|I use Apple Music, not Spotify. Hours instead of minutes, apparently...|
At the beginning of 2021, I was presented with a challenge by the Internet: listen to an album from the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die list daily throughout the year. A handy tool (and the sponsorship of the presentation ad I saw) had already been prepared for me: https://1001albumsgenerator.com/. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I gladly clicked the link and signed up. I wound up listening to 209 different albums of a possible 238 (don't quote me on that last number, but it's close enough).
This post is a quick summary of the results of my listening year.
|Bell curve, anyone?|
|And now, with actual values!|
|Why wouldn't you export the year and genres for me?|
The first two metrics I've already mentioned. The other three, though, came as surprises to me. I'll state now that I'm not sure how the site determined the rankings, but I suspect that there's some kind of weighting based on my ranking, and then some division based on the total number of albums I listened to. With that in mind:
- My favorite decade is the 1950s. This seems plausible, given I gave Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles 5 stars for their albums, each released in 1959. It's also possible that, somehow, my list had an overabundance of albums from that decade in general, so regardless of ratings it would be disproportionately represented. /shrug
- My favorite genres are World, Jazz, and Blues. The second and third I acknowledge as being two of my favorites, but World is a surprise. Wikipedia says that World Music includes "styles of music from non-Western countries, including quasi-traditional, intercultural, and traditional music." Also, "music that does not follow 'North American or British pop and folk traditions' was given the term 'world music' by music industries in Europe and North America." Alright, given that broad brush, I can understand that rating better. There were lots of albums on the list that weren't traditional North American or British pop or folk, so that population was probably pretty dense.
- My least favorite genre is Grunge?! This also surprised me until I thought about the fact that most of the pure Grunge albums that I listened to from the list were Pearl Jam and Nirvana, neither of which ever really floated my boat (Stone Temple Pilots FTW!). I suppose I was a non-traditional Grunge fan in that way, so this rating also seem plausible.
|Is... that a real number?|
Apple Music is fantastic. Our service of choice is typically Apple Music (hence my usage of their data). Their library is really wide; I only recall struggling to find one or two albums there. We have Music as one of the services selected in our Apple One subscription, which has served us really well. We actively use 5 services (Fitness, TV, News, iCloud, and Music), so the cost was worth it compared to a family plan from other music services. Note that I am NOT shilling for Apple here, but if you find you use two or three of those services anyway, it might be worth getting the larger subscription.
Learning algorithms are only as good as their input. I neglected to actually rate any of the albums I listened to in my streaming service of choice. As a result, the suggestions I now get are... well, all over the place. While variety is the spice of life, if you actually do want your streaming service to suggest things you might actually like, you need to let it know the kinds of things you like. Oops. :-)
Listen on repeat? Probably not. This is likely to be the only year I participate in this album generator exercise. It was experimental to begin with and, while I'm glad I did it, I didn't enjoy it so much that I feel compelled to complete the top 1000 albums play through. Then again... it surfaced some stuff that I absolutely adore, so never say never...
Wanna see the goods? If you're really interested in the full history of my trip, I think it's publicly accessible here: https://1001albumsgenerator.com/mysocialalert. If that link doesn't work for you, please let me know. Note that I started this journey alone, but at one point some of my coworkers caught wind of it and thought they might accompany me. A few of them did for a step or two, but ultimately this was a trek of 1000* steps primarily done solo. (queue Boulevard of Broken Dreams)
I hope you've enjoyed this summary. If you're inspired to take a similar journey, I'd be interested in knowing! Drop me a line if you're so inclined...
ADDENDUM: I wish I could allow commenting, but unfortunately the last time they were public, I received an inordinate amount of spam. If you need to get hold of me, you can email me at rusty ayat rustybentley diggity-dot com. :-)