Once upon a time a thing called
The Spotify New-Release Sorting Hat
We have outgrown this hat.
Wonder, however, remains.
People still sing, and we need to hear.
Our love escapes us through the tops
of our heads, and we need to know where it goes.
The Sorting Hat was an attempt to present all the new releases appearing on Spotify in a given week on a single page in a way that was at least vaguely useful. It debuted some time in mid-2015, at which point the number of new releases each week was in the low thousands. I had to change some steps in the generation process when the average number crept over 10,000. When it passed 20,000 I started excluding single-song releases by unknown artists who had not yet been played even once on Spotify. Last week, even with this filtering, the Sorting Hat had 40,000 new releases from just one week. It is no longer possible to meaningfully interact with "all" the new music. We can argue about how long ago this became true, but the day it came true is definitely a day in the past.
In addition to just listing things, the other job the Sorting Hat attempted to do was to cluster the new releases roughly by genre, so you could hope to find things you actually cared about. This is why it was called the Sorting Hat, and not the Dumping Hat. Genre categorization is always fuzzy and subject to a variety of hilarity-inducing errors, but the Sorting Hat's version was particularly rough because the moment of a new release's birth into the world is the moment when we (humanity, but also Spotify) generally know the least about it. Plus, it just put everything on one big page, so you couldn't really filter it other than by using your browser's Find command and trying to ignore all the horrible other things. Oh, and music is global, but the Sorting Hat obtusely made all its decisions according to US release dates.
So along with retiring the Sorting Hat, I have tried to make a new thing that addresses the same curiosity and needs in a slighty more useful manner. I've given it an unmagical name, Spotify New Releases by Genre
, because the underlying rules by which it operates are less magical, but hopefully in a good way. It doesn't eliminate genre errors, but it is much less exuberant about introducing its own levels of confusion over the errors that already exist. Instead of dumping everything on a single gigantic page, it lets you control and focus your explorations by genres or sets of them. And it still presents a giant list
, but its giantness is a little more carefully filtered, and you can see it in local popularity order according to any country in which Spotify operates.
It's not the same hat. Maybe you'll love it less. But, then again, maybe more. Either way, feel free to share your love, feedback or despair with @everynoise