A few weeks ago, Last.fm announced a beta of Boffin [0.0.4 released] that acts as a Last.fm radio service with your personal music collection. It was an interesting concept which I have finally had the opportunity to try. It only works with mp3s so I had to use it at work (which is a Windows computer unfortunately).
The software design is very simple and only lets you interact with the tags Last.fm has for your music. The initial scan was surprisingly long for my 4000+ file library. There is also an annoying rescan of your library if you close and reopen Boffin without restarting your computer. This shouldn’t be automatic.
Boffin’s functionality is very interesting, and definitely more useful than the shuffle function in iTunes or Songbird. My biggest concern is that I plan to use Songbird exclusively for my music when it’s (1) more functional and (2) much faster. Boffin would definitely need to be integrated into the core Last.fm client and eventually integrated into Songbird as an updated plug-in.
Since the software is beta, I can’t really gripe but I’ve experienced a couple of issues. The above “There was an error during playback” occurred quite frequently and once I couldn’t get out of the error box without force quitting the program even though the correct music was actually playing.
That was the more annoying, but the other was that I had to have the Last.fm client open as well to scrobble the music in addition to Boffin. The latter issue is understandable, but seeing as how I was on my work computer there are only so many resources that it could handle without taking a dump.