Spotify’s playlists can now predict which songs you’ll want to add

Spotify is experimenting with a feature called Playlist Extender that uses an algorithm to automatically suggest songs when you’re creating playlists.  And here’s the crazy part: It recommends songs based solely on the name of the playlist, even before you’ve added any music.

On Twitter, Spotify’s Echo Nest platform director Paul Lamere shared some examples: Start a playlist called “moog” and the system suggests songs famous for their use of Moog synthesizers, such as music by Donna Summer, Parliament, and Emerson Lake and Palmer. It also pulled a song from “Switched On Bach” the album of classical music that pretty much popularized early synthesizers. 

Even a word as vague as “guitar” yields songs known for their guitar playing, like Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child.” 

The feature works by analyzing millions of playlists for patterns across song titles and other attributes of the music. Playlist Extender is now in beta for about 75% of Spotify desktop users.