Spotify Radio Needs Some Work, Pandora Fans Need Not Worry

Posted by on August 8, 2012 at 9:30 am

*uncontrollable dry heaving*

I’ve had my share of suggestions for Spotify since they stole my heart from the Zune Pass after nearly half a decade. Don’t get me wrong, I think Spotify is a solid service (even if listens keep disappearing from Facebook, but sigh) and I applaud that they’ve been working on stuff, but Spotify’s newer Radio feature need some lovin’, yo.

I don’t know what Spotify uses for their recommendation algorithms, but they can’t be on par with Pandora’s recommendation engine (or perhaps even Microsoft’s). Pandora was formed as an extension of the Music Genome Project, in which songs were sorted based on structure and component, making recommendations more personal as you liked or disliked its recommendations. Pandora’s choices for me have been rich for the most part, depending on how much I tweak the ‘seeds’ of the station, but they sadly got me into new songs, rather than new artists. Spotify has always had weak recommendation tools, but they have a few advantages: being able to use an entire playlist as a source of inspiration and unlimited skips. Yes, being able to skip through the variety of tunes that they can’t quite get right is a plus considering how primitive is.

And it is primitive, oh yes it is. In my 500-track playlist consisting mostly of electronica and indie rap, it kept swirling back to a dozen songs over and over again. It also believed I was hot for acoustic picks because it loaded the thing up with melancholy tracks that were completely undeserved.

Still, I admire that they’re trying, I just wish they’d get smarter quicker. That’s all.

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