Interested in what other people with similar taste in music to your own listen to? Check out last.fm and look up your favorite artists or songs for recommendations by other people just like you.
If you sign up and use one of their recommended music players or plugins, the site can track your listening preferences and make better recommendations for you and others as well.
Its very nice/cool to be able to see the personal playlists of people who listen to some of the same music I do. For example, I clicked on a somewhat rare song I'd just listenend to from about 10 years ago and found two others who had it on their playlists and got to take a look at other esoteric music they were into.
As a quick aside, the music playing in the widget to the left is not necessarily from my collection but randomly selected from the styles my last.fm "neighbours" listen to. This may not in any way reflect my own tastes.
To the left should be an automatically-generated list of tracks I've played recently according to last.fm's scrobbler. This only accounts for music I've played with Amarok or Last.fm players, not my PS3 (yet) or in my car.
The tracking of your listening habits is pretty cool, especially since you can use a fake or anonymized user account (no personal data required) and Last.fm will automatically suggest other music you'd be interested in as a result of your listening habits. If you decide not to do it anonymously, you can add friends and compare listening habits with them too.
Amarok is the software I use to listen to music when I'm in front of a computer. I don't
like iTunes personally, sorry if you do, but its very feature bare and a huge slow hog on
most computers. Amarok supports Last.fm scrobbling, looking up artist and lyric information
off the Internet, recommending related artists and tracks, tagging and relabeling of files,
ripping your music, listening to Internet radio, and a whole bunch of plugins for those
other things you might want to do. Amarok's a fairly big program compared to smaller music
playing software, but it has optional remote control functionality and plugins to output on
"now playing" information to your website, chat software or small LCD screens. Very cool.
I'm not just your average guy who likes listening to music. I like my music to sound authentic, I don't like missing out on that nice deep bass note because of crappy earbuds, nor do I like distortion from my speakers ruining the sound. I primarily listen to music in my livingroom on my my home theatre system speakers, primarily via my PlayStation 3 which can access my music over my home LAN by DLNA.
I'm not rich, so I don't have a very high end system compared to some audio geeks, but I've put together what I can afford and it sounds very good compared to the average Joe's cube speakers or boom box. There's no need to spend a lot of money to get dramatically better sound, a decent pair of tower speakers will cost about a couple hundred dollars and in fact you can mail-order yourself a whole set of five for $199.95 like I did from Fluance. Get a basic receiver and some wiring and you're all set. For less than the price of a Bose Waveradio, you can have a whole home theatre sound system with expandibility for the future.
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