It’s a tough situation all around. I think that the issue is how to make music available on a widespread basis in a way that both the consumers and the provider benefit. Last’s decision to
discourage all but those with 36 euros a year of determination is not “evil”, desspite as claimed in the weblog comments to last’s announcement, nor is there any “right” to receive the last.fm
I must admit, though, that I had high hopes for last.fm as an industry effort that was nonetheless savvy. My hopes have diminished that this was a reasonable middle-ground way forward.
I still am puzzled, I suppose, by just what will continue to be free. The last.fm weblog recites “millions of samples”. Is that intended to be the 30 second previews? I find the previews of no value. The “thousands of free downloads” must be the various CC and otherwise free downloads on tap.
We’ll see what will happen with last.fm.