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Spotify Can Now Create Custom Playlists for You

Dave Parrack 05-02-2018

A Spotify engineer has invited users to try a new tool that lets you create custom playlists. Called Nelson, this Glitch project lets you choose various genres and change various parameters to create the playlist of your dreams. And while it isn’t perfect, it sure is a lot of fun.


Spotify is famous for its ability to create personalized playlists for each individual user. It does this by analyzing what you’ve already listened to and recommending other songs of a similar nature. And it’s rather shocking quite how well Spotify knows you Everything Spotify Knows About You, Revealed Have you ever wondered what Spotify thinks of you based on your music tastes and listening habits? Spotify.Me will tell you. Read More after years of listening.

Parameters Personalize Playlists

Nelson was revealed in a tweet by “developer advocate engineer” Arielle Vaniderstine. It’s an internal project that lets users play with various parameters to create custom playlists. First, you pick various genres, and then you fiddle with the sliders to create your perfect playlist.

The parameters range from the obvious (popularity and tempo) to the peculiar (energy and danceability) and finally to the mind-boggling (valence and speechiness). Luckily, Spotify explains what each of these audio elements refer to in a post on the Spotify developers blog.

As you fiddle with the parameters Nelson will adjust the playlist accordingly. And if you’re a Spotify Premium user you can then play the playlist immediately either on Spotify or in your web browser. Which means you could use Nelson to create endless playlists filled with music.


The Age of Music Streaming

Nelson is a fantastic tool that utilizes the incredible amount of data Spotify collects about every song on the service. So while there are some truly timeless ways to discover new music 8 Timeless Ways to Discover New Music to Stream Thanks to streaming music and algorithms, it has never been easier to discover new music. However, there are some tried and tested methods for doing so you shouldn't neglect. Read More to listen to, this is one of the few that’s only possible in the age of streaming we’re lucky enough to live in.

Do you have a Spotify account? If so, how do you feel about Spotify’s ability to create playlists just for you? Have you tried experimenting with Nelson yet? If so, how well did it perform? Did you discover new artists and/or songs worth listening to? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Andrew Mager via Flickr

Related topics: Algorithms, Playlist, Spotify, Streaming Music.

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  1. Kat Dunham
    April 3, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    I'm trying to create a specific running tempo playlist. The tempo slider doesn't show the selected range, so it's useless to me. Is there a way to view the tempo? In Nelson or Spotify? If not, this app/add-on doesn't help me at all. Thanks, Kat