‘The world’s biggest free music service’

>> Last FM
I’ve been a fan of this site for a few years. It’s an interesting mixture of online radio, music recommendations and MySpace-ish social networking, but until now it’s tended to appeal mainly to younger users or music geeks. This week the site has had a major upgrade which is likely to make it much more appealing even to the least geeky of music fans
Site visitors in the UK, US and Germany can now play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the Last.fm site. They now bill themselves as ‘the world’s biggest free music service’. You can listen to each track up to three times in full. After that, you can still access 30” clips, and find links to buy that track as a download or on CD.
In addition unsigned artists can upload their own music and get payed every time someone listens to their tracks via the site. If you choose to sign up and create a profile page, Last FM will track your listening habits, create an updating list your most listened-to songs and artists and generate lists of recommended tracks and artists based on your current favourites
Also mentioned today:
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I Wish I’d Thought Of That

>> Radio 2: I Wish I’d Thought Of That
>> Share your experiences of using MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites
I Wish I’d Though Of That is Radio 2’s new series (hosted by Kate Thornton) profiling some of the big webby innovations and entrepreneurs. I crop up ocassionally during the series in ‘talking head’ mode.
Tonight’s programme tells the story of MySpace – the social networking phenomenon which launched the careers of Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys. Visit the programme’s site to find out more, listen again to last week’s show and share your experiences of using MySpace and other social networking sites.

How to protect your privacy on Facebook

I haven’t talked about Facebook that much on air, but I can’t remember when I last found a site quite so addictive! Usually most of my peers have got better things to do with their time than mess around on the web, but Facebook seems to be the site which has changed all that, persuading loads of 40-somethings (as well as teens and twenty-somethings) that the web can as entertaining as it is useful.
But many Facebook memebers dont realise that their profile pages may be visible even to complete strangers, exposing them to the risk of identity theft.
There’s a really useful piece in today’s Telegraph which explains how to protect your privacy on Facebook – It’s well worth a read:

The Best Stuff In The World

Cheeseontoast >> The Best Stuff In The World
This time yesterday I’d never set eyes on this site; Today it’s my new online addiction! At the top of the homepage is a box labelled “What do you think is the Best Stuff in the world?”
You’ll need to register to start adding ‘best things’. (Which is worth doing as you then get to save and share a page showcasing all your favourite stuff – Mine is here)
Type one of your favourite things into the box and then (optionally) add a photo and category for your newly chosen best thing. If it’s already somebody else’s best thing, you’ll be able to see who else rates it and what other things that person approves of. Make sure you don’t have anything important to do before playing on this site – you’ll be hooked in no time!

Sellaband

>> Sellaband
Hats off to the team on the BBC World Service’s Digital Planet show for bringing this site to our attention.
Sellaband is a fascinating experiment which aims to help unsigned bands record with professional producers. Part MySpace and part Dragon’s Den, the site matches up bands with fans and would-be investors to fund studio time.
Fans are invited to buy shares in a band’s A & R and studio time. Once a CD is recorded the tracks are made available for free download from Sellatime and any revenue generated by advertising is split equally between the site, the band and the investors.
It’s free for fans to listen to any of the demos posted on Sellanband, so even if you have no interest in investing, it’s a good place to hear new music.
>> BBC World Service: Digital Planet on Sellaband