Accurate metadata is a critical component in streaming music. It’s how the correct people get paid the correct amounts, plus how listeners can find exactly what they want. Spotify has launched an effort to start crowd-sourcing some metadata from its listeners. Line-In is a new project that asks listeners to make metadata contributions about the moods or genres of what they hear.
“Listeners describe music in different ways, and understanding that information will help improve, extend, and confirm the information that describes music on Spotify,” a rep from the company told Variety. “We hope to better understand how Spotify listeners interpret music, so that we can improve experiences for both listeners and artists.”
Any listener can participate in Line-In. Clicking on the three dots or left-clicking on a track now includes an option to “suggest an edit.” After connecting your Spotify account to Line-In, this brings up an interface for contributing mood, genre, tags, or alternate names. These submissions really are viewed as suggestions. Spotify reviews the edits against other contributions for that track, as well as examining the accuracy of past edits on other songs.
This feature got keen attention at RAIN News. It seems like a new type of organized, semi-structured music intelligence. Assigning attributes to tracks broadly resembles Pandora’s Music Genome project, which has defined Pandora’s programming for over a decade. Spotify’s Line-in relies on an untrained crowd, and does not establish a structure of musical attributes — in other words, Line-In is not scientific and the Music Genome is a full-on technology product. Putting the comparison aside entirely, Line-In seems like an interesting new tactic in Spotify’s ongoing effort to provide informed and personalized playlists to its users. Discover Weekly is the best known of those, but we do not know whether Line-In will contribute information to the formation of that list.