Spotify the Time Machine

One of my consistent tech habits that I'm actually glad about is my obsession with trying to keep up with new music that I come across. It's not always "new" music -- more "new to me." Generally, if I come across an album or single or something that I think I might enjoy, I throw it into this month's folder in Spotify.

Every year, at the beginning of the year, I make a new playlist folder titled "New Music [insert year]." Within that folder, each month gets its own playlist, so, January 2023 all the way through December 2023, for example.

I'm not willy-nilly about what goes in the playlists, but I'm also not overly picky. Basically, I scour the New Releases every Friday to see if anything has released that's interesting (Blink-182's new album is a good example of this). If it looks like something I might listen to, it gets thrown into this month's playlist. I also use these playlists for music that's new to me, so anytime I come across an album or single song I enjoy, I move the album into this month's playlist as well.

This has actually been really fun, because I can look back on a year and see what "stuck" and what didn't I can also find stuff that I meant to listen to but forgot that I found. This helps to keep me paying attention to new music as well. I wouldn't call myself obsessed with music, but I certainly love it about 1000x more than podcasts or audiobooks.

I was also thinking this morning about how much I enjoy the fact that I can look back at older years and see what caught my attention. There is plenty of music that was released back in 2017, for example, that I listened to a lot that year but then it slowly faded away. This morning, I'm listening to the soundtrack from the iPhone game Monument Valley 2. The soundscapes are great; it's synth-y, emotional, and instrumental, so it makes for great focus music. But on top of that, my yearly new music playlists turn into a bit of a time machine. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is some sense of being "taken back" to that time when I first discovered the album, and all the subsequent times I listened to it.

There are lots of ways current tech lends itself to poor habits of the mind. But sometimes, I do think new technology makes our lives just a little bit better. This focused way of using Spotify is definitely something I appreciate.

Tagged: music, technology,