Spotify Testing DJ-Style Auto-Mix Feature on Playlists

Spotify Auto-Mix

Want to turn your Spotify playlist into a mix?  Go to the program’s desktop client and shut down the “crossfade” feature. Turn the “shuffle mode” on and start the opening track of the “Drum & Bass Fix playlist.” Check out what happens.

It appears the tracks have been mixed – similar to what DJs do.  It’s not Spotify’s crossfade feature, but rather a beat-matched mix and works when the playlist is shuffled. It’s new but not Spotify’s first time in mixing technology.

The digital music service launched its “Party mode” on the mobile app that included a 120-track playlist. This latest feature is not that, but something else entirely.

A Spotify spokesperson said the company is constantly testing out new experiences and products but would not clarify anything more. It’s not known if other playlists are being tested with this mixing feature.

The new feature was first noticed by Aiden Grant, an employee with Sonnet Music. Grant said he was listening to his playlist for about 15 minutes when he realized there had been no gap in the music. It occurred to him, he said, that the music had been mixed together and really well.

Spotify’s timing of this new feature is rather fascinating, as startup company Pacemaker recently offered a “DJ Turning Test.” The company had challenged people to decide if their AI DJ software was just good as dance star Steve Aoki’s music. While Aoki did win the challenge, it wasn’t by much.

Pacemaker hopes to license the technology to Apple Music, Spotify and other music streaming services, which would allow them to provide more DJ-style mixes minus the headaches of getting a license.

Startups like MetaPop and Dubset are working with rightsholders to ease the licensing process for human-mixed DJs.

It would not be too surprising to hear that Spotify is working alongside Pacemaker for its auto-mixing test. The companies worked together previously on Pacemakers iPad DJing app, which was supposed to be licensed and used with Spotify’s API back in 2014.

However, Spotify could be developing its own DJ mixing software to license – perhaps to hinder Pacemaker’s own goal to license the AI DJ it came up with.

Spotify is not commenting on what it’s doing, and Pacemaker hasn’t announced anything either.

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