Technology

Spotify will now make a road trip playlist for you

Spotify has launched Soundtrack your Ride, a new feature that generates a road trip playlist for you based on your Spotify history and your answers to a few questions.

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First, the tool asks you to put in your start and endpoints, and then it calculates your route and the length of your trip using Google Maps. This isn’t the first collaboration between the mapping app and streaming service: Google Maps and Spotify integrated a year ago to make it easier to stream audio while navigating.

Then, Spotify gives you a quiz consisting of five questions. It asks you who you’re traveling with, what kind of a car you drive, and what your “drive vibe” is (whatever that means). Spotify also asks you two music-related questions, with limited options. First, it’ll ask you what your favorite genre for the road is (pop, rock, hip-hop / rap, country, indie, EDM, or a genre called “mood”).

Spotify will then ask you to pick “your ultimate driving song” from a mere six choices: Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles,” Jason Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo,” Rascal Flatts’ “Life is a Highway,” Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road,” or “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers. (There is a distinct split here among songs with a road or driving theme and songs with no such mention or connection to car travel.) 

Spotify will generate a playlist with enough songs to fill the length of your trip, which is then saved to your library. Based on my answers — rock, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “high energy” as my drive vibe — Spotify gave me a mix of classic rock and the music I typically listen to. Since Spotify is always so surprisingly on point with its personalized playlists, I felt like the road trip recommendations were less appealing than what I normally get through Spotify’s “Made for You” options.

Soundtrack your Ride also has some critical flaws — namely, that you can’t really use this feature at the point when you’d need it the most, like when you’re on the road and realize you don’t have a playlist. It does technically work on mobile; I could navigate to the URL on the browser on my phone, but the format wasn’t mobile-friendly, with some of the answer options getting cut off. There’s no way to access Soundtrack your Ride through either the desktop or mobile app, at least for now.


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