Last.fm - Your Personal Radio
Tested version: 1.4.1
Latest version: 220.127.116.11
Requires Android: from 1.5
Last.fm is without a doubt one of the greatest music sites on the web. You can stream your favorite songs directly on your computer. Entering a song title, artist name, or music genre is enough for Last.fm to compile a customized playlist for you in a matter of seconds. Now, Last.fm is also available as an Android app. Find out whether this app is intended for beginners or advanced user by reading our full test report.
Features & Use
The Last.fm app offers you a whole array of useful features that many of you are already familiar with from the web-version. Don't have an account with Last.fm? Not a problem. Registering through the app is just as easy as on the website itself.
Once you've set-up an account, you are greeted with the following features on the app's start-page. Under the "Radio" tab you'll find:
- Start a New Station
- Your Library
- Recommended by Last.fm
- Your Neighborhood
- Recent Stations
Under the "Profile" tab you'll find the same options as on the website:
- Top Artists
- Top Albums
- Top Tracks
- Recently Played
Clicking on "Start a New Station" presents you with several different options. You can search by artists, keywords (tags), or even search by other users to listen to other people's playlists.
Scrobbling, in my opinion Last.fm's coolest feature, is obviously also part of this app. When you are "scrobbling", you are in effect sharing the track, artist, and/or song you're listening to at the moment with Last.fm. Using this information, Last.fm can recommend music that fits you personal taste. All of this is integrated into the app so that track played on your Android Player is automatically synched with Last.fm. A small message appears at the top of your screen letting you know if you're "scrobbling" at any given moment. While any track is playing, you can view the artist's biography, similar artists, tags, upcoming events, as well the artist's fans. I think that's an awesome feature! You can turn scrobbling on or off in your settings at any time.
In the settings you have the opportunity to select your streaming quality and headset options.
If you're registered with Last.fm, you've got all the usual functions.
During playback you can click on:
- Love this track
- Ban this track
- Stop this track
- Next track
Pressing the menu button during playback directs you to these options:
- View info
- Add to Playlist
- Buy on Amazon
I was really blown away by the variety of functions available. Feel like buying the track from Amazon? No sweat. If you've got the Amazon MP3 app already installed on your device, you can directly access the Amazon store from any track currently playing.
Last.fm's sharing option is also very comprehensive:
- Last.fm Friends
- Send via Bluetooth (if you have a Bluetooth app installed)
Any additional communication apps you may have installed will appear in this selection. The Last.fm also features are pretty sweet widget for your screen, displaying the track title, remaining time, and all the other playback features. In my opinion, this app deserves a full six stars for the features & use section.
A small set-back that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone: the streaming really sucks up your battery life.
Whether for beginners or advanced Last.fm users, this app offers all the functions you could ever wish for. Users that already have an account get full-access to all these features. Newcomers have to satisfy themselves with just the basic "Start a New Station" button. All in all, a great piece of work, especially the look and feel of the app.
Screen & Controls
The controls can get a bit tricky because of the wide selection of different functions. Once you get a general feeling for the app, you shouldn't have any problems figuring out the individual menus. I found it a bit annoying that many functions were only accessible via the menu button. Some of these functions could easily have been placed onto the touchscreen, making things a little neater.
The real icing on the cake is the app's amazing look. The app's glass-like design makes use that more enjoyable.
Speed & Stability
The performance itself is good, but things tend to lag during streaming. With the newer Android phones, you shouldn't experience any more stalling and your performance should be much improved. During the test my biggest problem was trying to work on other things while letting a track stream in the background.
The fact that there were several crashes with the app is, for me, simply inexcusable.
The app and streaming music are free just like on the website.
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