Spotify, one of the best streaming services, has introduced a brand new feature that it hopes will excite and delight you: Spotify DJ. The feature, which is currently a beta available to US and Canadian Spotify Premium subscribers, is "a personalized AI guide that knows you and your music taste so well that it can choose what to play for you."
I hate it already.
Maybe it's my age, but I don't associate DJs with cool. I think of people calling themselves things like "the hairy cornflake" – a real example – and wittering inanely over the good bits of records. Given the choice of a gloomy podcast about something I'm not remotely interested in, such as 14th Century farming, or the banter of Zany Zane on Radio Magic FM, I'll go for the podcast every time.
I suspect Spotify's AI DJ will have the same effect on me. Watch the promo video and you'll see, or rather hear, what I mean.
What's the problem with Spotify DJ?
The voice and delivery of Spotify podcast celeb "X", whose pipes power this first version, have put me right off. "Hey Max, what's goin' on?", X says in the video. "Up next, I know you've been on a summer song kick latelaaaaaaaargh".
That last bit was me smashing my headphones.
I'm all for AI music recommendations. They've brought me some brilliant music over the years, music that I simply wouldn't have heard otherwise. But one of the reasons I listen to music apps rather than music radio stations is because music apps don't ruin the music the way music radio often does – so making the music app more like music radio seems to me like a pretty major step backwards.
I know, I know, it's not aimed at old curmudgeons like me who used to tape the John Peel show and now embarrass our kids whenever we talk about how music was better back in our day. And it's optional. But the problem with Spotify DJ isn't me. It's my kids.
As any parent knows, there's no such thing as optional if your kids decide to embrace something – and the more annoying it is, the more likely your kids are to embrace it. Both of my kids are very online, so I already hear a lot of YouTubers, TikTokers and Instagrammers whose delivery is very similar to Spotify DJ. For the sake of my remaining sanity, I can only hope that my children never, ever discover it.