The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'cbs'
Two years after last.fm was bought out by CBS, who ran it as an autonomous unit, the three founders have handed in their resignations; they will stay on as consultants until September, after which control will be handed over entirely to CBS. After that, we can probably expect the servers to be boxed up and shipped to the US and the site to be rebranded as "MTV Online" or something, plastered with intrusive ads, and generally stripped of anything that made it cool in the first place.
So where do you go after last.fm? How do you display the superlative coolness of your musical taste to the world once last.fm is no longer fit to point people at? Well, there's libre.fm, which is still in alpha, doesn't look very good and has next to nobody using it. Libre.fm, though, is open-source, so you could easily run your own server. Perhaps the future will consist of people running their own scrobblers, or social networks providing scrobbling services to their users; your music stats will be available as standard XML feeds, with a XFN-style microformat link from your profile/homepage, letting the world know that this is what you've been listening to. Of course, one advantage a centralised site like last.fm had was that it could easily crunch the data and find recommendations or determine the compatibility of musical tastes, though if it's a web service, someone could write a third-party site to crunch exported music profiles. (Perhaps that someone will be Google or Facebook? Or perhaps Murdoch's struggling MySpace will leap at the opportunity, implement scrobbling, and then make a hash of it with obnoxious in-your-face Flash ads and a garishly unpleasant user experience.) As for finding upcoming gigs, event sites like upcoming.org, or Facebook's Event facility, could be expanded to be aware of band/artist names and search by user profiles.
Guardian correspondent and self-styled "new media whore" Paul Carr investigates the last.fm/CBS/RIAA rumour, comes to some somewhat ambiguous conclusions:
Fact One: Last.fm is innocent.Chances are, Carr writes, the rumour was a hoax, sent in to TechCrunch for some uncertain motive:
Fact Two: And yet, there are certainly trust issues between some at Last and some at CBS.
Fact Three: Techcrunch is not full of shit. Any more.
Fact Four: Techcrunch made every attempt to verify the story.
The answer, as I head towards my penultimate paragraph – the one in which a columnist is suppose to tie everything up with a neat conclusion – is that I don't know who's to blame. And neither does Last or Techcrunch. Something is still missing and sources at both companies remain equally baffled at why so much effort would go in to smearing one or other of them. Only one man, or possibly woman, can say for sure what the truth is – Techcrunch's original tipster. And, wouldn't you know, he or she has since vanished off the map, despite Techcrunch offering both anonymity and expensive legal representation.