Spotlight: Spotify

This article focuses on Spotify. Now you are probably wondering. What the heck does Spotify have to do with data? Realistically, not so much, but I wanted to take the time to highlight in depth some of the great things Spotify is doing in the data world, and even some things that are completely off the beaten path of data.

Discover weekly

(4.5 / 5)

Discover Weekly is a new feature that Spotify launched in full over the summer. Every Monday the playlist updates and brings you 30 songs that you may never have heard of. Take data that they have stored about you and create songs that they think you might like. Sounds great right? Yes. It’s great, but after having used this feature for a couple of months now there are some glitches in your system.


1. Discover Weekly seems to work based on your all-time plays. So if you decide you want to listen to a genre that you don’t listen to often for a whole week, that won’t be reflected in your Discover Weekly. This is not necessarily an advantage or a disadvantage. For me, I prefer to receive music suggestions based on the music I listened to most recently.

2. There is a supreme lack of visibility in your process. Understandably, they don’t want someone else to copy how this works. I’d be very curious about reverse engineering your algorithm, but that would involve keeping track of everything I listen to for a week (impossible), and suddenly I’d have to become a software engineer (which I’m not), in addition to Spotify. will never reveal how promotional activity affects this playlist.

3. The playlist update time seems to be really arbitrary and I’m not sure what causes it. My playlist was updated at 2am on Monday and I had it at 10pm. M. From Monday. The inconsistency is quite annoying for those of us who are super habitual beings. UPDATE: Now I have noticed that it seems to update every time I restart the client. It would be nice if they had a push setting to alert the user that they need to restart the client to get it back.

4. Sometimes things come up that you just don’t like and it’s almost infuriating when they do. There’s no way to really fix this, but it would be nice if I somehow had the ability to opt out of certain bands. For example, Upon a Burning Body appeared on my playlist, which I have listened to in the past. Well, I had a big fight with that band after some stunts they did on their new album. I lost all respect for the band and I don’t want to have anything to do with listening to them.

5. Sometimes songs appear that are already in one of your playlists. In the 10 weeks I’ve been using this playlist, this only happened once. But it is still disappointing.

Those are the negatives, but let’s talk more about the positives and why this provides a great listening experience for someone like me, the user.


1. Rediscover the music you forgot existed. Yes, I listen to a lot of music. I have been known to play a song non-stop for a couple of days, then never listen to it again because I forgot to attach it to a playlist or am having trouble finding the right playlist to put it on. Almost every week I rediscover one of those songs and it’s exciting to rehearse something you love.

2. Listen to other songs by an artist who originally thought they only liked a couple of songs. This is one of my favorite things about the playlist. Sometimes I listen to a song from a band, just to hear 5 other songs and I totally hate them, so I quit the band. So that band shows up on my DW, I complain, and the song ends up being amazing.

3. Discovering a band that you don’t listen to much or are still good at released a new album, and it’s amazing. It’s kind of embarrassing to find out that a band you really like released a new album 3 months ago and you didn’t know it. But Spotify is to the rescue!

Spotify Radio (1/5)

Spotify’s radio offer is not good. Plain and simple. Pandora is an outdated service in my opinion, but they’ve mastered the art of radio much better than Spotify. If there’s one thing Spotify could afford to fix more than anything else, it’s your radio. It’s quite annoying to make a playlist of about 50 songs, want to improve it, start a radio playlist, and listen to a bunch of songs that not only don’t belong on that playlist, but also when you spam the next button. song. get a repeat of songs.

Spotify radio has been horrible for a long time. I want to believe that it is because radio attracts more promoted bands than bands that actually play alongside the other musicians that it is relationally drawing from. If that’s the case, then it’s disappointing, but I understand that Spotify needs to increase revenue.

Spotify Premium (5/5)

Spotify Premium is obviously not free, but the extras you get for spending $ 10 / month (5 if you’re a student) outweigh listening to ads and not being able to take your music with you on the go. Spotify premium has essentially made my phone my full-time listening device, I replaced my iPod, and I haven’t looked back. If we did a cost analysis, we would see that $ 120 a year, compared to the one-time cost of $ 200 of owning an iPod, works quite well. Not only do I have one less device to remember when I travel (oh, how disappointing to forget your iPod on a trip), but I also don’t have to bother to download and buy music and manage a file. structure on my computer’s hard drive.

If you don’t pay for Spotify Premium, do you really use Spotify?

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