last.fm, a music folksonomy

Nearly three years ago, I was introduced to a neat iTunes plug-in called Audioscrobbler that sat in my MacOSX toolbar and quietly listened in to my musical tastes. It didn’t pass judgement, which was pleasing.

I’d forgotten that it was still installed until, quite by chance, I stumbled across an RSS feed that someone had set up on a wordpress blog. Great thinking thought I and tried to set up a copy. Sadly though, it appeared that audioscrobbler had stopped listening in September, recording a rather melancholy week in which Johnny Cash was my top musical artist.

last.fm is the successor although quite when it changed, I can’t tell. The program itself invites users to tag the music they’re listening so building an excellent database of what we’re all listening to and, importantly, what we all describe it as. With such tagging, personalised radio stations can be built using the last.fm software.

All I need to do now is to get the RSS feed to work properly. Clever – another excellent application of a folksonomy.