Online music provider Last.fm is currently in the process of revamping its website, with a beta version running alongside the old site.
We've taken a look at to see what improvements (if any) have been made...
The look of the site has changed in the beta version, with the old red and grey colour scheme replaced by a less striking red and black navigation bar and lots of white space.
For me, the old look was more visually appealing:
From reading the feedback on the beta site, some other Last.fm users agree. Quite a few prefer the old version and complain that the new design looks too much like Facebook.
Another criticism is that the new profile pages don't contain as much information as the old one, so you have to spend more time clicking around the site looking for charts, what your friends are listening to and so on.
Another new addition is the navigation bar on the left hand side of the page, with which users can select their charts, recommendations, friends etc.
On the artist profile pages, this left hand menu is useful for finding more details about a band or singer, and this extra information is a big improvement on the old site.
For instance, from an artist's page, you can get biographies, discographies, images, videos and useful lists of similar artists:
The charts pages are my favourites and, along with playlists, are now shown in much greater detail. You can see charts for artists, songs, or albums for the last seven days, three months, or over the last year.
The new library feature is also useful, and users can now manually add artists to their library from the site, which will then feed into the music that is played via Last.fm.
Last.fm has also added a music player to the website, which changes according to the page you are on. For instance, on an artist's page, it will display a selection of songs from that band, or if you visit another member's profile, it will give you some of their favourite tracks:
The events and community sections of the beta site are yet to be updated, so it's too early to judge these whether the social aspects of the site have been improved.
However, apart from the new look, the beta version of Last.fm is promising so far with useful additional info on artists and listening habits and lots of nice charts to look at.