Monthly Archives: August 2015

Update/Breakdown

I’m at my most vulnerable today. It’s been exactly three years since my mum passed away. Things were quite alright all day; I had a lot to do at work so I was distracted enough. After work I went to the cemetery just to light a candle and breathe and focus on mum in an environment that allowed concentration. Not sure if that makes any sense. But then again, what does?

Considering the circumstances, I was fine. Until I opened Last.fm. They’ve “gone live” with their new interface (quick tip, Last.fm: don’t force users to use something that’s clearly not finished any time soon) and this is just too much for me on a day like this. My eyes have literally teared up several times during the evening (that’s a little too much, I know, but I’m simply not ready for this change today) because of the new design. It’s just that incredibly awful. You can see for yourself in these photos:

This is my new profile. Why would I want my most played track emphasized at the top? See how Last.fm have decided that blink-182 should be in my cover photo just because they’re my most played artist – what’s up with that? No town or country listed – really? Track – artist instead of artist – track – REALLY? Following/followers – really? This isn’t Twitter, you know. An ugly fucking heart next to each song. A Google ad as one of the first things you see in my profile? Are you taking a fucking shit on me, Last.fm?

Here’s my new home page. Recommending me shows I’m already attending – really? Ads that take up one third of the whole page? What?

Back to my profile, a bit further down. The dimension of things is just really strange. Those photos are way too big and the way they’re presented looks stupid. And if I don’t want to list my top albums on my profile, can I remove that section? Nope! Is there perhaps a way to see more of my top artists in a text based list, like before? No, of course not! Because Last.fm love to give us shitty updates and they want us all to hate them. Are ads taking up one third of my profile? Yes! There’s no way to overview my profile and scrobbles in an easy way because all I see are large photos and irrelevant ads.PS: Where are my upcoming events? My bio?

Here’s what things look like if you visit a song page. If you think this is good and/or useful design, you must be 1) an idiot or 2) totally inexperienced with web design.

I hate you so much right now, Last.fm. I’m so sad to feel this way because I’ve cherished this site for nearly ten years and loved it to bits. I think my eyes are tearing up again.

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Apple Music

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for Apple Music‘s three-month free trial. There are quite a few things I find disturbing about Spotify, which I’ve been using on and off for the past few years. I thought that Apple would’ve come up with a much better service, given they’re so late into the game and, you know, they’ve got quite a bit of money to invest. I read a bit about Apple Music and its features before I signed up for it. It all seemed pretty good to me, even though I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about using iCloud Music Library (especially after reading those horror stories about how Apple fucked up people’s collections) and losing a bit of control over my iTunes library. However, the three-month trial is free after all, so I decided I might as well give it a try (after making a backup of my iTunes library, of course).

(As far as I can see, Apple haven’t fucked up my iTunes library so far. Phew.)

Tomorrow I’m unsubscribing from Spotify. Because I love Apple Music? Nope. Simply because my trial is still running. I’m  usually a fan of Apple products and until a few days ago I was sure that they’ve convinced me to stick with their music service. Some more getting used to is all I need, I thought. But these past few days a couple of things have been bugging me more than I believe is necessary for a music streaming service:

1) No integrated Last.fm scrobbler. Is this even possible?! you might all think. Well, yes. Apparently. Apple Music doesn’t scrobble streamed tracks easily on iPhone or iPad. I’ve found a way around the issue by running an app for scrobbling in the background. It’s not bullet proof but most streamed tracks get scrobbled. But hey, a separate app for scrobbling? That’s just stupid. And this app isn’t even available on iOS, which means music I’m streaming on my Macbook isn’t listed on my Last.fm page. Ugh. (Any music I decide to add to My Music scrobbles just fine, but that’s not the point here. Isn’t streaming plus scrobbling basically a human right nowadays?)

2) Making playlists is incredibly complex. Here’s how I create a playlist in Spotify: I name my list. I search for a streamed track and then I drag and drop it into my playlist. Here’s how I would have to create a playlist in Apple Music (I haven’t done it yet because I get mad just thinking about it): I name my list. I search for a streamed track, click three dots that show up next to it (can I just right click? NOPE!) and click “Add to” (can I just hover this option? NOPE!) and then I can choose the playlist I want to add this track to. Alright, fine. I could’ve lived with that. But there’s more. Once I’ve decided to add a streamed track to my playlist the track is automatically added to “My Music” (which contains my music library). W H A T ? ! Have Apple lost their minds? Just because I want a specific track in a playlist doesn’t mean I want it in my library! Is that too much to ask?

3) I can’t find my friends as users. People who are familiar with Spotify probably know that you can find friends by searching their username or adding them or whatever. On their page you can see playlists they’ve made or subscribed to, as well as what they’ve been listening to. Quite a neat feature if you have friends with nice taste in music. And it doesn’t even have to be a real-life friend. Want to check out some playlists made by Mark Hoppus? Of course you do. And they’re right there!

On Apple Music, you can’t subscribe to playlists like you can on Spotify, either. That’s very strange, considering how much they emphasize the social feature “Connect” in their marketing. Not finding any friends or other people’s playlists seems really unsocial to me.

Some of the things that are bugging me might change for the better eventually. But how long will it take? If these things haven’t changed when my trial is over I’m subscribing to Spotify again.

One last thing (as if I haven’t listed enough first world problems already): the desktop version of Apple Music isn’t as pretty as it could be…

Ah, the potential Apple had to make something incredible with their music service. Still waiting for it to happen.

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“How do we not get lost?”

Been spinning Runners in the Nerved World by The Sidekicks for a while. Lots of Band of Horses and The Shins vibes. I can imagine this record will be great for walks during crisp evenings in the fall.


The Sidekicks – Hell is Warm

Listen to Runners in the Nerved World on Spotify.

The Sidekicks currently have 28 221 listeners on Last.fm.

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Quite pretty

Have a look at the cover of Beach Slang’s upcoming album The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us. That is one beautiful cover. And the album title is very appealing, too.

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