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Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Convos with The Barnes: Last FM

I am blessed to have some pretty fantastic friends, particularly my oldest and dearest NYC pal, “The Barnes”. She is always suggesting great things to do, shows to catch, websites to peruse, books to read, stores to browse, etc. She’s one of those friends who is always armed with a great story and a useful tip. Love her!

Sharing your music online is nothing new, but even I was surprised at how quickly LastFM has sucked me in. I followed the launch, but took a while to sign up because I didn’t want my account referencing my itunes library at work, and my home computer is a dud that I am in the process of replacing. But as they added new features, I succumbed.

I’m in love. A social networking site that actually increases the quality of my life, by tipping me off to great music I have never heard of, without having to download anything. I listen to great music all day at work, and can even listen to my friend’s music which provides even more interesting convo fodder for later in the week. For example, I never realized how many great bands The Barnes knew about, that she apparently has been hiding from me. Shame on you, Barnes!

Yesterday we had an off/on all day chat about LastFM, and after pasting in the transcript, I realized three things:

1 – LastFM is somehow helping me to get to know my friends more in fun/mutually beneficial ways

2 – LastFM is a work safe site that helps me to be more productive (same as listening to coworkers playlists through itunes, only with more choices!)

2 – I am a grown woman who chats like an 8th grader.

All Day Convo with The Barnes RE: LastFM (and other sordid topics)

Alantra: check my spankrock blog:
Alantra: horror channel + ren & stimpy + recipes = me wanting to be a housewife with ethernet connections to watch all this sh*t
Alantra: is 10.2 beta? (referencing my Joost blog)
Alantra: or is it just buggy for weird coding sh*t’s sake?
DanielaInfinity: 🙁 im going to be the last to use last fm (of our friends)

DanielaInfinity: stupid home computer
Alantra: it’s okay, musical-loser ^_^
DanielaInfinity: im getting a laptop when i return from paris
Alantra: you can live vicariously
DanielaInfinity: then i will be all over that ish
Alantra: through my sh*t
DanielaInfinity: yes 🙂
Alantra: hell yeah!
DanielaInfinity: i will too
Alantra: i like it better than myspace
Alantra: all the music

DanielaInfinity: tell me why you like last fm
Alantra: none of the filler (your blog and questlove’s and a couple others excluded)
DanielaInfinity: give me reasons why you like last fm
Alantra: it gives great recommendations for music based on what you listen to
Alantra: it connects you to others with similar taste so you can sponge off their stuff

DanielaInfinity: can you listen to other peoples music?
Alantra: it plots out your taste week by week – since you listen to different stuff over time, your recommendations pool widens
Alantra: yup
Alantra: everybody has a personal radio station
Alantra: you can also listen to neighborhood radio
Alantra: which is all the people with taste like yours

DanielaInfinity: how do the personal radio stations work
Alantra: you have to listen to a certain number of songs
Alantra: when enough of your information is saved to your account
Alantra: creates a pool of music that fits your musical profile
Alantra: and makes it available to you and to others using the site
Alantra: if you look on mine, it should tell you what artists are there
Alantra: de la soul
Alantra: rjd2
Alantra: radiohead
Alantra: etc.
Alantra: but depending on how my listening habits change
Alantra: it could be a good deal different by, say, august
Alantra: i like that – it’s a dynamic tracker of musical taste that lets people interact with each other
Alantra: the brits are some smart mfers

DanielaInfinity: so as your musical tastes change, it brings in potential new friends, new music to listen to, etc?
Alantra: yup
Alantra: some neighbors might stay the same
Alantra: but you get new ones the more you listen
Alantra: i started out with 50
DanielaInfinity: you joined in feb…
Alantra: now i have like 250
Alantra: yup

DanielaInfinity: how do you like it more than myspace
Alantra: no spam, for one
Alantra: no bands trying to get you to listen to them
Alantra: people just dig what they dig

DanielaInfinity: … does it track your music through your itunes? so every time you listen to itunes it picks it up?
Alantra: yeah… you have the option of turning the application off, so it doesn’t track your music
Alantra: but i never turn mine off

DanielaInfinity: then how does it know what you listen to if you turn it off
Alantra: it’ll also work with winamp and windows media
Alantra: it doesn’t
Alantra: but if you leave your scrobbler off (that’s what it’s called)
Alantra: you don’t get recommendations
Alantra: or new neighbors
Alantra: so it’d be counterproductive to leave it off
Alantra: but if someone else
Alantra: is using your computer
Alantra: and they listen to nothing but pretty ricky and menudo
Alantra: and you hate those groups

DanielaInfinity: how does it know what your weekly top artists are if you dont have itunes
Alantra: you turn off the scrobbler so that their music isn’t added to your profile
Alantra: you don’t have to have itunes
Alantra: as long as the system recognizes a band name and song title
Alantra: it’ll input the song
Alantra: no matter what you play it on
Alantra: even if you use the internal player on last. fm
Alantra: based on how many times you listen, it can track fave songs and fave artists pretty easily

DanielaInfinity: im listening to your radio station…
DanielaInfinity: how am i doing that? is it streaming from your comp or their servers

Alantra: their servers

DanielaInfinity: what if i am listening to a song they never heard of
Alantra: i love love love those people
Alantra: i wish i listened to my itunes more
Alantra: so that i could add more stuff
Alantra: i haven’t been home as often
Alantra: trust me, they’ve probably heard of it
Alantra: their database is *huge*
Alantra: into obscure norwegian surf-rock?
Alantra: they probably have it
Alantra: and if you want to listen to music from a weirdo genre that like only five people are into
Alantra: you can search for it by keyword on the site
Alantra: and listen to a radio station
Alantra: with music in that genre
Alantra: like “romantic garage band”
Alantra: and if someone’s tagged any of their music with that label
Alantra: it’ll play on its own station
DanielaInfinity: oh thats awesome

DanielaInfinity: so you dont have to download anything to listen to tracks
DanielaInfinity: from anywhere
DanielaInfinity: and meet people who listen to it…
Alantra: that’s right
Alantra: the only thing you have to download
DanielaInfinity: i am probably going to blog today about you holding my hand through the land of last fm
Alantra: is the scrobbler on your personal computer
Alantra: yay i get to be in your blog again 🙂
DanielaInfinity: 🙁 yeah thats why i cant really use it yet
DanielaInfinity: i dont want to do it at work
Alantra: i feel you
Alantra: fortunately
DanielaInfinity: and i can’t do it from home yet…
Alantra: they fixed the site so you can listen

DanielaInfinity: so my profile is pretty lame now
Alantra: even if you haven’t downloaded anything
Alantra: and if you listen to the online radio stations
DanielaInfinity: yeah i was listening to your station
Alantra: you can build your profile up that way
Alantra: that’s what i do some of the time
Alantra: just can’t today

DanielaInfinity: ooo and i can embed your radio station places!
Alantra: radio day at work is friday, lol
Alantra: yeah… i’ve been trying to put mine on my myspace
Alantra: but it’s acting weird for some reason
Alantra: you can also
Alantra: put up lists of your favorite artist
Alantra: artists*
Alantra: or make quilts of album covers from bands you’ve listened to recently
Alantra: it’s a music nerd’s wet dream
Alantra: :: skeets musical notes ::

DanielaInfinity: yaaaay that part is awesome
DanielaInfinity: sharing your station channel

Alantra: i still visit livejournal some of the time, and on the negroclash comm (which originally was formed to bring together black indie rock kids) members post up their lists all the time
Alantra: plus there’s a negroclash comm on
Alantra: so that everyone can share their music
Alantra: which they did through lj
Alantra: but now it’s a lot easier

DanielaInfinity: 🙁 it doesnt work on wordpress the widget
Alantra: aw suckity suck
Alantra: i heard they are still developing codes that are blog-compatible
Alantra: fortunately it works on myspace
Alantra: i totally want my music on there
Alantra: oh – another great thing
Alantra: you can look up
Alantra: which concerts
Alantra: people with similar music taste
Alantra: are going to
Alantra: so that you yourself can go
Alantra: and, you can invite friends to concerts through it
Alantra: so you don’t just share music online – you do so in real life
Alantra: so f*cking cool
Alantra: i met one of my friends at a concert
Alantra: after she added me
Alantra: and she invites me to stuff on the regular
Alantra: i actually have to show up to one, now that i don’t have class, haha

Alantra: speaking of concerts, you’ll probably want to go to this sh*t
Alantra: you sexy asshole (Brazilian Girls)
Alantra: hahaha

DanielaInfinity: myspace is stupid to me now… not just because i have to be on it for work.
Alantra: i think represents a great direction in terms of social networking
Alantra: being oriented specifically to one’s geeky hobby
Alantra: eventually i can see one based on movies
Alantra: one on books
Alantra: all that ish
DanielaInfinity: yeah those are in the works now…
Alantra: of course, yo! i missed so many movies last year
Alantra: have y’all mtv heads heard of holy fuck? (band)
Alantra: check subterranean’s blog… they might have something about them
Alantra: i haven’t heard them yet, but i heard they’re supposed to be good in that it-makes-white-kids-dance sort of way
Alantra: okay, food time… later
DanielaInfinity: k

DanielaInfinity: wheres juliaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Alantra: yo b*tch
Alantra: i’m right here dweeb
Alantra: you can’t email me from outside
Alantra: you have to go through the system
Alantra: and it’s just my username: auteurgirl
DanielaInfinity: whatever

DanielaInfinity: im on
Alantra: yay now we are music friends
Alantra: now listen to more sh*t
DanielaInfinity: damn

(We then chat in some depth about starting a band, in which I am the only melanin challenged member)

Alantra: you’d be like
Alantra: that skinny white guy
Alantra: in hustle and flow
Alantra: hahahahahahaha
DanielaInfinity: LMAO
DanielaInfinity: f*ck you dude
DanielaInfinity: thats hysterical
DanielaInfinity: lmao
Alantra: on the plus side, you have better hair
Alantra: ^_^
Alantra: and visuals would be cool

DanielaInfinity: im just going to leave your station on
DanielaInfinity: all day

Alantra: ew
Alantra: you’re gonna be my mini-me
Alantra: lol
DanielaInfinity: for now bujeezuz
Alantra: take a listen to my neighborhood, too
Alantra: i’ve found some pretty cool stuff

DanielaInfinity: i luvz me your music taste
DanielaInfinity: barnes
DanielaInfinity: *rockin out at her desk*
Alantra: :: pimp dance ::
Alantra: :: plays golden girls theme ::
Alantra: you work really friggin hard
Alantra: you are piss-pants humorous
Alantra: and you dance like a retarded squirrel
Alantra: what’s not to like?
DanielaInfinity: heheheh “retarded squirrel”

6:50 PM
Alantra: still listening to my audio-skeets?
DanielaInfinity: yep

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