This may be old news to some, but it dawned on me to check for this a few minutes ago, and I was excited to see that it works exactly as I had hoped.
The [amazing] music site Last.fm has an events calendar system. Each artist page has an events listing, showing you when they’re playing where. There’s a great social networking mechanism where you can say that you plan to attend an event. You can see other users who are going, and there’s a message board for posting notes about the event. There’s even a unique Flickr tag for each event, and photos posted with that tag will automatically show up on that event’s page on Last.fm. As a user, you get an events calendar on the Last.fm site, but you’re planned events aren’t stuck there.
At the top of your events page there’s a iCal sync link. Click that link will add a subscription to your iCal that will auto update your calendar with your planned events. This is killer, the exact type of information freedom that we’ve come to expect from cutting edge sites. I recently found that it is possible to export Facebook events into iCal, but it looks like a one-time syncronization, and will have to be repeated as you add new events in Facebook. Last.fm, however, will automatically update your calendar, which makes the whole transaction seamless to the user.
What other sites with “event” tools have this level of syncing?
Sam Steele is at it again. He has just updated his MobileScrobbler iPhone/Touch app (that I talked about earlier) to version 1.1.0 in his http://dev.c99.org/iphone/ installer source, while the Community installer source still shows version 1.0.4. Version 1.1.0 now includes streaming music from last.fm! You can search based on artist name or tag, as well as play your last.fm recommendations.
The app still logs any music you play in the iPod app. If you open MobileScrobbler while playing music stored on your device, the app will load all of the last.fm info for the current track, also giving you the option to “Love” or “Ban” the track, helping Last.fm learn your listening habits even more. Hitting “Skip” will move to the next song in your iPod playlist, without having to bring up the iPod controls or go to the iPod app. As far as logging options, you can now select whether you want tracks to be submitted over Edge (handy for anyone without a data plan).
My only issue with the app so far is that streaming music has a very low volume, but I’m sure that will get fixed in no time. Sam has added a Donate button on the Mobilescrobbler website, so be sure to throw a little love his way.