Friday, September 25, 2009

Last.FM + Google = Convenience


If you're into music and computers, you're probably aware of Last.FM. It's a social music website that "recommends music, videos and concerts based on what you listen to." For the price of giving up a little privacy to the folks at Last.FM (namely the music you listen to) you get quite a lot in return. I mainly use it in tandem with Google's Calendar and Reader to keep updated on concerts in my neighbourhood. Here's how:

  1. If you don't have a Last.FM account yet, create one and start scrobbling.
  2. After some scrobbling Last.FM should have enough data to recommend events. Go to the recommend event page, and set your location by clicking on the "change/set location" link:

    It's best if you put in your location as "city, country". For example, my location is "Groningen, The Netherlands".

  3. Still on the recommended events page, click on the RSS feed icon depicted below and add that feed to your Google Reader (or other favourite RSS reader).


    You can also directly import your recommended events into your Google Calendar with the "Google" link, that's a bit too much for me. I just want to be informed about interesting events, and only add those to which I'm actually going to my calendar (we'll do that in step 5).

  4. Google Reader should now recieve event recommondations based on your musical tastes, like this:


    Clicking on the headline takes you the Last.FM page of the event. On that page, there's an attendance section at the bottom. Tell Last.FM that you're going:


    The event will now appear on your event list (located at http://www.last.fm/user/myUserName/events).

  5. The last step is to import your event list into Google Calendar, so that you won't forget to actually go. Simply click the Google button at the top your event list:


    Your events should now come up in Google Calendar:


    And that's it!

From now on you'll only have to do step 4, i.e. checking your RSS reader every now and then to see if there's something you like, and indicate if you're going on the Last.FM website. The events will then automatically pop up in your calendar.