Audioscrobbler has finally finished its update and it seems that the default user environment is Last.fm from now on.
The update was supposed to have finished by Monday but eventually, as these things usually do, it finished on Tuesday evening. I Managed to log in briefly at 1:30 am before going to bed and saw the page and skimmed through the new features. ‘Twas a bit slow.
Today I tried logging in again after coming to work but the site had b0rked and I kept getting errors or timeouts, probably the surge of traffic was too great (everyone logging in to see the new thing) and something crashed and burned. It came up after a few hours or so (It seems it was down for ~5 hours) and everything was running almost smoothly ever since. Even my winamp plugin, which couldn’t submit for the last week, managed to finally unload the ~400 songs it had in its cache.
The site layout looks great and is completely based on a scripting language instead of simple html which makes it look very cool. I would like some choice of themes but that can wait for now. It has many new features such as tagging, which is putting keywords on artists, albums or tracks for easy management and search and a personal journal.
The Journal is open but it is supposed to be used for music related things. Its neat feature is that it can link stuff through AS and put them as related terms in a sidebar (with thumbnails), making it easy for anyone reading it to locate them. I’ve already made two entries which you can find here if you so wish. I plan to use the journal as my personal review site so if you find my music taste to your liking you should check it out often.
Tagging is a great idea and I plan to use it heavily to make my collection easy to navigate and manage. Problem is that the profile editor is still a bit buggy and stops saving after using it for a while (it’s been trying to save a new tagset for two hours now ) but it can work in small batches. There is also another way to tag items, by using the tag button from the web page. It lets you easily tag items you are browsing.
I tried the new last.fm player as well. It seems they have turned from the web-based stream to a standalone program that you must install. It’s a nice idea because the web-based was not performing very well (at least for me) but they haven’t implemented proxy authentication which means I still cannot use it from work. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to use it afterward, since I do not know if the port it uses will be open from our firewall. An choice between the player and the web-player would be great at this point since not everyone has administrative rights to their computer (think employees in a company) or may want to use it on multiple computers where installing programs is not always an option.
There are some other nifty things I’ve found out such as a nice Similar Artists sidebar in every artist’s page (I’d like to know how they calculate that), an option to see a complete chart of your listening habits and not just the most popular, enhanced neighbor and friend page where it shows more info (such as their recent journal entries if any) and they even fixed the group charts that weren’t working before.
The forums seems to have been reduced in number now. The classic ones are still there but the plugins seem to have been merged.
All in all I find this a very exciting upgrade. Once the people learn the ropes and fill the place with tags and journals the AS experience will become unparalleled.
Amarok will have many things to implement, especially after the Audioscrobbler page (which is a developer’s repository now) comes up again.