Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Warners first to be Last

Warners and LastFM have cut a deal which is going to allow the Warner catalogue to be pumped to last.fm users on the basis of Last's "if you like this, you'll love this" software. There's going to be some sort of advertising-supported stream of Warner goodness for those who want it.

We like what last.fm does, but can't help feeling they underestimate music lover's love:

"It is very difficult to keep up to date with all the new music that is coming out," [co-founder Martin] Stiksel told Reuters in an interview. "Being confronted with too much choice can actually be daunting and you go back to listening to the same old stuff."

Now, last can be a useful tool for coming across music that you haven't thought of, but its tendency to force people into ever-smaller groups of closely-similar tracks is a little depressing - there must be many people who like Oasis and Seth Lakeman, but far, far more who like Oasis and Kasabian. So you're more likely to be led down the narrow alley than off on an adventure across the moors.

But the thought that it's being driven by people who think that it's somehow "difficult" to keep up with music and sees the thought of a thousand names, each hiding a giddying range of possibilities of whole new musical loves, as some sort of work is a little crushing. It's making discovering new music on a par with thinking you're having a varied diet because you always give the monthly special at McDonalds a go.