What matters to You in a Playlist?

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What matters to You in a Playlist?

JESquare
Community Legend

As someone who creates a lot of playlists and has for a long time, I'd love to get people's opinion on what they like in a playlist? We have ideas on how we should do playlists and what people prefer but I wonder if that holds true for the people that listen. 

 

So without further ado

 

  1. Do you Like Monthly Playlist with the latest tracks ?
  2. Do you Like Themed Playlist around a genre or a mood?
  3. Do you like clever titled playlists or one that are direct about the mix?
  4. Do you like New tracks put on the top or blended into the mix?
  5. Do playlists updated daily, weekly or it matter?
  6. Do you like playlists that refresh all the songs or just keep adding new tracks?
  7. Does the length of a mix matter? If so what’s your preferred track limit 30, 50 100?
  8. Do you like playlist with an already set order where songs blend well or do you like to play on Random?
  9. Is there anything that really makes you enjoy a mix that you haven’t mentioned?

17 Replies

AdSR
Roadie

Here goes my personal take:

 

1. Do you Like Monthly Playlist with the latest tracks?
I listen predominantly to music that is decades old so there is not much interest in this for me. However, if you extend this idea to old music recently added to Spotify then that would be great.

 

2. Do you Like Themed Playlist around a genre or a mood?
Yes, genre. A specific subgenre might be interesting, too.

 

3. Do you like clever titled playlists or one that are direct about the mix?
Direct. Say what you mean in as few words as possible. Of course, if you can be clever and direct, that is cool.

 

4. Do you like New tracks put on the top or blended into the mix?
Blended, to fit the rest.

 

5. Do playlists updated daily, weekly or it matter?
No, update when it makes sense.

 

6. Do you like playlists that refresh all the songs or just keep adding new tracks?
Keep adding or replace gradually to improve the quality of the playlist.

 

7. Does the length of a mix matter? If so what’s your preferred track limit 30, 50, 100?
Duration is more important. 60-90 minutes seems optimal. For a genre with long tracks (Berlin School, ambient, prog rock) I’d say up to 3 hours.

 

8. Do you like playlist with an already set order where songs blend well or do you like to play on Random?
Set order, like an album. If you can make a selection that blends well on random then of course it’s a plus.

 

9. Is there anything that really makes you enjoy a mix that you haven’t mentioned?
Make me feel like I’m listening to an old-school radio station with good DJs. 🙂

TreyAnastasio
Rock Star 7
Rock Star 7

Here are my playlist preferences:

 

1. Do you Like Monthly Playlist with the latest tracks ?

I like these types of playlists, as long as the genre(s) are of interest to me; however, I think that I tend to prefer playlists that also include older releases as well, since these are usually more extensive and I’m more likely to find tracks or artists that I enjoy listening to.

 

2. Do you Like Themed Playlist around a genre or a mood?

Yes, I like to know what sort of music I am in for if I listen to the playlist, and playlists that are themed around a genre or mood make this clear.

 

3. Do you like clever titled playlists or one that are direct about the mix?

I don’t typically decide to listen to or save a playlist to my library based on the title; as long as the genres or artists included in the playlist are of interest to me, I’m inclined to check it out.

 

4. Do you like New tracks put on the top or blended into the mix?

I don’t mind either way; I typically don’t look for tracks from recent releases in particular, so it is of little consequence for me what order the tracks are in with respect to release date.

 

5. Do playlists updated daily, weekly or it matter?

I enjoy checking out new tracks that are added to playlists that I follow; however, I don’t prefer either way if playlists are updated sporadically or at even intervals.

 

6. Do you like playlists that refresh all the songs or just keep adding new tracks?

I like playlists that just keep adding tracks, since then it’s easier to find tracks from the playlist that I had previously enjoyed listening to.

 

7. Does the length of a mix matter? If so what’s your preferred track limit 30, 50 100?

I don’t have a preferred number of songs in a playlist; as long as I have enjoyed listening to a song or a few songs in it, then I will likely return to it later to check out the other tracks (or at least some of them that are of particular interest).

 

8. Do you like playlist with an already set order where songs blend well or do you like to play on Random?

I don’t typically listen to playlists in order, so I don’t usually think about the flow between songs in a playlist (as oppose to for albums, where I think this is more important).

 

9. Is there anything that really makes you enjoy a mix that you haven’t mentioned?

I like when playlists include a good diversity of artists, with one or a few tracks by each artist (rather than including just a few artists with many tracks of theirs), since I’m more likely to find an artist that I enjoy listening to this way.

 

Cheers!

TreyAnastasioRock Star 7
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Eclipse_31
Roadie

Do you Like Monthly Playlist with the latest tracks? No, not at all!!!

 

Do you Like Themed Playlist around a genre or a mood?  I prefer to create playlists based after a genre over a mood.

 

Do you like clever titled playlists or one that are direct about the mix?  I tend to lean more to playlists with a direct title.  But some of my playlists are both direct and clever at the same time.  I called the space/sci-fi playlist I made, "A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away . . ."

 

Do you like New tracks put on the top or blended into the mix?  I don't care about ordering the tracks in my playlist by when they were released.

 

Do playlists updated daily, weekly or it matter?  I update my playlists as soon and as much as I can.

 

Do you like playlists that refresh all the songs or just keep adding new tracks?  I like to refresh my playlists, but I don't want to see it out of other playlists because refreshing playlists is just my preference.

 

Does the length of a mix matter? If so what’s your preferred track limit 30, 50 100?  I don't think it really matters.  Many of my playlists are very long, which is why most of them are private.  I prune them from time to time to remove irrelevant/'off'/duplicate songs.  

 

Do you like playlist with an already set order where songs blend well or do you like to play on Random?  A little bit of both.  I tend to have songs from the same album either grouped together or in order, but the albums represented are not in any kind of order.

 

Is there anything that really makes you enjoy a mix that you haven’t mentioned?  I like playlists that follow a specific theme and are not just a 'mood' or mishmash or random songs.  I don't like playlists where the title is lowercased.😠

Machiel_M
Roadie

First of all, my compliments on your playlists' art work!!! I LOVE it - I'm actually a bit jealous of them!!! Wish I had thought of that 🙂

  1. Do you Like Monthly Playlist with the latest tracks ?
    Well yes! The problem is that there are so many new songs on Spotify each month - I get the feeling that there is not enough time to listen to all the music every month. Thus my "monthly" playlists are too big and I never get to sort them out. I would love to have my own top 100 songs of every month, but I end up with like 300-500 songs per month.

  2. Do you Like Themed Playlist around a genre or a mood?
    I sure do, but unfortunately I seldom find a list that really suits my mood... After four or five songs I get restless and start looking for another list...

  3. Do you like clever titled playlists or one that are direct about the mix?
    I love clever titles, but unfortunately they're not searchable (or should I say findable). Usually I'll find them by browsing a profile on Spotify, which I seldom do...

  4. Do you like New tracks put on the top or blended into the mix?
    Yes definitely! (Don't do it myself, though!)

  5. Do playlists updated daily, weekly or it matter?
    If there is no movement in a playlist in the last few months, I quickly click it away...

  6. Do you like playlists that refresh all the songs or just keep adding new tracks?
    Both. But I hate playlists that refreshes the whole list, but with (some of) the songs that used to be in there, so it's difficult to see which songs were added later than other...

  7. Does the length of a mix matter? If so what’s your preferred track limit 30, 50 100?
    Doesn't matter, as long as it's not too many per artist - sometimes it's as if a person just adds complete albums to his playlists - I don't like that.

  8. Do you like playlist with an already set order where songs blend well or do you like to play on Random?
    Both.

  9. Is there anything that really makes you enjoy a mix that you haven’t mentioned?
    Forgotten and unknown songs (that I like, of course!) make me happy.
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JESquare
Community Legend

@Machiel_M thanks for the compliment, I hope when people stumble on one of my playlists that it's my artwork that helps it stand out and make them possibly hit play. 

fduniho
Roadie

Since answering your questions, I checked out your playlists and have been listening to some. I'm currently listening to What's Popping Sept '16, and I also listened to Alternative Epic and Strings Under the Lights. I really like your album art. You seem to be using old record covers, sometimes with new artwork. I recognized one image, which I have previously seen on these two very different albums:

 

spotify:album:0qBidyI3uvlBd9UOKBhyxR

 

spotify:album:3b2s2A8DPISbaQNxhrEsGQ

 

In general, using quality artwork for your playlists shows that you're putting some original thought into creating them. I also like that you use very clever, catchy titles that suggest something about what the playlist is about while also appealing to the imagination. This creativity also shows that you think of your playlists as works of art and not just some convenient compilations of related music.

spotify:user:128759556

JESquare
Community Legend

@fduniho That image is from an awesome site www.unsplash.com. It's a free photo site, with some great photography. Thanks for taking the time to listen, I appreciate it. I'm a Graphic Designer so I love doing album artwork. I do mostly corporate design and these covers are a chance for me to design something different that I have complete control over. It's nice to know that the artwork & titles convey the love & care I have for making these mix's. 

DonSolare
Roadie
Hey @JESquare
if you are a Graphic Designer... I am constantly looking for Graphic
Designers for the Artwork of my albums. Do write me a few lines (direct
message?) if you have -in principle- interest, time, energy, for this.
Thanks
Juan

Alexand3rJoens
Regular

This was insightful!! Thank you!!

Much love!!

Alexand3r

fduniho
Roadie
Do you Like Monthly Playlist with the latest tracks ?
I don't keep returning to the same playlist. So, if a playlist were being updated monthly, I probably wouldn't notice.
Do you Like Themed Playlist around a genre or a mood?
I'll listen to playlists for a genre, because it is a good way to find more music in a genre I like. I ignore mood playlists.
Do you like clever titled playlists or one that are direct about the mix?
I would prefer a title that gives me a clear idea of what to expect.
Do you like New tracks put on the top or blended into the mix?
When I don't return to a playlist to play it again, it doesn't really matter.
Do playlists updated daily, weekly or it matter?
I'll listen to playlists I know are being automatically updated by Spotify, such as the Daily Mixes and the weekly playlist based on what I've been listening to. But when it comes to playlists other people make, I prefer that they remain static, so that I can listen to the whole thing once without anything changing on me in the meantime.
Do you like playlists that refresh all the songs or just keep adding new tracks?
For automatically generated playlists based on what I've been listening to, refreshing the whole playlist is fine. But for other playlists, which includes any hand-crafted by human beings, adding new tracks would be less frustrating to deal with. Instead of continually adding to a playlist, I would recommend creating sequel playlists.
Does the length of a mix matter? If so what’s your preferred track limit 30, 50 100?
I prefer playlists to be about album length, though I will sometimes listen to longer ones, because most of them are longer.
Do you like playlist with an already set order where songs blend well or do you like to play on Random?
In general, I prefer to listen to a playlist in order. This is so that I can listen to the whole playlist once without losing my place. For playlists based on a particular album, which I sometimes make, the order especially matters. But I have made a couple very long playlists that should be played on shuffle.
Is there anything that really makes you enjoy a mix that you haven’t mentioned?
Different playlists serve different purposes. Some of mine recreate an album with a different style. I have one playlist serving as a genre sampler. It gets updated as Spotify loses the songs I originally put on it, new artists in the genre become available on Spotify, or a better song by an artist already covered on it comes out. And I have some huge playlists that are just for playing a certain type of music. In general, I like when some thought goes into selecting the tracks for a playlist. Some of the most useless playlists just contain full albums by the same or related artists. It is probably best to think of yourself as selecting tracks for a compilation album. If you think of the whole playlist as a work of art that should ideally not change, you will be more likely to create a good playlist. But if you expect your playlist will change regularly, you will probably be less concerned with quality control.
spotify:user:128759556

DonSolare
Roadie

@JESquare Hi Jason,

I've seen your impressive collection of playlists and I notice that most of them have between 0 and 8 followers, so I assume that you make this playlists mainly for you, for personal use. So do not care too much about other people's likes and dislikes.

However, if you want these playlists to be (or become) popular, the problem is big.

My main general advice is: FOCUS and promote systhematically (only) a few of them.

 

As for your questions:

  1. Do you Like Monthly Playlist with the latest tracks ? Personally I don't care but lots of people might care.
  2. Do you Like Themed Playlist around a genre or a mood? Absolutely yes. This is the main point.
  3. Do you like clever titled playlists or one that are direct about the mix? Descriptive titles which are clever; think of newspaper headlines: they MUST describe what they are talking about (otherwise would be unethical) and they SHOULD be attractive so that people notice them at all.
  4. Do you like New tracks put on the top or blended into the mix? Precisely this is your work and your decision as curator. If people listen random/shuffle, the position of a new track is irrelevant. But if people listen from A to Z, the curator (you) should provide a "macro-composition" with one piece leading to the next one, balancing contrast and continuity, surprise and coherence. It is like deciding the order of the pieces in a recital.
  5. Do playlists updated daily, weekly or it [doesn't] matter? For me, is the same. Not too fast.
  6. Do you like playlists that refresh all the songs or just keep adding new tracks? They satisfy different needs. I suggest that you do both kinds of playlist on the same subject and you will see. It also dependes on the subject itself: "Best of The Beatles" will be not be updated very often, I assume.
  7. Does the length of a mix matter? If so what’s your preferred track limit 30, 50 100? It depends on the subject of the playlist and its duration. If you make a playlist for yoga, relaxation, etc., you will possibly want longer tracks and more of them. In a playlist for a restaurant (or supermarket) you possibly want a huge collection, so that both customers and workers don't get bored of listening the same %&/$ over and over again, every day. In a playlist about "last week Dark Ambient releases" you will possibly limit radically the number. Having said that: 30 tracks (90-120 minutes) is OK if you are going to replace them often. The longest the playlist, the lowest the chances of repetition and therefore listeners will not get easily bored.  Some little birds say that 50 is a sweet spot. 
  8. Do you like playlist with an already set order where songs blend well or do you like to play on Random? As you know,  on mobile devices you don't have an alternative: you must shuffle (oops, in the free version). I also tend to listen randomly on the desktop app. Other persons might have other choices. In my case I listen randomly because I am arrogant, selfish and elitist and not convinced a priori that a curator is good in carefully deciding an order. This is my problem, of course. Other listeners are not arrogant, etc.
  9. Is there anything that really makes you enjoy a mix that you haven’t mentioned? Sure: that it suprises me within a set of constraints. It means: in a playlist about Piano Music the frame is clear, the rules of the game are clear (namely piano); but within these rules I like to listen to music I didn't know. The point is that you as a curator cannot guess what I (as a listener) already know and what is new to me (and multiply this by the number of listeners). In case of doubt, I would go for "possibly unknown". Why? Because chances are that if I want to listen a concrete piano piece, I just search it, period.

JESquare
Community Legend

@DonSolare Thanks for your feedback. You're right my playlists are first and foremost for myself, of course I wouldn't mind a lot of followers but first and foremost I create playlists for my own personal enjoyment. I thought of these questions because ever so often I think about the "Rules" people create for the playlists they make and I debate how much listeners really care and if those things really matter.

DonSolare
Roadie
Actually, to thoroughly answer this last question you might need very large
numbers, a poll... of course, that is above our current possibilities. But
yes, is important to know how people listen if we want our things to be
listened.
Among us: I have the impression that there are so many different listening
habits that you can never satisfy all of them.

Ah! I read somewhere that what some curators do is to have tons of
playlists but focus on promoting only a few of them. Except, of course,
that they are professional curators. But for -say- independent curators can
be a reasonable thing to do.

MartinStoichkov
Rock Star 11
Rock Star 11

Yep, I agree, feedback for the playlist curators are good! 

I also would like to see what people will have to say about this : ) 

 

So, about me: 

 

1. Of course (I believe everyone likes) 

2. Yes 

3. Indeed 

4. I personally prefer the newest tracks on the top, but if they`re blended in the mix doesn`t really bothers me. But its nice to be on the top, to be easy for the user to see which tracks are the newest : ) 

5. Weekly or at 2 weeks 

6. I prefer the songs to be refreshed (for example if you`re listening on shuffle, and if you keep the old tracks, it`s most likely to hit songs that you`ve already listened on this playlist, which is not so cool, if you`re unable to change the track at the moment 🙂

7. Yep, its depends on the playlists of course, but I`ll say that 1:30-2:30h is perfect (50-100 tracks) 

8. It`s almost different every time to me 

9. If the curator order the tracks in a way that the end rhythm of the song match the beginning rhythm of the next : ) (or if they both are similar) for example slow slong after slow song, not slow slong and then bumbambam xD

 

MartinStoichkovRock Star 11
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JESquare
Community Legend

Thanks for responding. Also I like your signature image. Nice work.

MartinStoichkov
Rock Star 11
Rock Star 11

Thanks, seems you`re a fan of pictures too! 

I also like your mockups, like this one, really good looking : ) 

 

JAN_HEAVYROTATION_spotify.png

MartinStoichkovRock Star 11
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JESquare
Community Legend

Thank you

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