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comment by dublinben

I refuse to use Spotify. I don't want my musical tastes to be determined by a black-box algorithm. I think it's sad that many people just listen to whatever music the machine tells them to, instead of trading recommendations with friends. Any college radio station will give you more interesting music than the autogenerated playlists from Spotify.

Kaius  ·  52 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm pretty awful at finding and listening to new music, I rarely actively try to do it, and when I do its a frustrating experience.

The two ways (admittedly sad) I've found to make it work are:

1. Get a recommended album from somewhere and FORCE myself to listen to it fully. I say force because on that first listen I will almost always not like it, rarely do I like something first time unless its pop rubbish. Once I've heard it enough times it either clicks or it doesn't, It very rarely clicks on the first few listens. Much of the music I listen to now I really didn't like first time hearing it... which is odd I know.

2. Have Spotify or something else "sneak" in a new track I haven't heard before using its algorithm. It seems like Spotify does this well enough to not trigger my new-music-disgust alarm. I'm guessing its a mix of knowing what I like, and what other people who like what I like also like... So Spotify allows me to discover a type of new music and I use it for that.

The downside to all of this is a big one: Eventually my music collection will be listings that Spotify found for me rather than ones I put effort into finding, which sounds "ok" at first pass, however its a disaster long term. My guess is that Spotify's algorithm will fundamentally change the music that gets produced in future, as artists that can more effectively chase the algorithm will be the ones who win out over artists creating "different" music that is not as easy to sneak into listeners ears...

Its the same with Netflix, Disney, Books... The algorithms are great in the very immediate short term where they find existing works that match what you want, but the whole things slides into grey-sludge as soon as new art is submissive to the algorithms in order to succeed.

goobster  ·  59 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What an odd way to abdicate your agency in decision making and taste...?

Personally, my musical tastes are informed by decades of listening to and playing music. My tastes are incredibly wide, and ever-expanding as I find new things to love, and love to learn old things I never appreciated before.

The tool I use to push music out of my speakers has always been irrelevant, until Spotify came along and introduced me to new artists that I had not previously heard of.