A crazy scheme in which you pay a monthly fee and get unlimited music, huh? Imagine that.
Part of what was strange about flat fee advocate Jim Griffin’s new proposal for an ISP monthly fee for music is that subscription-based music lives already, from digital radio to music services. Amidst rumors that Apple might add subscriptions, the Zune, Rhapsody, and Napster all have flat-fee subscriptions right now, thank you very much. (I’m even told there are music players aside from iPod, though I don’t know if I believe this.)
I was a big fan of YottaMusic, a friendly Web front-end that connected to Rhapsody, and mourned its passing at the beginning of this year. But here’s good news: you can restore Yotta’s best feature, which was keeping track of music played in a Web browser for the superb Last.FM music community service.
Rhapsody is clever enough not only to work in Web browsers on multiple platforms (even Linux), but generates an RSS feed of music you’ve been playing. Rhobbler hooks into that RSS feed and uploads to Last.FM. It’s a kludge, certainly — I’d love to see this built into the Rhapsody interface, along with other improvements. But it works: sign up once, and you’re done.
As some commenters noted in regards to the Griffin story, there’s a lot of music out there to keep track of — and a lot of us are listening to more than ever before. But that’s why it’s so nice to have tools like Last.FM. I also find, curiously, that subscription music for me feels like on-demand radio; instead of reducing how much music I buy outright, I just buy music I’m even more excited about.
If you’re not already a member, be sure to join our CDM group on Last.FM:
… and yes, promoting your own music there is encouraged! (Albums at right represent albums heard last week by CDM members. And, uh, dude … the group is all guys at the moment. I know ladies reading the site, and Last.FM has plenty of women, so join in and share your listening tastes!)