Authored by Phil Dotree in Music
Published on 12-11-2009
Last.fm is one of the more popular streaming music websites. Users set up accounts, enter the names of a few artists that they like, and hear dozens of new bands. The service is an extremely useful way to find new music. It’s also a great way to support and keep up with independent and major artists. If you’re a musician, it can be very beneficial to get your music played for new potential fans on Last.fm. It’s also a fairly simple and easy process.
Here’s a quick guide to getting your music on Last.fm.
Getting Songs in The Right Format
First, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got good sounding examples of your songs. Start with a lossless version of your music. “Lossless” here means a CD or a WAV file. Convert the file to a high quality MP3. Never convert an MP3 to another type of MP3. If you attempt this, you’ll end up with some pretty nasty sound loss.
You can use a variety of programs to convert your song to an MP3. ITunes and Windows Media player each provide the functionality. Try to go for a high quality mp3. Generally, you should use about 192kbps for your sample. Be sure to cut out any unnecessary sound before and after your song starts. You want an instant start and clean end for your Last.fm profile. This will help you attract more fans from the casual listeners that pass by your page.
Starting A Profile
To start a profile, go to Last.fm and hit Sign In, then Create New Profile. You’ll see a prompt on the side of the page for artists. Click here. Last.fm will make you (digitally) sign some paperwork confirming that your songs are yours. They’ll also do a quick check to see if there’s already a page set up for you. If you’ve got a lot of fans, they may have already started creating a page for you. In this case, you might have to go to extra lengths to prove that you are who you say you are. You should be able to set up and confirm a profile fairly quickly, though.
Once you have a profile, you have the ability to upload your music to Last.fm. Before doing so, it’s beneficial to fill out some information on your page. At the very least, you’ll want to provide a few pictures for the website. A bio is also very important–a well written bio can engage potential fans and improve your chances of retaining some of them. You’ll want to put as much information on the website as you can. Remember that Last.fm is exceptionally popular. Of all of the music based social networking websites, it’s probably the biggest potential boost for your music. It’s worth your time to spend an hour or two filling in as much info as possible.
Once your song is uploaded and your profile’s fleshed out, you can sit back and wait. You could also, though, send out an email to your fans, letting them know about the new page. If they have Last.fm accounts, they’ll probably want to take a look. Tell them to declare themselves “fans” on the site. If you’re new to the site, ask your fans for suggestions. You might be surprised by some of the great tips you’ll receive.
Does your band use Last.fm? Post tips and thoughts below in the comments section.