In times of paid music streaming services with more and more people using Spotify or rdio, the concept of last.fm seems outdated. Sharing music on a network not called Facebook, without having the ability of having music, friends and sharing options in a single, easy to use app has become less intriguing. But still, I consider the idea of last.fm a very striking one; always seeing the whole music archive of your friends provides a huge basis for discovering new music and artists, more than Spotify and its limited discovering options via friends and “apps” like the Domino Records showcasing. For actually listening to music, last.fm is still not the right choice. And this new menubar app called Melo for last.fm is not going to change that, but it simplifies the most basic feature of last.fm: archiving all played songs, called scrobbling.
Melo is solely connected to iTunes and the devices connected to it (Apple TV, iPod, iPad etc.). Using it with other services like Spotify is still not possible. Every song you play in iTunes (or imported from the devices and is then synced back to the Mac) automatically gets scrobbled by Melo. Its interface only consists of a drop down window with a bright grey frame, displaying the name and artist of the currently playing track. Additionally, using the two big, nicely pictogrammed button left and right to the track information, you can love the current track (this way it is not just scrobbled, but also added to your favorite song list on last.fm), and reach out to your own profile, which is then opened in your browser for deeper investigation of its status.
In the app’s Preferences, which are opened using the small button on the right side of the center area, you can exclude media from being scrobbled (presets include audio books and voice memos) using an Automator-like workflow; you can choose if the app should be automatically opened at start, and from here you can quit Melo, too. That’s it. Melo is not reinventing anything, it just eases up scrobbling with last.fm. It looks very nice, it’s intuitive, and it works flawlessly. If you dislike the native last.fm app, or are just using the scrobbling feature without being interested in any other feature of the service, Melo is for you. The only problem with the app is, its price may be a bit too steep for what it does. Melo can be purchased on the Mac App Store for $3.99
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