I regularly listen to last.fm radio stations, be it from my friends, neighbours or people that I stumble upon by checking out groups that may interest me.
One of the problems I’ve noticed is that music that Last.fm serves over its radio is sometimes mistagged; the problem is that the Last.fm software seems to identify this, but does nothing other than inform you that this is the case. Somewhat ironic, given that Last.fm is serving this music. Check out the screenshot below, from the Last.fm client playing the ‘Dance of the Blessed Spirits’ by Christoph Willibald Gluck. That’s the ‘baroque’ tag ‘radio station’.
This is not an isolated occurrence. I ran into the problem twice in the few minutes it took me to write this post. Which begs the question: Where does Last.fm get the music it’s serving to its users? I thought the company had agreements with most of the mainstream record companies and a bunch of indies and that’s where it got hold of the music. Wouldn’t this mean that they have all the necessary meta-data in place when they stream audio over their ‘radio’ stations? It makes no sense for last.fm to serve music with bad tags, let alone advise its users to keep their tags clean in the process.