A nice bonus for Zune Desktop users and Last.fm fans
Sharing is all the rage these days, and besides photos, one of the things we like to share the most is our favorite music. This is why Facebook is looking at getting into the music business and why services like Pandora, Spotify, Grooveshark, and rdio are so popular.
One of the long time players in this arena is Last.fm and one of the smart things they did from the very beginning was to make it easy for us to connect our desktop media players with their online service using both their own desktop app and combining it with third party apps. While the third party developer community has been pretty good about keeping up with new plugins for all the different media players out there some desktop media players didn’t have get much attention.
My favorite media player, Zune Desktop, was one of those that was left out of any developer love until recently. Now there is a very nice little app called Zuse that when used in conjunction with Last.fm’s own scrobbling software, which you will need to install, and Zune Desktop will update your “listening to” list on Last.fm with what’s playing on your desktop.
While it isn’t a perfect experience (see below) I personally can live with the one major problem I am experiencing mainly because it is a workable solution for being able to share my music vis Last.fm.
Now that you will need is the newest version of Zune Desktop, the newest version of Last.fm (plus an account with the service), and the newest beta 4 version of the Zuse plugin (direct download). Once you have all three installed and working you will need to follow this start-up order for everything to work properly – 1. Zuse, 2. Last.fm Scrobbler, 3. Zune Desktop. The author of the plugin does say it shouldn’t matter about the order but I figure better safe than frustrated.
Earlier I mentioned a problem with the Zuse part of the equation and what it boils down to is you will get an “unhandled exception” error dialog every once in awhile when Zune switches songs but clicking the “Continue” button will let Zuse carry on. Like I said this will probably be a killer for most people but for now it is something I can live with.
To extend this sharing aspect Last.fm will also let you share your tracks that you have “Loved” via Twitter through a mashup site called LastFM love/twitter but to this point I haven’t seen it actually do anything so this is definitely a case of YMMV.
As for the bug with Zuse I have reported it to the developer so hopefully we’ll see a fix coming soon and I’ll update this post when it is along with any needed links.