Last.fm is a music service and online community where you can discover new music and meet people with similar interests. It offers different ways to access music; one of these, and the focus of this review, is the Last.fm Scrobbler. For all cases, all you need is to make an account on the site and create your own profile so you can join groups, share music, and take part in chats or events created by other users.
The Last.fm scrobbler is an app that, once installed on your Mac, will monitor what you listen to on iTunes, Winamp, and iPod, and will add that data to your profile. Every time you listen to a song on one of these players, the Last.fm scrobbler will take note of it and will update your profile. You can use the scrobbler as a stand-alone music player, too. You simply type in the name of an artist and the scrobbler will 'start a radio station', that is, it will stream random tracks related to that artist, which is a great opportunity to discover new bands or artists. The scrobbler has a clean interface with basic player controls and options to create playlists with the songs you like the most, all of which will be added to your profile as well.
This is, in broad terms, the type of access you get to Last.fm music with a free account. You cannot, however, pick a song from your playlists and listen to it completely. Instead, you will just get a 30-second preview of your playlists tracks, and your profile page will contain ads.
On top of that, Last.fm is a great music service to find new music and broaden your musical spectrum. Its online community is huge and offers lots of things to share with your friends.