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Using Spotify with Last.fm to Discover New Music

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Spotify, the hot new streaming music service, can be configured to “scrobble” music to Last.fm, a popular music recommendation service, which then recommends new music you might like. In this article, Sams Teach Yourself Spotify in 10 Minutes author Michael Miller shows you how Spotify and Last.fm can work together to help you discover tons of new music and walks you through the process to set everything up.
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Spotify is a streaming music service you use to listen to your favorite music wherever you have an Internet connection. Last.fm is a music recommendation service that analyzes the music you listen to and suggests other music you may like.

Did you know that you can combine Spotify and Last.fm to help you discover new music? It's easy to do, because Spotify and Last.fm are designed to be used together.

Understanding Spotify and Last.fm

Spotify is a web-based service that streams music in real time to subscribers. It has a database of more than 15 million tracks, and subscription plans that range from free to $9.99 per month. That makes Spotify a great way to listen to your favorite music without having to purchase or download individual tracks.

Even though Spotify is relatively new to the U.S. (it launched in July 2011), it has been around a lot longer in Europe. Spotify launched in Sweden in October 2008, and currently has more than 10 million European users—along with a rapidly growing user base in the U.S.

Then there's Last.fm. Like Spotify, Last.fm is a European import. It launched in England in 2002 and claims more than 30 million active users in the U.K., Germany, and the U.S.

Unlike Spotify and other streaming music services, however, Last.fm is designed solely to introduce listeners to new music, based their current musical tastes. Last.fm works in conjunction with various media players and music services, such as Spotify; you send Last.fm the music you listen to and it evaluates your musical tastes and recommends other music you might like.

Last.fm calls this transmittal of music from one service to another scrobbling. Its "Audioscrobbler" music recommendation system creates a detailed profile of each user's musical tastes and then matches that user to other similar music in its database of tracks. What you get in return is a slew of recommendations in terms of other artists and albums you might like.

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