The Cellar

The Cellar (
-   Philosophy (
-   -   MAYA (

xoxoxoBruce 12-20-2016 04:48 PM

In an article about MAYA (Most Advanced Yet Acceptable) developed by Raymond Loewy, I was surprised by the following.


Consider the experience of Matt Ogle, who, for more than a decade, was obsessed with designing the perfect music-recommendation engine. His philosophy of music was that most people enjoy new songs, but they don’t enjoy the effort it takes to find them. When he joined Spotify, the music-streaming company, he helped build a product called Discover Weekly, a personalized list of 30 songs delivered every Monday to tens of million of users.

The original version of Discover Weekly was supposed to include only songs that users had never listened to before. But in its first internal test at Spotify, a bug in the algorithm let through songs that users had already heard. “Everyone reported it as a bug, and we fixed it so that every single song was totally new,” Ogle told me.

But after Ogle’s team fixed the bug, engagement with the playlist actually fell. “It turns out having a bit of familiarity bred trust, especially for first-time users,” he said. “If we make a new playlist for you and there’s not a single thing for you to hook onto or recognize—to go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a good call!’—it’s completely intimidating and people don’t engage.” It turned out that the original bug was an essential feature: Discover Weekly was a more appealing product when it had even one familiar band or song.

Undertoad 12-20-2016 07:08 PM

That's absolutely true; radio programmers sussed it out over time. Top 40 radio has generally been programmed that way, and sometimes it was more specific then anyone knew or believed. Top of the hour, play a well-known hit; 5 minutes in, play a ballad; 10 minutes in, play a new song; 15 minutes in, play an oldie. Repeat through day.


Discover Weekly is still great, still a tremendous Spotify feature, but now they've branched out:

Now they give us "Your Daily Mix", between 1-6 playlists, depending on how diverse your listening is.

So for example, if you listen to jazz every once in a while, your Discover Weekly may have 1-2 jazz songs in it. Your Daily Mix might have three playlists, and one will have just jazz, while the others have no jazz at all.

Right now my "Daily Mix" has created 4 playlists. One British pop (from Elvis Costello to Belle & Sebastian), one modern jazz (Snarky Puppy to Weather Report), one crazy unpredictable funk (via Vulfpeck), one classy electronic stuff (Zero 7, Tycho). That pretty much represents my listening habits.

Right now, in one playlist, most of the songs are familiar. In another, only TWO are. That is weird and wild and pretty much what I was hoping for. It's like, sometimes you want a radio station to play mostly your songs. Sometimes you want one to play mostly new weird stuff.

Spotify is on point and doing a great job.

regular.joe 12-24-2016 12:29 AM

I use google music. When I want new music that I might like, I take a song and create a radio station from that song. Plays the same genre and style with some kind of google algorithm that picks the list. I've found lots of new music that I've never heard before and enjoy. Found Josh Joplin this way and he's one of my favorite artists to date now.

glatt 12-24-2016 02:50 PM

Thanks Joe. I'll have to check out Google music. Never heard of it.

Gravdigr 12-24-2016 04:51 PM

Hiya Joe.

regular.joe 12-28-2016 12:32 AM

Hiya Grav! I'm still lurking around. Keeping an eye on things.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:41 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.