I used to love last.fm. I signed up for it in 2008 because my friend recommended it and it seemed to be the new shit at the time. It was a scrappy website and full of like-minded people.
The best part about lastfm was a technology called audioscrobbler: It tracked what you listened to and posted it to your lastfm profile where you could compare your listening taste with other users. It also recommended new tracks and artists much like spotify does today with its radio playlists. I’ve discovered some pretty good music through it.
It also provided you with a host of charts and graphs about your listening habits. You could check out the music you listened to on your last birthday, for example. To me this was very valuable, because music is many things to me: a reflection of my self, an outlet for my emotions and company in dark times. In other words, listening to music and scrobbling it is a form of writing a diary for me, and I’ve been doing it for 11 years now. It’s a powerful dataset to own.
But for the longest time, I did not own it.