Response to “Apple Music’s terrible year in review is giving me serious Spotify Wrapped FOMO” regarding Algorithmic vs. Human Curation

Apple Music’s terrible year in review is giving me serious Spotify Wrapped FOMO

Sincere apologies if this sounds outright hostile…. because it’s out of concern, primarily…

But… Complaining about the service’s lack of an algorithmic way to “recap’ your year instead of just… Reflecting on your year in music yourself?… Is such a stark example of the fundamental curatorial differences between Apple Music and Spotify.

For your $9.99 Spotify membership, you get the absolute latest in mathematical analysis - you get the best of the best in terms of what a computer can posit about your musical preferences from the absolute peak amount of behavioral data.

For your $9.99 Apple Music membership, you get access to a virtually unlimited amount of ongoing, bought, human curation. I am as pretentious as they come - I spent the whole first half of my twenties running an electronic music magazine - and I can tell you that even the slightest bit of poking around among Apple Music’s ongoing playlists will yield the best dollar-per-thought/care/authority expended than has ever existed in music. I have never once explored them and found something truly out of place - like, for instance, a purely algorithmic attempt at maintaining a genre playlist results in. (I have been an Apple Music subscriber since the day it became available to me.)

if you don’t like the native interface, there are a ridiculous and ever-multiplying amount of third-party choices that can literally - if you so desire - replace the Music app as a player. I spent far too much of my time this year writing about a few.

if this argument means nothing to you and you absolutely must see the gosh darned data, Federico Viticci built an absurdly ambitious Siri Shortcut that will generate a gorgeously-presented “Wrapped” for you.

…but seriously… I recommend spending uh an hour? at most? (unless you’re a professional curator, obviously) actually going back through your library yourself (the living and breathing listener) paying attention to how your body reacts to the cover art of the titles/albums/music videos/playlists you’re scrolling through.

or hey maybe even read a music magazine.