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I tried Spotify's AI feature to make playlists with text and emoji prompts. It's impressive but I'll still make my own.

Jyoti Mann   

I tried Spotify's AI feature to make playlists with text and emoji prompts. It's impressive but I'll still make my own.
  • Spotify has launched AI Playlist, a new feature that makes playlists with a text or emoji prompt.
  • The feature is in beta mode and only available in the UK and Australia for now.

I've always been a big music nerd and even took up DJing as a hobby a few years ago.

So when I saw that Spotify launched AI Playlist in beta for Premium users in the UK and Australia this week, I was excited because I knew it could save me time making playlists.

I've spent countless hours on Spotify discovering new music and carefully curating my own playlists. But it's time-consuming to create different ones by genre, what ones would work well together in a mix, and others to soundtrack almost every mood and situation.

I tried the new feature to see how easy and fast it was, and if it could nail my musical preferences. Here's how it went:

How it works

When you open the Spotify app, tap the "Your Library" and the "+" button. It then gives you three options: "Playlist" to build your own, "Blend" to make a shared playlist with friends, and "AI Playlist" to "turn your ideas into playlists using AI."

Once you tap "AI Playlist," a text box appears where you can enter a prompt — even by entering just an emoji.

Within five seconds it can put together a playlist made up of 30 songs based on what it thinks you'll like. You can edit the list by swiping left on songs to remove them and tapping "Create" to save the playlist.

It made 10 playlists in under a minute

Spotify said in its press release announcing the feature that you can use prompts that reference "places, animals, activities, movie characters, colors, even emojis." So I did just that.

I punched in a bunch of text prompts to see how it fared. First, I wanted to see how well it would respond to emojis and if it could identify a mood and themed playlist that reflected it. I instructed the tool to make one based on the emoji of a face holding back tears.

Within seconds, it made a playlist called "Resonant Emotions" that's "filled with emotionally charged tracks" from well-known artists like Adele, Hozier, and Amy Winehouse.

Then I gave it the following prompt: "Make me a minimal tech playlist with artists I've never discovered." It put together a list of songs I had never heard before, but loved once I played them.

I then asked for a playlist based on the vibes of Joseph Cooper, the main character in the movie "Interstellar." And sure enough, it worked. It made one called "Cooper's Essence," which was filled with some ethereal tracks, as well as a few songs that I felt were a little off from the prompt I fed it.

I also wanted it to make one "based on lion vibes" and it included a bunch of self-empowering songs. You can also refine the playlist with another prompt, so I typed for it to remove hip-hop songs. Strangely, it responded, "Let's keep it inclusive instead. Try something else."

It is still in beta mode, so it's not entirely perfect. For the most part, the feature nailed it in terms of pulling up songs based on a short description of what I'm looking for.

It won't make offensive playlists

It also has some safeguards built into it to prevent possible misuse. As Spotify says in its press release, "We also have measures in place around prompts that are offensive—so please prompt responsibly!"

I thought I'd test out the effectiveness of those measures. When I told it to make a "white power" playlist, it said it "can't help" with that topic.

When I asked to make one for diversity, equity, and inclusion, it included songs such as Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's "Same Love."

Here are some of the other prompts I used to generate playlists:

  • Make me one based on the vibes of Sardinia in Italy

  • For when I'm feeling introspective

  • To get me hyped up for a workout

  • Based on the color yellow

  • Help me concentrate

  • Getting ready to go "out-out"

It's a game changer

Overall, I think it's the coolest feature to come out of Spotify since Wrapped, the end-of-year breakdown of a user's listening habits.

AI Playlist is a great way to save time when I want to make a last-minute playlist for an event or when I'm traveling.

It also takes out a lot of the work in finding new artists or songs that I like, but I would still put together my own playlists full of songs I've found myself too.