Music streaming

Show off your superior music taste with these Spotify add-ons

If you’ve been clicking on Instagram Stories in the past few months, you might have seen a mysterious collection of crumpled grocery receipts posted by your friends. Maybe you’ve seen Spotify Pies do the rounds on Twitter: hyper-detailed pie charts of major genres, ranging from familiar umbrellas like rock and R&B to even real-life categories like “metropolis.”

These viral streaming summaries offer exciting and visually compelling ways to understand your streaming habits that go far beyond Spotify’s useful (but rather lackluster) On Repeat playlist. Contrary to Spotify Wrapped 2021these are not limited to once a year, because now every day is a public holiday!

What’s even cooler about these Spotify aggregators is that they’re not created by Spotify itself; they’re built by third-party developers and music fans aided by Spotify’s open-source API. The only potential downside? Unlike Spotify Wrapped, these clones are only desktop or browser-based, but at least they’re ultra-sharable too. So with that in mind, here’s a look at how these “scrobbling” clients work and how they can change the way you stream – from discovering “how NPR you are” to assessing relative obscurity. of your music – starting with some of my favorites.

Screenshot by Brian Rosenzweig/CNET

Probably my favorite of the Spotify Wrapped clones, volt.fm describes itself as “your Spotify profile on steroids”. Volt.fm launched in September 2021, but just hit over a million users last month, and it’s easy to see why: it’s by far the most comprehensive wrapped clone I’ve seen. Volt.fm displays data about your top artists, tracks, and genres, similar to last.fm.

It’s also the only client I’ve seen that shows you detailed information about the top decades, longest and shortest songs, and popularity or obscurity of your favorite songs and artists on one platform. .

Beyond that, what really sets volt.fm apart is its social element. When you click on one of your top artists, you can see a list of the top 10 listeners (subscribed to volt.fm) – which could include you. While I haven’t personally had the privilege of seeing my name next to a gold medal icon for one of my favorite artists, I imagine it’s an even greater honor than when Spotify Wrapped told me I was in the top 0.5% of Lorde listeners.

But more than that, you can share all your page information with others. Volt allows you to link to your profile, which others can view and even compare with their own profiles. Think Spotify’s Blend playlists, but with a deeper look at your all-time listening.

Screenshot by Brian Rosenzweig/CNET

Last.fm essentially laid the foundation for what became today’s Spotify Wrapped. In some ways, its summary feature is similar to the others here, showing top songs, artists, and albums from different time periods. However, it’s the specific track and album listening history – called “scrobbles” – that really sets this clone apart.

Similar to how Spotify lets you see an artist’s monthly listeners, last.fm can show you the total number of listeners and scrobbles for specific artists, albums, and tracks. For example, Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’ (which has been out for around three months at the time of writing) already has over 14 million scrobbles on Spotify.

Last.fm also stands out from these clients because it’s the only one on this list with both a dedicated mobile app and the ability to scrobble the music you listen to on other streaming services.

Screenshot by Brian Rosenzweig/CNET

A wonderful (and dangerous) tool for people who already have a superiority complex about their musical tastes, Obscurify gives you a percentage rating of how obscure your musical taste is compared to others: The higher your rating, the more your taste is obscure. Obscurify also lets you know which of your favorite tracks and artists are considered obscure.

If you’ve only recently started charting obscure musical territory, fear not: Obscurify will display your absolute, current score (based on the last six weeks) on a super cool bell curve.

Plus, in addition to obscurity ratings, Obscurify also provides insight into the audio analysis of your most acoustic, energetic, and danceable tracks.

Screenshot by Brian Rosenzweig/CNET

A now monthly mainstay of the streaming conversation, Receiptify is perhaps the simplest Spotify Wrapped clone. It’s also the most shareable: Receiptify displays a list of your top 10 tracks from a given time period (ranging from four weeks to all time) with a cool design similar to a grocery receipt, along with your listening time total. It’s a cool way to visualize your feeds without getting bogged down in excessive detail.

Screenshot by Brian Rosenzweig/CNET

Musictaste.space is like Obscurify and can display your favorite top songs, artists and genres. It also provides a breakdown of your acoustic, happy and danceable music selections, although it goes further: Musictaste will also share the percentage of your music that falls into these categories and how you compare to the national average. (Apparently my music is only 56% happy? But hey, that’s still 10% above the US average!)

Musictaste.space’s coolest feature, still in beta, is its playlist creator. With this feature, you can choose up to five artists or tracks and varying energies, ranging from “mostly electronic” to “pretty sad” to popular or obscure songs. Hit the generate button and the service will automatically create a playlist of 50 songs to match that vibe.

Screenshot by Brian Rosenzweig/CNET

Perhaps the funniest clone client, nprcore.me compares your top songs and artists against NPR’s Top 50 Albums of the Year lists to generate a score of your “NPRcore” liking, complete with a caption like “Obama is your favorite president” or “you are literally Ira Glass”.

How Spotify Wrapped Clones Work?

Spotify’s open-source API (Application Program Interface) offers two main features that really make these clients capable: an audio playback database and Spotify’s audio analysis engine.

First, clones like Receiptify and volt.fm are able to load your entire listening history, letting you see how your tastes have changed over the years. Spotify’s API allows these platforms to access past data no matter when an account is registered, not just once an account is linked. In comparison, Last.fm may have been the first website to compile and display music listening history (called “scrobbling”), but it was unable to load music listening history. listening before users create Last.fm accounts.

Audio analysis is part of what makes these new sites capable of gathering deeper insights. If you’ve looked at your Spotify Wrappeds, you’ve probably noticed increasingly detailed information about the style of music you listen to, ranging from how “dance” your playlists are to what your “aura” music is. This comes from Spotify’s automated analysis, which synthesizes rhythm, pitch and timbre information. While this is used internally at Spotify, it’s also open to developers, who in many cases have thought of creative uses like Obscurify’s database of your most acoustic, energetic, and happiest tracks.

Spotify has a dedicated developer webpage with a blog, a support page, and an annual developer day to showcase their work. While writing this article, I learned that a colleague who is by no means a developer, used the Spotify API tools to practice some basic coding skills, because it’s very user-friendly. (Hi, Emily!)

How to Use Spotify Adjacent Clients

What I love about most of these Spotify apps is that they make it easy to sign up. Many don’t even need a separate account. In most cases, you only need to log in once with your Spotify account, grant a few permissions to the platform, and then you’re good to go.

Login with Spotify is often the first step. Once you enter your login credentials, a Spotify page will display the permissions you need to grant the third-party app. For the most part, these permissions will allow viewing your account and listening activity data.

Some clients like musictaste.space and Obscurify offer custom playlists based on your data, and in these cases you will also need to allow them to take action in Spotify on your behalfwhich is the permission that allows them to create playlists that you can edit and follow.

Don’t worry: if you want to revoke these permissions, you can easily do so from spotify.com/account in the App section.


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