This is potentially game-changing for mobile music. T-Mobile has added music-discovery functionality from Last.fm to its mobile jukebox service. The addition means that users of the service can simply put in an artist’s name, and they’ll receive a list of other musicians that they might like.
With each option presented, you’ll have the option to stream a 30 second preview (why not a full preview?) and then buy the track. Users will also get plenty of biographical info about the artist, thanks to a partnership with Wikipedia.
Many mobile music services suffer greatly from lack of context – there’s not really an easy ‘browse’ option. If you don’t know precisely what song you want, then you’re left swimming in a sea of band names with no idea if you’ll like them or not. Bringing the fantastic Last.fm recommendation engine to mobile is win-win for both parties – it should provide a bump to both T-Mobile music download figures, and full Last.fm subscribers.
However, why can’t I do on my mobile what I can do on Last.fm on my PC? Why won’t T-Mobile let me stream Last.fm radio to my phone? The only handset that allows that right now is the iPhone. If you don’t have one, then mobile Last.fm radio is out of your grasp. Last.fm told me the other day that developing clients for other handsets isn’t a priority. That’s a tremendous shame.