I have avoided using personalized suggestions on services like Spotify for a long time. My experience with one of the early services called Pandora created an impression that no algorithm can decipher what I actually want to hear at any given moment. However, I was extremely impressed by the suggestions given to me by the Spotify service. I am specifically talking about the daily and weekly mixes that are based on the music selected by the user.
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The modern music industry is extremely diverse, and in theory, almost any kind of music may be found, but it is often hard to describe the kind of music a person likes. I was searching for bands similar to the shoegaze group “Forth Wanderers” that only has two albums but also a very specific sound that is hard to describe (“Forth Wanderers”). Surprisingly, Spotify was able to suggest more than one band that shared the qualities that I enjoyed in those songs. There would be no other way for me to find those bands and I am glad Spotify did the job. It is unfortunate that they play such a low amount to the artists because I would support the service more (Sears).
It is possible that categories based on the mood or energy of the song can provide better suggestions than those based on genres. Two bands of one genre can have a completely different appeal from each other, and the mood of the songs may differ too. However, I have rarely had luck finding music I truly enjoy when listening to such playlists. I found that they are most effective as background music rather than active listening. Therefore they have a purpose, but I do not think they should replace standard genres.
Suggestions provided by music services have improved tremendously in recent years. With their help, I was able to find a lot of new music. However, mood-based playlists have proven to be less effective.
“Forth Wanderers.” Bandcamp, 2017. Web.
Sears, Glen. “How Much Does The Average Artist Earn Per Play On Spotify?.” Forbes, 2016. Web.