Deezer vs. Last.fm

Released August 11, 2008

I’ve found myself using online music sources when I’m not around my home computer or too lazy to plug in my iPod. I’ve found myself going between two different programs: Last.fm and Deezer.com.

Both have pros and cons, and I felt that it’d make a good article to compare my findings and contrast the two services. I’m not going to gives scores, because comparisons like this are subjective. I’ll let the readers come to their own conclusions.

Deezer.com

Pros

  • Fairly large library to choose from.
  • Making playlists is easy.
  • Music player is on every page, either featuring music, or displaying yours.
  • Adding Songs to a play list is all inline, and doesn’t require any sort of popup or extended form. Search, Add, Select profile, OK. That’s all
  • Built in profile, preferences, user base, messaging, other web 2.0 stuffs.
  • Available in a snot-load of languages (with a few spelling hiccups)
  • Player is somewhat robust, sporting repeat, shuffle, pause and preview options.
  • Ability to upload your own MP3s, which are stored privately for you only. Part of this scares me, as cool as an idea that it is.

Cons

  • Some of the worst UI decisions I’ve ever seen, some very unintuitive locations.
  • Some rather funny spelling mistakes
  • Everything is in flash.
  • Some of the most annoying ads that actually break the page and stop it from loading until you close it. Go to hell milk ads.
  • Community aspect sorta sucks, as there’s no real way to get people interacting. All users must be found via search, which makes it hard to get participation up.
  • Weird lack of rather common songs.
  • I’ve manged to totally bugger up their player by clicking to fast.

last.fm

Pros

  • Clean, simple interface
  • Downloadable program to stream music from program instead of browser. Program also relays what you play in programs such as iTunes, and saves your tastes.
  • Wide and diverse musical library
  • Great user interaction. Friend listening lists etc. Good community aspect.
  • swappable theme (stupid, pointless, and sweet)
  • Excluding the music player, everything is HTML (not Flash)
  • The player will slowly introduce new music/bands/artists that are similar to your choices, allowing you to be exposed to more artists.

Cons

  • Distinct lack of common songs
  • The program doesn’t allow for the picking if individual songs, nor does the browser player
  • Adding songs to your library feels like a chore, and has a few too many clicks.
  • Creating playlists is way more buried than I would have expected.
  • Their new layout feels a little TOO minimal to me, and I feel a little lost when trying to get around. The dropdown list beside your name is not what I would expect for navigation.
  • Player doesn’t have a pause. What the hell.

Which would I choose?

It actually depends.

If I’m in the mood for a type of music, then last.fm wins hands down. If I want specific songs, then Deezer is actualy more of a playlist-oriented system. Last.fm has a much stronger community function-base, which is great if you’re looking to connect with other people over music. Deezer, though it features community fetaures, it’s not nearly as stong as last.fm. It’s playlist pick and choose style is fantastic if you want to simply listen to your favorites (if they’re there). Deezer allows you to store your MP3 onlines, making it’s playlist features that much stronger.

Moods, friends, factoids: last.fm

Songs, playlists, storage: Deezer

Other people's thoughts

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