When I bought my Xbox 360 I fell in love with it. I especially loved the fact that you could stream music from your PC over to it while playing games. I am also a very big fan of Last.fm and have been using my account there for over four years. For those of you who don’t know, Last.fm is a music service that “scrobbles”, or keeps track of what you listen to on your computer or iPod and recommends other music you may like based on what you have listened to in the past. It also has nifty charts, which is really why I’m in love with that site. I’ve always been a sucker of statistics.
So, with the Xbox 360 and Last.fm both being so awesome, you’d think there would be a way to marry the two into one big musical statistical orgy. However, it was not to be. There was no way, no way at all to get the two talk. I searched and scoured the internet trying to find a solution, but to no avail.
Until tonight. Tonight I scrobbled my first tracks played on my Xbox 360, and that made me very, very happy. Here’s what you’ll need to do this yourself:
1. A Macintosh Computer
2. An iPod
Now, I realize that most people will not have this unique setup, so it’s not a perfect solution, but it does work. Let’s get down to it.
1. First thing you’ll need to do is make sure you have the Last.fm application installed on your Mac and working with your iPod. What I’ve done is checked off “Always Confirm iPod Scrobbles” under Preferences -> iPod just to make sure that things are scrobbling as they should.
2. Next you’ll need to head on over to Nullriver and purchase Connect 360. It’s a very cool program that lets you stream any music, pictures, and video from your iTunes, iPhoto, and Video folder on your Mac to your Xbox 360. This is where your $20 comes in handy, as unfortunately the program isn’t free (but well worth the money).
4. Open iTunes.
3. Once you have Connect 360 installed, click on the settings button and then click on the iTunes tab. Make sure that your iTunes Library Sharing is enabled. Also make sure that “Update Play Counts and Dates” is enabled. This is important as this is how Last.fm knows what has been played. Let Connect 360 scan your iTunes library and then close the settings tab.
4. Turn on your Xbox and go to My Xbox -> Music Library and you should see you Mac in the list of sources. Select it and you should now be able to browse and play your iTunes music library on your Xbox 360. When you do, it should also update the play counts in iTunes when you play a song on the Xbox 360 as we checked off that setting in step 3.
5. After you’ve listened to a few songs on the Xbox, resync your iPod with your iTunes. You will most likey need to have played some songs on the iPod so that it will have a reason to update the iTunes play counts. When this happens the Last.fm app should detect that you have played new songs on your iPod and scan your library for changes to the play counts. When it scans your library it will include those plays that were updated through Connect360 as well. Cool, no?
And that’s it! There’s a few issues I see with this however. First, it appears that you’ll need to actually listen to at least one song on your iPod before it will scrobble anything all. I could be wrong, as I haven’t checked every possible scenario yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the case. Also, you will need a Mac (as Connect 360 is a Mac only app) and an iPod for this to work at all. Like I said, it’s not a perfect fix, but for those of us that have the hardware already, it’s a pretty neat solution to the problem.