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 $3 a month for a Last.FM premium subscription.
Check out part 1 of this November Xbox 360 Dashboard Update preview, which shows Facebook and Twitter on my 360.