Weekend Web Roundup

Friday, 17 October 2008
by flaneur
filed under Announcements
Comments: 54

At Last.HQ we like to make a fuss over big new features and applications. But not every improvement to Last.fm is on the scale of an iPhone app or a site relaunch — the webteam also devotes time every week to fixing bugs, improving existing features, and generally sweating the small stuff.

We’ll occasionally use this space to point out some of the smaller touches that you might otherwise have missed. Here are a few things recently released into the wild…

Recent tracks settings

Right above your profile page’s recently played tracks is a new “Settings” option. Want twenty tracks instead of ten? Want to toggle images? Set your timezone to Abidjan? You’ve got it.

Also new is the ability to show what scrobbler and media player you’re listening with. We’ve just added support for some older clients as well.

Real-time listeners

When we relaunched the site this summer, one of the biggest new features was real-time user charts. Since then we’ve been working on scalable ways of bringing more real-time features to the site.

We’re currently testing one approach with our friends over at Motorola, who were interested in showcasing what people in various Motorokr groups around the world were scrobbling.

Now you can visit the group members page for the answer – just leave it open for a bit and watch! Once we’ve done more testing we hope to roll this functionality out in more places (all groups, friends lists, etc).


According to some on Last.fm, it’s all about the lyrics. We tend to agree! Historically though, putting lyrics online has been fraught with difficulty.

Through a partnership with LyricFind we hope to change this, in a way that fairly compensates songwriters much in the same way as artists.

As a start, we’ve put lyrics on more than 800,000 track pages and introduced lyric searching — in the U.S. and Canada only.

The internet knows no borders, so we’re working overtime to bring free and legal lyrics to the rest of the world.


  1. Einar
    17 October, 17:36

    Only North America, huh? Well, hopefully my script will be completely obsolete soon enough :)

    Einar – 17 October, 17:36
  2. Barneyk
    17 October, 17:50

    I just wish the artist/song merger would go a little bit faster…

    Barneyk – 17 October, 17:50
  3. Disappointed
    17 October, 17:56

    US and Canada only? You’d better not do business with any company that promotes such restrictions. I am thoroughly disappointed with LastFM.

    Disappointed – 17 October, 17:56
  4. Max Howell
    17 October, 17:58

    If we didn’t do business with companies that restricted content by borders we’d have no content from other sources at all.

    Perhaps you’ll feel better knowing that none of us in the London office can get lyrics either.

    Max Howell – 17 October, 17:58
  5. Alex Muller
    17 October, 18:14

    A shame about the geographic restrictions – and I think it’s the first time I haven’t had a feature before any other country on Last.fm (being in the UK) ;)

    @Einar: your script is awesome, I’d never seen it before. A fix for redirects on lyricwiki would be nice though.

    Alex Muller – 17 October, 18:14
  6. Phil
    17 October, 18:20

    Damn, you used to be a British thing, then formed that alliance with American Sponsors and know the US is starting to be more important than “restoftheworld” actually was in the first place.
    Was only a matter of time. Bye bye my love. Corporation Triptech.
    Bugs everywhere, new design that quite alot of folks don’t like, now this, I smell recession.

    Phil – 17 October, 18:20
  7. ZenDude
    17 October, 18:47

    Will Last.fm ever have real-time updating of the “Recently Listened Tracks”? I would love to see that added!

    ZenDude – 17 October, 18:47
  8. Athropos
    17 October, 19:00

    I really like the new website, but speaking of the ‘recent tracks’, I don’t get why images are now displayed for each track. When listening to a complete album, repeating the same image over and over does not look good at all. IMO the image should be displayed only if it’s different from the previous one.

    Athropos – 17 October, 19:00
  9. Javi
    17 October, 19:32

    What I miss a lot is the possibility to import my contacts from Yahoo and MSN. I hope you bring that old feature back.

    Javi – 17 October, 19:32
  10. Khristopher
    17 October, 19:52

    Awesome! Love the lyrics. That’s going to make me use Last.fm much more than I do already.

    Khristopher – 17 October, 19:52
  11. Tecfan
    17 October, 20:00

    bleh. borders suck.

    will the lyrics ever come in the software?

    Tecfan – 17 October, 20:00
  12. GTStar
    17 October, 22:38

    Good news!

    Hope the lyrics and all the other stuff will be available soon :)

    GTStar – 17 October, 22:38
  13. Jelle
    18 October, 10:38

    Nice work again!
    What’s the status on introducing “Free the Music” globally, by the way?

    Jelle – 18 October, 10:38
  14. sjugge
    18 October, 11:01

    “At Last.HQ we like to make a fuss over big new features and applications.”

    a reality check might be in order here, or have you been snacking on magic mushrooms instead of hanging out in the pub?

    sjugge – 18 October, 11:01
  15. Dan
    18 October, 15:00

    I don’t understand why USA and Canada have so much more features then the rest of the world, like EU or Japan, China or Australia etc.

    Please can someone explain me this? It’s not like USA is even the biggest market.

    Dan – 18 October, 15:00
  16. Jonas
    18 October, 15:02

    One thing that is not working correctly, at least with my account, is the thing with the displayed media player.

    I use my iTunes most of the time, but it almost always tells me I’m “using Last.fm Player”…

    BTW: It’s now the fifth time I can’t read one of the words I have to enter to submit my comment…

    Jonas – 18 October, 15:02
  17. Andreas
    18 October, 18:39

    @Einar: Yeah, your lyrics script is really GREAT and it’s working like a charm here in Germany, so thank you for that!!!

    Andreas – 18 October, 18:39
  18. afterfly
    19 October, 14:59

    @Einar I’d like to thank you for your Greasemonkey script, too. It’s great! As long as Last.fm can’t release Lyrics implementation in Germany a better way, it’ll be the measure of all things.

    As for real-time updating, I would like to see this for the “Recently Listened Tracks”, too!

    afterfly – 19 October, 14:59
  19. Adam
    20 October, 01:37

    The lyrics bit sounds very intriguing!

    Adam – 20 October, 01:37
  20. Alan71
    20 October, 05:41

    Lyrics are a killer-feature. I hope that you’ll have new partnerships in order to access them from anywhere in the world. (with more content too, 800 000, it’s quite a lot, but it does not cover every tune, even from well-known bands with like 5 000 000 scrobbles)

    Can you had a global switch, easily accessible, for live updates, once it’ll be implemented? This feature could be fun, but regarding our privacy, errr.. You already know a lot about all of us, it might be not necessary to know our uptime too ^^

    One more thing about the player used. I think some players have special icons like wmp. Can you had some for others like amaroK etc…? (thx for adding the support for those players. I think they deserve to be advertised.)

    Even if I sound like I’m complaining, you’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work!

    Alan71 – 20 October, 05:41
  21. Jigar Shah
    20 October, 07:14

    Lyrics feature with API…? It will rock :)

    Jigar Shah – 20 October, 07:14
  22. shov1
    20 October, 08:58

    I just want to be able to scrobble from my ipod touch…
    Nasty Apple.

    shov1 – 20 October, 08:58
  23. revilomat
    20 October, 12:40

    The new settings are very handy!
    What I would like to see in one of the next updates, is support for Mobbler (a great Symbian S60 app) in the “Show Mediaplayer/Plugin” section. Thank you! :)

    revilomat – 20 October, 12:40
  24. iPhone Fan
    21 October, 00:39

    Lyrics on 800,000 track pages!!! Blimey, how long will that take you. Huge rep for going that extra mile to make the experience ever better :)

    iPhone Fan – 21 October, 00:39
  25. Jan
    21 October, 01:54

    Where are the group recommendations ?!?!?

    Jan – 21 October, 01:54
  26. Adam
    21 October, 14:15

    I’d like to see Merlin and Warner stuff instead of lyrics :(.

    Adam – 21 October, 14:15
  27. SEoD
    21 October, 20:39

    Thanks for fixing the recently listened section of the profile page. Mine used to say I was using the last.fm player when I was really using Winamp. All good now! Cheers!

    SEoD – 21 October, 20:39
  28. Jonty
    22 October, 01:56

    @Adam: So would we! We’re working on it, of course.

    Jonty – 22 October, 01:56
  29. Adam
    22 October, 17:37

    I hope so… guys – last.fm is the best thing ever made on Internet. Don’t let any other service to replace you! :)

    Adam – 22 October, 17:37
  30. Autiste2000
    24 October, 15:28

    why there is only new things all the… ?
    there is many things to do

    by example, what about futures albums ?
    what about neighbours who are still the same and not the good..
    why can’t we do personnalisation of our page

    etc etc

    sorry for my english..

    Autiste2000 – 24 October, 15:28
  31. Steve M.
    25 October, 23:20

    I’d like to see lyrics, but I’m in the UK, so looking forward to whenever that comes through…

    I’d like to suggest a feature (can’t find the “suggestions box”): how about an input scrobble, thus:

    Date: default today
    Time: default just now
    Media: TV, Film, Video, Radio, Book (etc.)
    (try and identify and offer selection here)
    Duration: optional
    ISBN or other id no.:

    Put them in the history and add your links. Voila.

    Steve M. – 25 October, 23:20
  32. Anonymous
    25 October, 23:42

    Many users cannot connect to the site lately. It redirects immediately to some other page upon load “ipinvite.iperceptions.com,” but this is unable to load and results in an error being displayed. Its not a cookie or malware of any kind I am positive of it and can reproduce the same problem in firefox on a roommates computer. Things in Safari are fine, but firefox seems to be the issue.

    Anonymous – 25 October, 23:42
  33. Anonymous
    26 October, 14:19

    Here’s a suggestion: I wish I could be able to clear all of my recent activity… or be able to at least delete some things from my recent activity.

    Anonymous – 26 October, 14:19
  34. Sergio
    26 October, 23:20

    Real-time updating in the Friend’s list would be awesome… looking forward to see this implemented.

    Sergio – 26 October, 23:20
  35. aendenne
    27 October, 05:18

    For ANYONE using Firefox, you can BLOCK ipinvite.iperceptions.com by using AdBlockPlus, a Firefox add-in. I tried it myself, and it works! (Simple download/install then addition of two custom ‘filters’ to keep iperceptions.com from launching its offensive javascript)

    Add-on download page: http://adblockplus.org/en/installation

    You will want to SUBSCRIBE to a filter, but for the singular purpose of getting to LastFM, do this:

    Once AdBlock Plus is installed and Firefox has been restarted, click Tools, then Add Ons, then Extensions.

    Locate AdBlock Plus in your list of extensions, and click its Options button.

    Click the Add Filter button on the bottom left.

    Type or paste this into the text box: ipinvite.iperceptions.com

    Click the Apply button on the bottom right.

    Click the Add Filter button on the bottom left (yes again—-this is the LAST custom filter you will add).

    Type or paste this into the text box: group11.iperceptions.com

    Click the OK button on the bottom right.

    Now try to go to lastfm.com!

    aendenne – 27 October, 05:18
  36. Anonymous
    27 October, 14:56

    The iperceptions.com issue with Firefox is EXTREMELY annoying.

    Please ask iperceptions.com to fix their buggy code, or drop them altogether.

    I’m experiencing the issue with Firefox, though it isn’t specific to this version. (Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; en-US; rv:1.9.1b2pre) Gecko/20081026 Minefield/3.1b2pre).

    Anonymous – 27 October, 14:56
  37. Cooking
    27 October, 19:33

    Awesome! Love the lyrics.

    Cooking – 27 October, 19:33
  38. pink4ever
    28 October, 09:14

    OMG, merge Pink and P!nk finally… fans are waiting for that so long. Is anyone out there able to do that? :(

    sorry for offtopic..

    pink4ever – 28 October, 09:14
  39. Wouter
    28 October, 11:36

    I hope you are also working as hard to get the iPhone app available around the world! I am still waiting for it anxiously here in the Netherlands! Keep up the good work…

    Wouter – 28 October, 11:36
  40. Devon
    28 October, 19:34

    I’m pretty put off by the ipinvite.iperceptions.com problem too. And I ain’t going to install something into my Firefox in order to view the site. The coding simply needs to be fixed. I’d rather go use another website than put up with this, no matter how cool last.fm’s features are. The problem makes the site not worth my time.

    Devon – 28 October, 19:34
    29 October, 03:39


    J.D.STEAGALL – 29 October, 03:39
  42. G1
    29 October, 17:59

    Android has arrived, where is your app?

    G1 – 29 October, 17:59
  43. Chris M
    30 October, 00:28

    @aendenne: Thanks for the tip! I had tried blocking ipinvite.iperceptions.com and it didn’t help, but adding group11.iperceptions.com to the block list did the trick!

    Chris M – 30 October, 00:28
  44. mike
    30 October, 15:26

    ahh sweet success, i can finally get to last.fm in firefox again… friggin iperceptions block worked with adblock plus


    mike – 30 October, 15:26
  45. Matthew Ogle
    31 October, 12:47

    Thanks for the iPerceptions bug reports guys — it was only affecting FF3.1b, and we’ve got a fix going out today. Cheers!

    Matthew Ogle – 31 October, 12:47
  46. Andrew
    1 November, 00:33

    I love last.fm so much! It’s so smart and recognizes even the weirdest songs from my playlist. Adding free lyrics to the mix would certainly be a nice touch!

    Andrew – 1 November, 00:33
  47. dianashamilton
    1 November, 15:48

    Re lyrics, as I’m playing song in-page via the flash player, and the lyrics are there, I’m tempted to click the “more” under the lyrics to read/sing along. Problem: The click takes you offpage and kills the music! Can you tweak it for the “more” link just to expand the lyrics in-page? Thanks if so!

    dianashamilton – 1 November, 15:48
  48. Wil Clouser
    3 November, 23:43

    The iPerceptions bug is still affecting me (using minefield, the firefox nightly). Please use a whitelist for whatever iPerceptions is doing and for any browser not on the list just serve the regular content.

    Wil Clouser – 3 November, 23:43
  49. Iman
    5 November, 03:49

    It kinda bites with the restriction (being in the USA).

    Is the restriction indefinite? or do you project that restrictions may change or be lifted?

    Maybe itd be better to proxy?

    Iman – 5 November, 03:49
  50. edwin
    5 November, 16:54

    Glad I found this page. I’m also having the iperceptions problem. I’m on the beta as well:

    Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; en-US; rv:1.9.1b1) Gecko/20081007 Firefox/3.1b1

    Hoping for a fix soon!

    edwin – 5 November, 16:54
  51. Jimmy Duff
    7 November, 16:12

    I love the new group live scrobbling stuff, nothing like getting Motorola to pay for features you can roll out later to others for free! Amen to the power of the sponsor.

    Jimmy Duff – 7 November, 16:12
  52. aries
    15 November, 17:33


    aries – 15 November, 17:33
  53. SEoD
    20 November, 18:36

    Uh-oh. Looks like the fix you did to make old plugins show up correctly in the recently listened tracks list is now busted again and my old Winamp plugin says “Listening now using Last.fm Player” once more :(

    Oh well! No biggie!

    SEoD – 20 November, 18:36
  54. stratagen14
    22 November, 15:55

    As a plug-in nut I really like the “Listening now using” feature. It would be freaking awesome if you could add my ScrobRhapsody and ScrobRealplayer plug-in’s to the mix!!

    stratagen14 – 22 November, 15:55

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