Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…


Aug
25
2011

My Second Rant About Playlists

Rhapsody’s service has been spotty recently so I thought I’d try Spotify to see if it is all it is cracked up to be. And the verdict is…

…it’s OK.

But like every other music app I have ever tried it doesn’t do one the thing I want a music player to do.

I want to listen to music that I like.

Spotify excels at playlist management but I don’t want to manage playlists. I want to listen to music.

Here’s a reminder of why playlists suck:

Playlists are very seductive at first. You think Oh yes. I’ll build me a playlist with all my favourite songs. But then, after the third time you play it. You start thinking Oh man! This again!? I’m gonna build me another playlist. Then I’ll have two.

Before you know it, you have hundreds of playlists called things like Early English Folk (I) and Early English Folk (II) and you are spending all your time managing your playlists which, by the way, is exactly what the people who make the playlist managers want you to be doing.

I had a go at writing my own Rhapsody client a couple of years back but dropped that when a) Rhapsody started suing everyone who used their API to build apps and b) Rhapsody made an iPhone client that didn’t suck.

My dream didn’t die though and I am still in the market for an app that will play music I like. Here’s how it will work.

I search for some music, say, Gogol Bordello and play some “Top Tracks”.

I hit the button “Play more stuff like this” and it’ll find some Firewater or The Pogues.

After a while, I get bored with gypsy punk and play some Mediæval Bæbes instead. When it gets to Gaudete, I’ll tell it to play more like this and it’ll drift over into some Steeleye Span or some Fairport Convention.

When I use the app a few days later, I won’t need to tell it what to play because it will already know what I like. But, if I want to hear 23 versions of John Barleycorn I can do that too (this is where Pandora falls short).

Is there an app out there like this? Maybe someone has done something on top of the Spotify API? Don’t make me write it myself!

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one response to My Second Rant About Playlists

julio August 25, 2011

itunes / genius works like that :) i select a random gogol bordello song and it queues up nick cave, beirut, pogues, pixies, modes mouse, decemberists, etc, etc.

bob dylan is associated with velvet underground, bowie, cohen, neil young, etc.

some might think those don’t relate to each other and should not be part of the same “playlist” but it actually works pretty well. I imagine that’s why it’s called genius.

you do need to provide your own music though :)

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