I’ve visited libre.fm a few times and, from the interface, it seems like it’s trying to act as a replacement or alternative to last.fm. Whilst I think this is a good idea I think libre.fm should be different somehow. Yes, the will value your privacy more than last.fm and the source code for the website will be available to everyone, but what could be different about the way that it functions?
There is a lot of free music out there online. I don’t mean the ‘free’ music you can get illegally, but freely availble. Websites like Jamendo and archive.org let people upload their music and offer it for free on their terms. Think of it this way: you’re free to download, share and use the music however you want, but if you want to use it commercially (make money from it) you’ve gotta pay, which seems fair in my opinion.
There’s a lot of this free music out there but I doubt many people know about it. Using last.fm people are recommended music by any artist, whether they offer their music for free or not. It’s unique selling point is that it presents this music to the users, rather than them having to search for it. What about if there was a recommendations website that only recommended music similar to your tastes but from free artists and musicians only? This is a niche I think libre.fm could fill. It fits exactly in with the ethos of the copyleft movement and could help propel more underground musicians.
libre.fm is still a very new service, so we’ve yet to see where it goes. I do hope this is one option they consider.