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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