Xbox 360 Update Hands-on: Last.FM In Action

The final part of our Xbox 360 November dashboard update saves the best for last, without intending the pun. Here's Last.FM in action on my 360, injecting a bit of Zelda and MF Doom into my system.

I downloaded a preview version of next month's Xbox 360 update this morning and quickly found that Last.FM has the most involved and impressive integration of any of the new features I sampled this morning.

Last.FM is a music-streaming service available for free online. It allows users to mark songs that they like and then offers similar music to match those tastes.

The service is a little more basic on Xbox Live. I couldn't find a way to make more granular selections about the kind of music I want to listen to. But the application was swiftly reacting to the songs that I indicated that I liked and the tailoring of Stephen-centric music was almost immediate.

The slideshow feature, which presents still imagery associated with the music that is playing, looks good on a TV screen.

The most Xbox-centric feature that I found was the highlighting of gaming music. Streaming stations in there included a gaming soundtrack channel and several stations tied to gaming-related musicians such as chiptunes star Nullsleep and Halo composer Mary O'Donnell.

Last.FM, like Twitter and Facebook, does not seem to be programmed to run in the background of other Xbox 360 applications (like games, for example). But it does seem like it will work well as a home stereo set-up.

The Last.FM Xbox service is only available to Xbox Live Gold members ($50 for a year of service). To skip the commercials in the radio stations you're streaming, you'll have to pay $US3 a month for a Last.FM premium subscription.

Kotaku AU Note: Last.FM will not be part of this Xbox Live update for Australian users. We have asked Microsoft when we'll see the service but at this stage they are unable to confirm a date.

Check out part 1 of this November Xbox 360 Dashboard Update preview, which shows Facebook and Twitter on my 360.

Check out Part 2 of our Xbox 360 Dashboard update preview, as I try the new Zune video marketplace and the Instant Streaming in 1080p service.


Comments

    I'm shocked at Twitter and Facebook not working in the background when playing a game. Thats kinda stupid for something like Twitter anyway.

    Especially when Twitter works with Uncharted 2 and stuff even tho thats the PS3.

    Oh quick, exit the game and update my status to "Just got to Level 20 on Borderlands :-) LOL hehe" and then re-launch game to find out you forgot to save and down to level 10.

    what no last.fm for australia thats best part of the update and we dont get it!!! i hope this is wrong

      lastfm streaming isn't free anyway in australia without subscription. i'd still like it to scrobble my tracks in the media player tho!!!
      please come thru on this one ms!!

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