Farewell, Last.FM! Farewell, Weekly Charts! Farewell, Addiction!

October 9, 2008 at 1:26 pm (Essays) (, , , , )

Good? Evil? A neutral computer program?

Good? Evil? A neutral computer program?

I’ve deleted my Last.FM page. Permanently. Wiped it cleand. Deleted all of the plays. Every single song out of my 70,000+ profile. More than three years of my listening at the computer.

Every Sunday Last.FM updated my page with my “Most Played” songs and “Most Played” artists for the week. The new software release even allowed me to scrobble plays from my iPod. No longer was I bound to the computer, I could share what I listened to at work and more!

So why did I erase my profile? The very reason I frequented the site and even logged into my account while using friend’s computers. I was obsessed. Completely. In writing this article I wanted to do two things: put into writing how music became joyless as a reminder to myself, and to seek some companionship in the form of a support group.

Yes, it’s that bad. Yes, it’s also that silly. And probably very hard to understand if you aren’t a Last.FM user yourself. But I honestly want to know if there are people out there like me! I can’t have been the only person to have descended into a kind of dark obsession, creating a myriad of rules and regulations for my favorite pastime.

What are the symptoms of Last.FM addiction? There may be more. I am breaking ground here, and I fully expect to be cited in the next DSM. All I can do is provide my own symptoms, as they gradually set in over years of use.

Avoidance of long songs in favor of short ones. The more scrobbled, the merrier, right? Except grind bands with 30 second songs are cheating. That doesn’t count. So it looks something like this: Malevolent Creation > Opeth as well as Nasum.

Only listen to full albums! Too many scattered songs and your Last.FM weekly roll call will be a mess of 4 or 5 play-count bands.

Once you get on a roll with a band, you start to play that band’s music more often simply to boost their stats for the week, not because you want to hear them more.

Competing against yourself. Watching your top bands struggle for the top spot.

Competing against others. Don’t let their total number of plays beat yours!

Avoiding listening to music when it won’t be scrobbled.

All of these were stupid rules that very slowly grasped the love of my life and throttled the fun out of it, until it was a stiff act that was done for something other than myself. In my mind, music is a personal thing. Last.FM embodies the polar opposite of that. There may be some of you who can listen to what you want, when you want, consequences-be-damned. But if my extensive music collection says anything, it’s that I have a tendency to become obsessed.

Deleting Last.FM may be a wise legal move as well. For those of you with illegal mp3s, scrobbling them probably isn’t a great idea. Last.FM is owned by CBS, after all. So after you download that new album leak from a torrent, think twice about scrobbling it. What a convenient way for a label to find people who obtained an illegal leak of an album. You could file this under paranoia if you want, but keep in mind a mother was recently ordered a more than $200,00 fine for making 16 Opeth songs available for download. Yes, it was on Limewire, but don’t think that the RIAA is unaware of “mp3 blogs” and Last.FM.

So, RIP Last.FM. I’m already thinking about making another one, but I am also enjoying my new found freedom. Leave a comment if you’ve experienced the addiction or if you think I’m an oddball. Or both.

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7 Comments

  1. Heather said,

    I’d have to agree with this being very addictive, I myself have become obsessed with it a bit. I’ll admit I have listened to an artist before to raise it higher on the top artists list or just to higher it in my charts, but I don’t do that much, just to listen to it if I want to. Don’t think I have competed against people or worried that I had less plays than someone..I actually don’t care how many plays I have. And I really don’t care what i’m listening to with it, what bands..I listen to what I feel like listening to or just randomly pick something if I don’t know what to listen to. I signed up last year and didn’t use it much from the beginning for some reason. I plan on still keeping my account just for the hell of it and I only really like it because to show what you listen to(if you aren’t cheating or something) and finding different bands you might like.

  2. robert said,

    my obsession really wasn’t like that. actually, I wouldn’t really call it an obsession, more like it kinda just dictated what I would listen to. like I would feel weird if I played one band or a few more than the other. hard to explain. I probably could have explained it better if I wrote this around the time I stopped using last.fm. I still have my page though. I just got rid of the plug-in that sends the info to last.fm.

  3. Ariel said,

    I am just like you. It was very hard for me to admit at first, but after seeing it has become a fanatic obsession.. It was no longer a question. Some people, however, can control it.. It’s a pity that people like you, or me, can’t. Because it’s an excellent service (although they’ll soon begin to charge the use of radio stations in the scrobbler)..

    Yesterday I deleted my tracks and music from the profile. I don’t want to delete the entire account, because I met some very nice people there, leaving them just becuase my stupid addiction isn’t really nice. I’ll keep in touch with them, but will no longer use any of the other features.. of.. last.fm

  4. Ariel said,

    Hey there … same Ariel from post #3. Apparently the listening data removal did not work.. I tried again and it showed this grey “oh our stupid server is too slow, go drink a cup of tea and hope that god will fix it” screen. Oddly enough, it showed it only when I was trying to delete my listening data, not the account or the tagging.. So eventually I deleted the entire account. I feel so free!! Yeah, I can almost fly now!

  5. Ariel said,

    And may I add one more symptom – Overcaring about genres and tags.

    • transientwriting said,

      Hahaha, hooray, another one like me. I didn’t actually get into tagging, but I still fix genres in my itunes!!

  6. Patrick Saad said,

    Haha dude it sucks when you’re listening to a guitar pro midi file and you forget to turn the scrobbling off!
    Or when someone shares your laptop and then the next day your friend asks your opinion about the latest hip hop songs you were listening 2 !

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