Trouble tracking potential “keepers” on Spotify
In iTunes, I have a spatial understanding of where albums are in relation to my entire collection. I only use playlists when it is absolutely necessary to mix things together (for a party, lots of instrumental on shuffle to work to, etc.). I don’t make playlists of single albums, that’s wasteful. The album is accessible right there via the browse. (I hardly ever listen to single tracks off albums; unless the single is a guilty pleasure and the rest of the album is atrocious, I either listen to the whole album or not at all.)
In Spotify, there is no collection.
I can’t remember everything I think I like and re-search for it every time I want to listen. That’s what I’ve been doing. Definitely doesn’t scale.
I could make a “Shit I Think I Like And Want To Find Again” playlist and dump everything deemed worthy on first listen in there, lest I lose it forever in the wake of day-to-day life. Without browsing via album or artist, that gets painful fast.
Do I make it by genre? Mixing a new indie rock album with a new ambient album with a new hiphop album in one playlist doesn’t sit quite right.
With my own arbitrary tags? I don’t want to make active-minded decisions about where something new should end up when I’m not 100% sold on it, I just know I don’t want to lose it. Suddenly I’m managing a taxonomy that I didn’t think through fully at creation.
How much weight do I give to the fact that my playlists are now public, sharable, able to be subscribed to? There’s got to be a value in making that metadata have meaning to the machine at-large, at least more so than only-makes-sense-to-me names.
And where does it end up when it passes the final litmus test and I want to “keep” it around forever? Alphabetical A-L / M-Z playlists? Still can’t browse by album name, don’t want to scroll through thousands of tracks.
Starred is the lowest friction, but I’ll still end up lost in the weeds after starring everything that clears such a low bar.
I don’t want to think this hard about “my” music. I don’t use Spotify as much as I’d like because of it.