Last.fm is available for a diverse range of devices from Android and iPhone to Onkyo and Denon & Marantz AV receivers.
Like Pandora, Last.fm is a largely ad-supported music discovery site--and it will remain so on the main website--but the staff decided that the same model was not as viable on mobile and other non-PC platforms. Radio will still be free to stream via the main site and the desktop client in the US, UK and Germany; oddly enough, Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 users will still have free access in the US and UK. I guess Android and iPhone, only the two biggest smartphones in the world, get shafted here.
For $3 per month (“the cost of a fancy coffee,” in the company’s words), users can access the service from anywhere without ads. Additionally, paid users can see recent visitors to their profile and access the new VIP zone, which offers more charts, graphs and other goodies from the Last.fm Labs.
“We believe our radio -whether it’s a personalised station or artist and tag radio – is the best in the world and we’re proud of the depth and range of our catalogue of music from major labels, indies and unsigned artists,” wrote staff member Matthew Hawn in a blog post. “We’re committed to building Last.fm into a bigger service that gives listeners the best music discovery experience anywhere while financially supporting and promoting the artists who make the music we love.”
Of course, there’s another online radio service that think it’s the best in the world: Pandora. Easily Last.fm’s biggest competitor, Pandora still offers free listening on its website and mobile devices, but non-paying users are limited to 40 hours per month and must listen to ads every few songs. Pandora One subscribers pay $36 per year (same as Last.fm) for unlimited listening, no ads and higher quality audio (192 kbps).
The big difference is that Last.fm provides a wide range of other features, like artist pages, event pages and “scrobbling,” by which the service records the music you listen to in real-time.