Last.fm, the socially based music discovery platform is getting sexier. Their new Personalized Visual Music Player just launched and boy is it a change! Now when you create or listen to a station you get a slideshow of related images (uploaded by the Last.fm community) as well as the ability to create a custom station with up to three different artists rather than the one at a time that has been the rule this far. Combo Stations is the term and it is a vast improvement.
There are a number of improvements rolled out in the new player including:
- You can now see more of your recently created stations than in the previous version.
- You can now delete stations from the recent station dialogue.
- Private listening mode. Now you can indulge those guilty audio pleasures (we all have them) without sharing it through the social interface. Soft Cell anyone?
Frederic Lardinois, a writer for ReadWriteWeb who has covered Web 2.0 trends since 2004, points out another aspect of the player that helps explain who Last pays the bills:
It is also important to note that the radio player now features visual branding from Last.fm sponsors (Budweiser seems to be the current sponsor). In its press release, Last.fm stresses that this new layout will give advertisers and sponsors the ability to create a more immersive experience than standard audio advertising.
It looks like things are off to a great start here, especially with the power of the newly formed CBS Interactive Music Group behind it.