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The website stores a user's listening habit using information sent to the website's server from the user's audio player (scrobbling). In order to be enable support for Libre.fm on existing audio players (last.fm is supported by many audio players), the website implements the Audioscrobbler API.
A goal of the project is to encourage artists to release tracks under a free license, and allow users to download or purchase these tracks. Only artists releasing music under free content licenses are promoted by the site. The website will also allow users to communicate among themselves, create groups of common interests and share information on musical events.
The main reasoning behind the foundation of Libre.fm was to provide a service similar to last.fm that respects the privacy of its users and their information. As such, Libre.fm does not log users' IP addresses, allows users to decide if their listening habits are to be made public or not, and does not claim ownership on users' data.
Libre.fm currently consists of two free software components. GNUkebox is the server the records and reports the audio tracks listened to by a user, and Nixtape provides the community site used to form relationship between users, create groups and share events. The Libre.fm code is published under the GNU AGPL and can be used independently from Libre.fm on any computer, such that users can run their own servers for complete privacy.