Record Last.fm Songs with Last Recorder – But is it Legal?
By on April 7th, 2010

icon-last-fm [Windows Only] The other day, I ran into a new listing for a freeware application named Last Recorder. Here’s what the author says about this little tool.

Last Recorder is a small program that can save tracks from Last.fm audio streams into separate tagged mp3 files.

While I can’t confirm that I actually used this program to download music, I can confirm that this program does work. It does download full length mp3 songs from Last.fm while preserving the song titles. Here’s what Last Recorder looks like:

lastrecorder-interface

Last Recorder is a single executable file and no installation is needed. When it first launches, it will prompt you to enter your user ID and password. Then you can select a choice of radio stations by using the drop down on the left and these are the options:

Tag
Artist
My Tag
My Radio
My Loved Tracks
My Neighbors
My Recommendations
Custom URL

You will also have to select a download location on the right side drop down box.

Given the fact that this download tool seems to work, the question that many people will have is, Is this legal?. I did find an FAQ on the site regarding this question and the answer was I don’t know for sure.In my opinion, downloading these songs is about the same as recording music from the radio stations or television. Do I think it’s legal? It may be legal to download the information (music), but you are definitely breaking your agreement with Last.fm’s Terms of Use. Whether or not that agreement is actually binding on you may depend on where you live and which way the courts are swinging that day.

So, I’ll leave it up to you.

Last Recorder Home Page

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This application does what it says and it also portable. While those are both good features, the question of it’s legality leaves me doubting that I will use it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Average)

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Author: Clif Sipe Google Profile for Clif Sipe
Promoting Freeware and Free information since 2004. Owner of FreewareWiki.com with over 2000 pages of freebies. Please subscribe to my Google Feed or follow me on Twitter @clifnotes.

Clif Sipe has written and can be contacted at clif@techie-buzz.com.
  • Dan

    Of course it is not legal. You shouldn't be promoting it.

    • http://clif-notes.blogspot.com Clif Sipe

      Thanks for the comment Dan. Can you explain your position a little further?

    • http://timka.org/ Timur Izhbulatov

      Dan, thanks for the comment.

      As the author of the program I can state that using it violates the Last.fm terms of use. However, I am not aware of jurisdictions where Last Recorder is clearly illegal. Obviously, it depends on the legal context where it is used. So, please elaborate your comment.

      Also I personally don’t promote Last Recorder because Last.fm once temporarily banned my account as a warning for doing this.

      • http://www.google.com/profiles/clif.notes Clif Sipe

        Thanks for dropping in Timur. I agree with your supposition that it’s not clearly illegal anywhere. After all, we’ve been able to record radio and TV broadcasts for years. Nobody has ever gone to jail for that.

  • Ben

    It seems like cheating to me. Last.fm is a great website for online listening to "radio". In return, advertising is displayed. And if you use the Last.fm plugins on your desktop you don't even have to visit the website.

    There seems to be an attitude in our culture that something isn't wrong if you can get away with it.

    Sad but true. (And I'm listening to that Metallica song through Last.fm right now). I don't think I'll steal it.

    I was hoping that the Last Recorder was legal. But it doesn't feel right. And I wouldn't enjoy listening to the song as much if I felt guilty. Thanks to mom. :-)

    • http://techie-buzz.com Clif Sipe

      Thanks for the comment Ben. I completely understand your feelings.

 
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