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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Schafer

Spotify "DJ" adds radio-feel to the music streaming app

Last week, Spotify launched “DJ”, a refreshing new way to listen to the music you love and broaden your musical horizons. The new feature utilizes AI to reproduce the classic radio feel that, ironically, apps like Spotify made obsolete.

“DJ” combines Spotify’s fantastic playlist creation algorithm and the voice platform Sonantic, who Spotify acquired in June 2022, to recreate the radio listening experience while minimizing the numerous flaws of radio. The standout feature, an AI voice modeled after Xavier “X" Jernigan, will pipe in every now and then to introduce the next sections of songs or some trivia about the upcoming artist, song, or genre.

The freedom of song selection that Spotify allows applies to this feature as well. A common criticism of modern radio is repetitive setlists. Spotify alleviates this problem by allowing users at any time to click the DJ button, located on the bottom left of the Now Playing screen, which immediately changes the upcoming song selection. The “DJ” will learn about what you are vibing with in order to curate a playlist that is completely tailored to your taste.

A lot of your enjoyment with the feature will depend on how much you enjoy the radio listening format. I personally enjoy my non-interrupted listening, especially when studying, but after using the DJ feature for about a day, I found the change of pace quite refreshing. The voice, although not the most in-depth, is quite insightful and pleasant sounding.

A big takeaway from my listening experience thus far is just how good Spotify’s algorithm is. Its ability to analyze the data collected from your listening habits and utilize it to create something like this, although a tad bit scary, is an absolute accomplishment.

The feature is currently released in beta and exclusive to Premium members. To access, simply go to your Home page on the app, and head to your Music Feed via the icon on the top of the page. Find the DJ card and it will take care of itself!


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