Of course the nice thing about uncertainty is the potential for being pleasantly surprised. I’m an optimist… I guess I’ll just have to wait and see….. =)
I just have to quickly mention here that I’ve been using Windows Live Writer for a few weeks now, and so far it has managed to impress the universe out of me.
It all started with WLM 9, and all it’s fancy new features. Groups, personalized layouts and everything else new. Since I was impressed with that one, I decided to give Windows Live Mail a try… which turned out to be a total YES. Windows Live Mail is basically Outlook Express evolved! Some great new features and hey, what can I say, I have a weakness for eye candy. ;)
So then I decided to look into the package again, and this time I picked Windows Live Writer for a trial, and I’m certainly glad I did. Blogging made easy! WLR connects to all my blogs on different apps, [including Blogger, Wordpress and Serendipity] and makes it much easier to post articles, edit articles and organize my online writing in general. It has quick options for inserting tags, pictures, videos and etc, and interesting enough the publishing takes just about 2 seconds! It’s also very neat that it recognizes my blog template images, so unlike when I’m using the web-based editors, I’m actually writing on my template and not a white empty editor [so I can see what the final result looks like as I’m writing!]. And this is just very few of the cool features it has… there’s much more to be said about WLW. If you’re a blogger reading this, make sure you give it a try! ;)
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