What Is the Last.fm Scrobbling Feature?

Do you know which music services allow you to scrobble to Last.fm?

If you've never used the Last.fm music service, you might not be familiar with the act of "scrobbling" music. Scrobbling is the process of logging the songs that you listen to. The word originally comes from the music recommendation system, Audioscrobbler, which started as a university project—conceived and programmed by Last.fm co-founder Richard Jones.

Last.fm was discontinued as a streaming service in 2014, although scrobbling data has been integrated into other streaming services, such as Spotify. Information in this article is maintained for archival purposes.

What is Scrobbling?

The purpose of Last.fm's scrobbling system is to give users a way to see their music listening habits and recommendations that may be of interest. As you play songs from sources that use scrobbling, Last.fm's service adds this information to its database, which displays various statistics (song title, artist, and more). Metadata information, such as a track's ID3 tag, supports this reporting.

By building a profile of the songs you listen to, Last.fm becomes an effective music discovery tool.

Can I Scrobble From Streaming Music Services?

Scrobbling isn't limited to Last.fm's service. There are many ways you can build up your listening profile, including while you stream music. To help collect information about all the songs you listen to, some online services offer the option to set up a link to Last.fm (using your account details) so that the data is sent automatically.

Last.fm Scrobbling

Streaming music services like Spotify, Deezer, Pandora Radio, and Slacker log the tracks you stream and transfer this information to your Last.fm profile. But some don't have built-in support for scrobbling. In this case, you'll need to download and install special add-ons for your web browser.

Do Software Media Players Allow Scrobbling?

If you use VLC Media Player, MusicBee, Bread Music Player, or Amarok, these have built-in support for scrobbling. However, if you use iTunes, Windows Media Player, Foobar2000, MediaMonkey, or a similar player, you'll need to install a go-between software tool.

Last.fm's scrobbler software is currently available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It works with various music players, so it is probably the first option to try. Plus, it's free.

For other media players that aren't listed as being compatible, it's probably best to visit the developer's official website to see if your music player has a custom plugin for scrobbling.

Can Music Hardware Devices be Used to Scrobble?

Quite a few devices scrobble to Last.fm, including devices like the iPod and home entertainment systems such as Sonos.

Other Scrobbler Software

Last.fm also provides an exhaustive list of scrobbler tools through its Build.Last.fm website for various applications. These plugins add support to web browsers, internet radio stations, and hardware devices.

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