Last.fm has launched a new app that acts a music discovery site called Last FM Discover. It focuses on independent artists, so it gives you an off-the-beaten-mainstream-path to check out new music from new places. 3 million tracks, 2 million musical genres. Seriously, most of what I listened to ended up being bands from around the world that I've never even heard of, but it was interesting music.
The Last FM Discovery app is browser-based, meaning that you don't have to download the app, it can swim with all of the other tabs you have open on the web, which makes it easier to use than a dedicated app. It has a super clean and intuitive layout that's actually fun to use, rather than being challenging. I'm not sure at this point if it will come out as a dedicated Last FM mobile app of it's own, can someone add in on the comments if they know the status of this? Also, does it add this music on the Last FM scrobbler?
It uses music tags to lay out different music styles to jump into (a lot like the new Spotify Radio that just launched), while the "Tune Music" feature allows you to focus in on a certain song you're playing and play more songs like it (upping them a notch in the Last FM vs. Pandora battle). You can also create "mixes" that act as playlist or jump back in your history to see what you've been listening to.
The best part of Last.FM's Discover app might be the "Something different" button, which lets you stay in the tag or "channel" you've chosen to listen to but offers you something different in terms of a musical path. Inversely, the "More Like This" button allows to focus in on a sound you like when a song clicks with you.
Other interesting features include the ability dive deeper within the tags, as in, once you're in a musical tag, you can sub-divide into a subset of that genre. This is great for the "Electronic Music" and "Indie Rock" genres that have a million different variants on style. Foor instance, listening to the song "Lasdehen" by The Reuses under the lo-fi tag gives me the option to dig deeper on folk, indie, indie pop, baroque pop, russian, singer-songwriter, russian indie, acoustic and indie folk. Imagine the possibilities! You could start a blog dedicated to Russian acoustic baroque pop indie artists who are singer-songwriters! So you can dive pretty deep on this one.
Interesting bands I heard while testing out Last FM Discover: Naked Hearts ("Mass Hearts"), The Retuses ("Lasdehen") and Professor Kliq (Plastic and Flashing Lights").
Learn more about streaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.