Spotify could get less personal, and that's a good thing

Spotify is testing improved personalisation that won't let your family and friends ruin your recommendations

(Image credit: r.classen /

One of the best and worst things about music and video streaming is personalisation. It's one of the best things because it gets to know you over time, giving you ever more relevant recommendations. And it's one of the worst because if you let other people pick things for your playlists, that can pollute the personalisation. Spotify may have a solution for the latter.

I'm writing this as a pop-loving parent of a death metal-loving teen, and you should see the state of my music recommendations. So I'm intrigued by this, because it sounds like it could make a big difference to the way I get my music recommendations. What Spotify seems to be doing is to prevent other people's recommendations from affecting your own personalisation, so for example if you have a shared playlist and don't entirely love your friends' suggestions you can get the algorithm to ignore them.

When will Spotify roll out this new feature?

We don't know: it's currently "evaluating the ability", which only appears so far in beta code. The code was unearthed by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it's very much a case of what it could do or might do rather than what it actually does: it's an early test and may or may not make it into the final release version of the app.

Spotify isn't the only one of the best music streaming services to be looking at this. Apple Music is doing it too. Since the beta of iOS 17.2 you've been able to change the way Apple Music behaves by adding a new Focus Filter – so if you're going to be letting family or friends use your device to play you some songs you can temporarily disable the music learning so that your poptastic playlists won't suddenly start blasting you with Cannibal Corpse. This is a good option for modes such as when you're driving: the music you play when you're transporting family members around is likely to be very different from what you'd play when you're by yourself.

If you want to enable it it's in Settings > Focus; create a custom focus mode and then go to Customise Focus > Focus Filters > Add Filter > Music. Unfortunately you can't currently add this filter to your existing Focus modes: you need to create a new one.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).