clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Microsoft's MixShape uses big data and clever visuals to craft the perfect Spotify playlist

New, 46 comments

Making a good mix for a party or workout is serious, time-consuming work, so why not throw some data analysis and computing power at the problem? MixShape takes Spotify’s vast music library and couples it with some heavy data analysis from The Echo Nest to give you a graphical representation of the high-energy peaks and down-tempo valleys of a given playlist. Once you have a base to work from (either your own Spotify playlist or one that’s automatically created for you), you can tweak the "flow" and duration of the mix, and Mixshape will automatically add, subtract, and rearrange songs to give you what it thinks you want to hear. The project is sponsored by Microsoft, which created a custom touch interface for it on IE10, although you can use it in other desktop and mobile browsers if you don’t have a touchscreen Windows device.

Once you have something you like, you can save it as a Spotify playlist or share it to the usual array of social media. It’s a fun idea, and Mixshape makes creative use of shapes and colors to clue you in to things like the key, tempo, and loudness of the songs in your mix. Even if you don’t trust a computer to make the perfect playlist for you, being able to extend your immaculate handcrafted hour-long mix in a few seconds makes it worth checking out.