For the last couple of years I’ve been using Spotify as a paid-up subscriber. It’s £10/month in the UK, which is a strong cost:value ratio for the time and various means by which I use it, such as:
- At home, blasting out tracks on my Sonos S5
- At work, where social features & discovery apps help me find new stuff
- On my mobile, where offline playlists provide the backdrop to my travel
And since I no longer play physical CDs, nor use iTunes or other media player (barring web apps such as SoundCloud, Hype Machine, Mixcloud etc.) Spotify has become the main hub and jumping-off point for whatever type of music I’m after.
Spotify leaves it to its users to build, subscribe to and share playlists, their primary organisational schema, however they see fit. But with millions of tracks and carte blanche to curate a personal library of preferences comes a unique challenge: how should one filter, organise and archive their preferences with access to the worlds biggest music collection?
There is no self-populating iTunes-esque ‘smart playlist’ feature, no editorialised ‘recommended playlists’ feature, and until recently there was no way to search playlists without third-party involvement. Users have to come up with their own organisational approach, and I use my patented Star System™. Here’s how it works:
- Play whatever music you want
- Star the tracks you particularly love
- These self-populate a ‘Starred Tracks’ playlist
- Set this playlist to ‘Available Offline’ and they’ll download automatically
- Carry on jamming, removing stars from any tracks if they get boring
- After a period of time, move all starred tracks into playlist of their own
- Release this playlist to the public to critical acclaim!
- Repeat steps 1-7 with a blank slate
So without further ado, here are my Star Mix Playlists for your listening pleasure, along with some tasting notes.
- Star Mix ☆ Q3-10 (dub, chill & cosmic)
- Star Mix ☆ Q1-11 (brass, beats & jazz)
- Star Mix ☆ Q2-11 (electro, downbeat & guitar)
- Star Mix ☆ Q3-11 (pop, latin & electro)
- Star Mix ☆ Q4-11 (funk, disco & house)
- Star Mix ☆ Q1-12 (moody bleeps & breaks)
- Star Mix ☆ Q2-12 (international sonic mish-mash)
And finally, my current star mix. Subscribe to this one if you only want my new stuff in your earholes. Happy listening!