(See the update below, explaining how to apply Organize Your Music to individual playlists.)
Spotify occasionally releases widgets that put data analysis tools into the hands of its users. The latest one is dubbed Organize Your Music. It surveys your saved music collection and proposes reorganization by genre, mood, decade, style, popularity, and other categories. The tool was created by The Echo Nest, Spotify’s internal music-data team.
The RAIN editorial office tested Organize Your Music.
I’m always happy to go behind the curtain with Spotify data. If you’ve enjoyed past resources in this vein, like the Sort Your Music tool that made the rounds a few years back, then you’ll enjoy this one. I mostly find the subgenres fascinating. Turntablism? Deep funk? Ninja? Say what?
The other standout for me is the “popularity” breakdowns. I’m curious how Spotify distinguishes between ‘mainstream’ and ‘popular,’ but it’s nice to see talented artists like Leon Bridges getting lots of love.
My biggest surprise is that the tool only covers items saved to Your Music. I save albums there that are in my to-listen queue, rather than music that I’m already playing in heavy rotation. So while Spotify had lots to say, it wasn’t at all reflective of my tastes. It would be more interesting if it also analyzed playlists, which is where the bulk of my plays happen.
UPDATE: Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest division in Spotify notified us that he added a playlist analysis to Organize Your Music. You may enter the “URI” of any Spotify playlist — which you can find by clicking the menu icon at the top of a playlist in the Spotify web app. This also works for any playlist, including Spotify service playlists. This can be fun — reorganize any playlist by mood, style, genre, or any other attribute the tool offers, and save it as a new playlist.
Organize Your Music is both fun and perplexing. The only two “Genres” offered for my varied collection are Trip Hop and Chill-Out, ignoring the extensive representation of blues, rock, jazz, and pop. I received two “Styles” — Clean and Loud. I know what “loud” means, but don’t normally consider it a musical style, and I have no idea what Spotify means with the “clean” designation.
“Moods” is a category, but apparently all of my saved music is mood-less, as Spotify came up empty there. Oh well. I’ll supply the mood.
The categories are apparently tailored to the user’s songs, because I didn’t get Anna’s Turntablism or Ninja. I’m envious.
The fun of this thing is having songs shuffled in new ways. You can save any re-organized list as a playlist, which I did with several of them.
Anna makes a good point about the exclusion of playlists. Putting them into the re-shuffler would add hundreds (thousands?) of tracks to my music profiling. Re-shuffling my aggregated playlists would be really fun.