03 August 2007

let me count the ways, Last.fm

Since I (tardily) signed up for Last.fm last summer, I've been hooked. And this morning I got just one more reason (I needed more?) to love them.

For those of you who don't know (?), Last.fm is an SNS that revolves around music. You download the software, and it records everything you listen to (they call it "scrobbling"). You can take that a step further and download iScrobbler, which pulls what you've listened to on your iPod throughout the day and adds it to your library of listened-to music. There are dozens of awesome features - it creates charts of last songs listened to, top artists of the week (ie 10 most listened-to), top tracks of the week, you get the picture. You can put these charts in your other media (MySpace, blog (mine's on the right there if you're reading this NOT through a feed reader), LiveJournal, etc.). The cool thing about Last.fm is that it's a more accurate snapshot of your music behavior than if you just listed off the bands you like, because it records your behavior rather than relying on self-reporting. (I think Noah has written about this before in a more brilliant manner than I just did.)

Many of you are familiar with this web site so I can get to my point.

Last night, I got an alert for Last.fm software updates. I installed them. Last.fm crashed. I started the app again, and it crashed again. This happened five times. I panicked. I couldn't conceive of the idea of some of my music not being scrobbled. I restarted my iBook. crashed. three times. I deleted, redownloaded and installed the program. crashed. crashed crashed.

I wrote a frantic message through their support form.

I am in a total panic. This feels like accidentally leaving my mobile phone home for an entire day. A few minutes ago I downloaded the software update (I run OS X 10.3.9), and now last.fm crashes every single time I open the application. I restarted my computer, deleted the app and redownloaded it, and nothing helps. Less than 30 seconds after I click on it in my dock, it "unexpectedly quits." Not so unexpected anymore. HELP PLEASE! I hope this is a bug and it's fixed REALLY SOON. Sad Johanna :( (please & thanks)

Yes, it was midnight and I was a bit exhausted and delerious. Despite all of that, I woke up to an email in my INBOX from them. Not a robot-generated email. A real one. From a person. They let me know that my version of OS X doesn't support the new version of Last.fm. The wonderful, wonderful news is that I was given a link to an older version of Last.fm I could download for my archaic version of OS X. I was ecstatic. I downloaded and scrobbled away.

see?! It's working again! I am thrilled and ecstatic.

I am less thrilled about my now-working software than I am about the brand itself. I not only got a response, but I got one from a real human being AND in a very (extremely) timely manner. I freaked out, fell asleep, woke up and it was solved. It's been a while since I encountered a brand that actually gave a damn, and I'm thrilled thrilled thrilled. Thank you Last.fm. I love you. times infinity.
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