It may seem a little strange writing about a digital music service that’s been going since 2002 adding new features for creating playlists in 2020. That’s what Last·fm is doing this week though, as part of its under-the-radar ongoing life as a site focusing on recommendations, charts and social features drawn (via its famous ‘scrobbling’ technology) from people’s listening on a range of streaming services.
The new tools are all about automating the creation of playlists, around certain themes. Last·fm users can now click on ‘similar tracks’ for a given track they love, and generate a playlist for example. There’s also an option to auto-create a ‘Next 30’ playlist of 30 tracks that the Last·fm algorithm thinks you’ll like; and single-button tools to create playlists based on tags or past listening by various periods (last week, month or year, or ‘blasts from the past’ to go further back in time). Most of these new tools are free, but a few require a ‘Pro’ subscription, which costs £2.50 a month.