Test Drive: Spotify looks back with Your Time Capsule playlist

Spotify has added another personalized playlist to its programming. This one is titled Your Time Capsule, and it says it will “take you back in time to your teenage years.” Music is a powerful tool when it comes to nostalgia, but does Spotify deliver? Here’s our take from the RAIN News team.

Brad Hill’s take:
Spotify’s spooky ability to personalize song recommendations comes through again in Time Capsule. My list is enjoyable and fresh — though not a trip down memory lane. Spotify might not know my age, but it certainly knows that my ‘oldies’ playlisting skews older than Time Capsule does. Maybe the algorithm figures I’ve got it covered for the tender years of youth. Whatever logic governs song selection in Time Capsule, it effectively targets my general music taste. This new effort winningly joins Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mixes, and reinforces Spotify’s leadership in personalized playlisting.

Anna Washenko’s take:
I’m generally very happy with the songs chosen. It’s not giving me much I haven’t already heard, but I wouldn’t want discovery out of a throwback playlist. I’ve been promised my greatest hits, and Time Capsule did manage to hit on several of my favorite tunes from over the years. But Spotify seems to be a little confused about what counts as the heyday of my youth. The dates on my songs ranges from 2007 with Talib Kweli to 1973 with James Brown. The playlist does more heavily favor the late 1990s to early 2000s, an era I do love, but there were some eyebrow-raising inclusions that broke the thematic idea Spotify had promised. So the music is my style, but it’s not quite the stroll down memory lane I was hoping for.

Anna Washenko