The Future of Last.fm Radio APIs

 
    • _voice sa...
    • Användare
    • 30 mar 2009, 14:19
    Russ sagte:
    We hear you. We're definitely going to be looking into more royalty-free (including Creative Commons) music in the future - it's a point we're lacking in at the moment.


    Thanks for your answer. So maybe you can answer one simple question that's bugging me:

    Why do people have to pay when they only wanna listen to free music? If people think they need commercial music, that's fine with me. If they wanna pay for it, that's fine too, since it's everyones choice. But why do people have to pay if they only wanna listen to free music?

    The system to allow free music and charge for non-free music is already in place. So why don't you use it to make this change without getting everyone pissed?

    I'm sure that WAY less users would be angry and/or leave if you make this change only for commercial tracks...

    • Russ sa...
    • Alumni
    • 30 mar 2009, 14:58
    _voice said:
    Thanks for your answer. So maybe you can answer one simple question that's bugging me:

    Why do people have to pay when they only wanna listen to free music? If people think they need commercial music, that's fine with me. If they wanna pay for it, that's fine too, since it's everyones choice. But why do people have to pay if they only wanna listen to free music?

    The system to allow free music and charge for non-free music is already in place. So why don't you use it to make this change without getting everyone pissed?


    I agree that arranging it that way may have made it appear better, but I don't think it would have resulted in much material difference. The majority of people who hit last.fm are looking for music which is inevitably going to be royalty-paid, so they would still end up disappointed.

    For a couple of reasons we don't actually know for sure if musicmanager uploads are royalty-free or not (although this will be added at some point).

    Less than 5% of our content is royalty-free, and our radio systems aren't designed to deal with such a lack of content, so the radio quality would suffer a lot.

    • _voice sa...
    • Användare
    • 30 mar 2009, 15:21
    Russ sagte:
    I agree that arranging it that way may have made it appear better, but I don't think it would have resulted in much material difference. The majority of people who hit last.fm are looking for music which is inevitably going to be royalty-paid, so they would still end up disappointed.

    For a couple of reasons we don't actually know for sure if musicmanager uploads are royalty-free or not (although this will be added at some point).

    Less than 5% of our content is royalty-free, and our radio systems aren't designed to deal with such a lack of content, so the radio quality would suffer a lot.


    The technical reasons are understandable - although implementing a forced 'content type' value for uploads would take less then a day and a few days more for bug-hunting and scalability tests. But of course that would only help for new content and the content that already has that flag. And that such a flag exists is no secret, since you already had the "3 plays only for non-free tracks" rule.

    I make a living coding and building web 2.0 communities (e.g. flashgames.info and gratissoft.de) and understand your technical "problems" pretty good, especially the suffering radio.

    And I also understand that it's a management decision that leaves you with the damn job to sell it to the pissed of users. That's one of the reasons why I left my "employed by big player" job and went into business self-employed. ;)
    And that's why I'm angry about Last.fm management, not about you.

    Well, my music is on many sites and I don't need Last.fm. It's just really sad to see such an incredible project go down the drain. I'll wait and see for a few weeks how everything turns out. But as things are right now I don't think I will recommend Last.fm to others ever again. And I'm still not sure about my tracks staying here or not. We'll see what happens in the next weeks.

    • JRoar sa...
    • Alumni
    • 1 apr 2009, 19:31
    can we expect you to release the new radio api documentation this week? :]

    • kb7clx sa...
    • Användare
    • 4 apr 2009, 15:16
    I'm hearing talk that the official player is also going to be a subscribers only feature in ALL countries, is that right? In other words, if you live in the UK, US and Germany the only way to listen to radio for free will be via the flash player on the website.

    • akrde sa...
    • Användare
    • 4 apr 2009, 18:55
    kb7clx said:
    I'm hearing talk that the official player is also going to be a subscribers only feature in ALL countries, is that right? In other words, if you live in the UK, US and Germany the only way to listen to radio for free will be via the flash player on the website.


    AFAIK not the player itself will be subscriber only but you can listen to radios with this and any other player outside US/UK/DE if you are a subscriber.

    Do you have other informations?

    • soernt sa...
    • Användare
    • 6 apr 2009, 04:40
    The information I got, is that all uers need to be subscribers if they use any other outside players. Only the player at web side is free for us/uk/ger users.

    • akrde sa...
    • Användare
    • 6 apr 2009, 05:42
    soernt said:
    The information I got, is that all uers need to be subscribers if they use any other outside players. Only the player at web side is free for us/uk/ger users.



    Ok, that makes sense, if the new Last.fm player don't show adverts like all the old versions.

    • preco sa...
    • Användare
    • 6 apr 2009, 14:15

    Betrayal

    This will provoke the GNU community to remove barriers, in the end you might have to face a never-ending battle against them.

    Who'll win?
    You guess. Nobody, but They will always be one step ahead.

    What will your contractors think about it? Will you be able to keep your licenses?
    What will the European Commission say? How will emerging bands feel about it?

    I'm wishing the utmost evil will happen to CBS. And it would perhaps be better if last.fm died and was replaced with something more open source and decline-resistant.

    • preco sa...
    • Användare
    • 6 apr 2009, 15:02
    As you see, many users are going to be confused by the chaotic licensing restrictions.
    This will drive them off and many will leave disgusted although they have been subscribing users before.

    I fully agree with those claiming their money back. You took the subscribers' money and changed (well, restricted) your terms of use in the meantime.


    Can you do anything about it at all? Are you really unable to object the damn recording corporations' silly terms?
    Without the end users, they would be dead and you too.
    We don't see you are doing what you can to claim your rights. Don't let 'em pull your leg! Or is it too late since you were purchased by CBS?
    Remember, you used to be open, innovative, and thus quickly growing.
    (Many) people will hate you once you stop feeding with music for free.
    And if you introduce stupid, complicated restrictions, there will be others left puzzled and upset. Leaving...




    Why don't you simplify it all and introduce a flatrate subscription fee (with discounts in case of a longer-term subscription) for all streaming users and open up your API without bothering developers with obtaining the key?

    You rebuilt the system and boasted it's a New Generation last.fm (there is still a link to your old blog post on the bottom of the page) - one of your arguments was simplicity.

    How could last.fm seem simple when it's unclear to users, How (and Why) to use it at all ?!?

  • To be honest the new service is very simple. If you arent in the UK, US or Germany you'll have to pay to listen to radio via the official client. If you want to listen using a third party client (regardless of your location) you'll have to pay up. It really isn't that complicated and I can't see why people are saying that it is.

    I can see what people are saying about some artists not wanting people to have to pay to listen to their music but it only affects the radio, the on demand streaming from the website will be unaffected.

    Last.fm is very open by the way. They offer a massive api that lets you get at basically all of thier data. The only stuff they can't provided unrestricted access to is the stuff that they don't own, which is the music. They have to pay record lables to use all of this, and that isn't cheap. You can expect them to just give it away forever. They are a business and have to make money somehow. They don't owe you anything and they dont HAVE to give you it all for free.

    I also cant understand why people are demanding their subscription fee back because if you subscribe NOTHING HAS CHANGED. You still have access to all the same things that you did before. Nothing has been taken away from you. Infact you mgiht have slightly more because third party developers will soon have a proper API document to follw which will make the third party radios more reliable. Surely this would make it more likely people would want to keep their subscriptions.

    ONGOING PROJECT! PHP Last.FM API (Download or SVN)
    Online Last.FM Player (Updated version is SVN only currently)
    • soernt sa...
    • Användare
    • 8 apr 2009, 11:31

    When will the radio API be released?

    I saw a comment up in this thread mention that it will be released "this week".
    When can we excpect that radio API?

    Sörnt

    • Russ sa...
    • Alumni
    • 8 apr 2009, 15:00

    Re: When will the radio API be released?

    soernt said:
    I saw a comment up in this thread mention that it will be released "this week".
    When can we excpect that radio API?
    Sörnt


    Like the streaming cutoff, it has been delayed for a while. More info when I have it.

  • I've pulled all my music from last.fm, and am urging others to follow me.
    Major screwup this time.

    • ben2talk sa...
    • Användare
    • 11 apr 2009, 11:21

    Sad Story

    I live in Thailand now, and have no credit card - yet I had persuaded a friend of mine to subscribe and support LastFM and was planning to do when I heard the news.

    Fortunately there are alternatives. For so many people who were getting out of their habits of grabbing songs via p2p it's an education - it isn't worth it.

    So long, and thanks for all the fish guys!

  • Widgets

    Hello,
    I`ve read the whole topic here but still i was not able to find information if the new changes will affect the widgets available in the last.fm site - those for listening to particualr tag and artist/similar artists. Are they going to remain available for free

    10x for your answer

  • Re: Widgets

    slushaime said:
    Hello,
    I`ve read the whole topic here but still i was not able to find information if the new changes will affect the widgets available in the last.fm site - those for listening to particualr tag and artist/similar artists. Are they going to remain available for free

    10x for your answer


    Hmmmmmmmmmmm..... interesting question. I'm guessing they will detect where the person listening is from, and if they aren't in a free country they wont play. You'll have to wait for the official word on that cause I'm just guessing. Hopefully Russ will be posting again when people are back from the bank holiday weekend.

    ONGOING PROJECT! PHP Last.FM API (Download or SVN)
    Online Last.FM Player (Updated version is SVN only currently)
    • snyde1 sa...
    • Abonnent
    • 13 apr 2009, 23:40

    Re: Widgets

    slushaime said:
    I`ve read the whole topic here but still i was not able to find information if the new changes will affect the widgets available in the last.fm site - those for listening to particualr tag and artist/similar artists. Are they going to remain available for free
    Did you read RJ's second blog article?

    It says, in part:third-party apps that stream Last.fm Radio will have full access to the Radio API, so streaming will work provided the user that logs in is a subscriber. (All other APIs remain free/unchanged)I would presume that applies to the widgets as well (same API) so that they would work for subscribers.

    Since this is not an official answer, I'll take 2 x's for this one, rather than the full 10 offered.

    Improve your view of Last.fm - add some User Scripts.
    Did I hear that right? Mondegreens - for the misheard word. Like Odds? Can't get better than Even Odds!

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
  • You Give a Mouse a Cookie...

    Wow. People are getting way too upset here at last.fm. Does anyone realize who's the real culprit, or are we all going to stone last.fm just because we need to get our rage out there somewhere?

    Who was trying to shut down all music radio services? Who forces every album at the store to be priced $15-$20 more so they can get hefty royalties? Who forces every radio service to pay to get any music, and even then with unbelievable restrictions? Certainly not last.fm

    I suggest folks start redirecting their anger to the labels who are behind this mess, rather than companies like last.fm, which provide an open API, and open-source software. Pandora.com doesn't even do that!

    Sometimes it feels like no matter how good a company is or how well they cater to their audience, the audience will always find some reason to rant at them whenever the service announces something uncomfortable. :(

  • Radio only for Subscribers?

    After forcing people in other countries than UK, US and DE to subscribe to use Last.FM, you're making the next move towards non-free radio - this is sad. I guess, in a year or so it will be more attractive to use ITunes instead of last.fm.
    One question: Why only allow third-party-streaming for subsribers? I assume, the Last.FM-Player will still be able to stream to non-subscribers, right? So, if i am a non-subscriber and like to use last.fm i will have to use your software instead of, say, Amarok. Where is the advantage for Last.fm to force users to use their homemade (improvable) software?

    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 19 apr 2009, 18:16
    I guess last.fm makes money if you click on the "buy on amazon" link and by displaying adverts on their page (to non-subscribers), where the artist/album/track labels in the client do link to.
    If e.g you code a minimal client, just showing the tracks artist and name and playing the sound (no links, etc.), then obviously last.fm won't get any money which they have to pay if you hear a track. So they have to get it via subscriptions. I think that's pretty fair :)

    Combo.fm: Combine your favourite radio stations! | My Blog | scala-lastfmapi | Cache2k - A high performance Java in-memory cache
    P.S.: Do not click here
    throw new PokemonException(); //Gotta catch 'em all
    My forum post reflects my personal opinion :)
  • tburny said:
    I guess last.fm makes money if you click on the "buy on amazon" link and by displaying adverts on their page (to non-subscribers), where the artist/album/track labels in the client do link to.
    If e.g you code a minimal client, just showing the tracks artist and name and playing the sound (no links, etc.), then obviously last.fm won't get any money which they have to pay if you hear a track. So they have to get it via subscriptions. I think that's pretty fair :)


    Maybe - So, if you're right, i have a great idea: Why not force 3rd-Party-Client-Developers to add 'Buy Track/Album'-Links into their clients such that Last.FM gets the money - I think, THAT would be even more fair ;)

    • tburny sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 21 apr 2009, 15:44
    jep :) maybe this could be done via sending a mail to last.fm so they can check out if the application really links to BOTH buy page and last.fm :)

    Combo.fm: Combine your favourite radio stations! | My Blog | scala-lastfmapi | Cache2k - A high performance Java in-memory cache
    P.S.: Do not click here
    throw new PokemonException(); //Gotta catch 'em all
    My forum post reflects my personal opinion :)
    • Russ sa...
    • Alumni
    • 21 apr 2009, 17:19
    freigeist said:
    Maybe - So, if you're right, i have a great idea: Why not force 3rd-Party-Client-Developers to add 'Buy Track/Album'-Links into their clients such that Last.FM gets the money - I think, THAT would be even more fair ;)


    If you contact us, we're more than happy to consider that option for you.

  • The new Radio API is now officially available and documented for you, so check here for more info:

    * Radio API Overview
    * radio.getPlaylist
    * radio.tune

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