Have playlists on streaming services and social media made modern music boring?

Originally published at: Have playlists on streaming services and social media made modern music boring? | Boing Boing

1 Like

since apple won’t backup to iCloud playlists…
I’m having 2-do playlists for each iPhone iPad MacBook Air… individually
on my own mechanically by each hand stroke… boring…

…for when it happens momentarily… maybe…ho hom

Yes, but no. The music biz is still reliant on tricky schemes which involves people with money throwing money around while ripping off artists all while trying to avoid the public’s attention of such schemes. TLC winning Grammys while being broke because of their label, punk bands getting radio play because of payola and then many of those same labels throw money around to get Mackelmore and Iggy Azalea top selling rap singles that are played everywhere except on actual hip hop radio stations and the rise of the 360 deal which in the case of both Rihanna and Hayley Williams (Paramore) lead to their respective managers making a killing off of the profits their respective cosmetic and hair dye companies made which many years ago wouldn’t have included non-music related ventures in such deals.

Social media have made surprise viral successes a thing to be both loved and loathed by the labels. A lot of people trying to force such hits often have it blown up in their faces. Spotfiy has much of it’s money coming in from the major labels directly not so much as an investment, but as an series of options made by pencil pushers out of fear.


Before I delve into the specifics, the answer is yes.

This is exactly how I wish (most) every BB article would start!


You might check your settings. Assuming you’re talking about the Music app and not some third party vendor like Spotify, mine are synced across all devices (iPhone, Mac, Apple TV, Music app on Roku). And most of them were pulled from Spotify to my iPhone, so they had to be populated from there. On iOS I found it under “Apps using iCloud” and on my Mac it’s under “Sync Library”. Good luck!

Also: Most music has always sucked. Look at the top charts in any year and you’ll quickly realize it is mostly pop filler that hardly anyone remembers. Or hell, look at the Grammys. Winning a Grammy in a major category is almost a guarantee of tepid, middling pap.


Yeah, I don’t know what you’re listening to, but I just don’t see this problem. This isn’t an issue with the music, it’s your basic yelling at a cloud situation.

If the music is boring it’s an issue with that specific song, not the platform. Click “Next” and move on to another track. If you like, feel free to turn on your radio receiver – lots of very limited options, repeating the same 100 songs endlessly, in an extremely narrow genre definition, all sliced down to fit into specific time settings and censored for your protection. Don’t like the playlists on the platform? Make your own, hit random, or find playlists from friends who’s musical opinions you enjoy.

Yeah, again, I don’t see that as a problem at all. If an artist is a bigot, I’d actually prefer to learn about that before I start listening to their music, because then I won’t start. (Or at least I can make an informed choice about it.)


When Pandora came out all those many years ago I thought it was supposed to, “curate the music to your personal tastes”. I realize there are different modes now that supposedly allow you to find “new” unheard music, but I’m confused as to how the algorithm even picks what it thinks I’ll like. My music taste do vary by genre and year, but there are some solid over all themes to what I listen to…yet all this fancy AI can’t figure any of it out. Maybe my issues is that I like songs first and artists second. I love The Prodigy, but I don’t like all their songs.

So yeah, my playlists tend to be songs I like from the last 30 years. I have better luck bouncing around a Youtube rabbit hole of suggested videos starting from a song I like, than Spotify or Pandora.

In fact, might complaining about streaming count as yelling at the cloud? :thinking:


His idea that the commodification of an art form (which isn’t new) is now hyper-exaggerated by algorithms and the speed of internet, and is in some kind of feedback loop, seems pretty sound at least for pop music.

He got bored with the playlists his wife was making, did she? Those of us that really love music and are curious will do the work. Most people won’t. From his (and my) point of view it would be nice if the more thoughtful/serious musicians got plays and popularity, but this isn’t new either. It’s a lot of work for the musician too, and some luck.

I don’t stream. I tried it briefly and didn’t see any benefit to me. I know their catalogs have grown since those early days, but I don’t really like the idea of streaming services. I still buy records and cds. I still listen to broadcast radio stations. There was enough recorded music made in the last 100 years I can consume and discover old stuff for the rest of my life and not be bored, and get new music direct from the artists when possible.


If you’re bored, try going analog.


no. You just make shite playlists.

In every hobby you meet the people who say there just isn’t enough “good” stuff out there, and they don’t realize that they’re on the precipice of a brand new adventure if they would only do the work. Indie spaces and platforms exist for just about every hobby. You just have to find them. These things aren’t just going to be handed to you. Hobbyists know this and do this. Some get pissy that what they want isn’t mainstream enough, but it’s balanced out by those who find things they truly enjoy and say, “Hey, I found this.”

are you using spotify to make the ‘playlist/s’…
I don’t subscribe to that ‘music app…’ tailgate for itunes…

No, I dropped Spotify earlier this year in favor of Apple’s Music. The sound is superior and the app cache doesn’t take up all available memory, so I can use that space to download lossless music. Apple syncs all of my devices across iCloud. However, if you’re using Spotify it should sync all devices to your account including playlists, recents, etc.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.