There are some great iTunes controllers out there. There’s Coversutra, Gimme Some Tune, SizzlingKeys, and even Quicksilver. A lot of these controllers even have Last.FM integration and will scrobble your tunes for you without any extra software.
That’s great because while the Last.FM player is alright, many claim it is bloated. As of version 1.5 it hangs out in the OSX dock because of some changes in Leopard that Last.fm software engineers haven’t through yet.
However, the problem with a lot of iTunes controllers is that while they scrobble songs to Last.FM, they fail to take advantage of Last.FM features like track recommendations, tagging, marking a track as loved and iPod scrobbling. So until those features are implemented, what’s a Last.FM user to do?
The short answer is to cut the losses and use something else for scrobbling – something that’s lightweight and built specifically to take advantage of Last.fm without much compromise. That thing is iScrobbler.
iScrobbler is a native OSX application that doesn’t compromise on Last.FM features. From your OSX menu bar you can tag your music, love a track, ban tracks, and more. It basically brings back all the things you haven’t done since you dumped the official Last.FM app.
What’s even cooler are the things it does that even the official last.fm app doesn’t do.
Automatically love a track
Through a Terminal command, you can enable iScrobbler to automatically love tracks over a certain star rating. Finally you can bridge the gap between your iTunes ratings and your Last.FM loved tracks.
Bring Last.FM radio into iTunes
Like to listen to Neighbor radio, Recommendation radio, or just a tagged playlist? iScrobbler can bring those streams right into iTunes. It even cleans up after itself.
Making it perfect
iScrobbler goes a long way towards scrobble/Last.FM perfection. The only thing that sticks out right now is that iScrobbler’s tagging dialog box fails to pick up on previous tags. I’m sure that I tagged Digitalism’s Homezone as “playingatmyhouse“, but iScrobbler doesn’t list it or any other previous tags. It brings it up in append mode, so you don’t lose anything if you’ve already tagged a track anyway.
A few more features would bring it to the top – namely some keyboard shortcuts for recommending and tagging tracks. Too much? Maybe. Since iScrobbler is scriptable I’m sure this function could be built using Applescript and Quicksilver.
If you want to converge your iTunes and Last.FM worlds, iScrobbler seems to be the best solution right now.