Collaborative Playlists

playlistsCollaborative playlists seem to be all the rage.  Fred Wilson writes how he collaborated with his twitter followers to create a primal screen playlist.  Jason talks about combining twitter search, hashtags and Lucas’s playTwitter. Twisten and Blip let you twitter songs and play tweets of others. But I’ve been creating and enjoying collaborative playlists for over a year with Spotify.  Collaborative playlists are fun and a great way to share music and Spotify’s approach makes it dead easy.    You just create a playlist (easy as iTunes), mark it as ‘collaborative’ and share the URL of the playlist with your friends (or the world). Anyone with the URL to the shared playlist can add to, delete or reorder songs on the playlist.  Of course, the down side is that someone can really mess up your playlists.  I have a few suggestions  that could make Spotify collaborative playlists even better:

  1. Add version control to playlists – so when some vandal adds “Never gonna give you up”  50 times to your playlist you can recover
  2. Allow playlist editors to add tags or notations to their additions so you can see why a particular song was added to the playlist
  3. Allow for lengthy text description of playlists and tracks in the playlist (like the XSPF supports)
  4. Let me share a read-only version of a collaborative playlist
  5. Create a directory of playlists so that Spotify users can easily find public and collaborative playlists by name, tag or description.

One day perhaps the whole world will be able to enjoy Spotify’s collaborative playlists.

  1. #1 by Andreas Ehn on February 24, 2009 - 2:31 am

    Thanks! All good suggestions, and we’ll probably implement at least some of them within time, but I think the quickest fix to playlist vandalism that we can build is an append-only flag. That would take care of the most flagrant problems with minimal UI complexity.

    Undo – rather than full version control – would also be good, but it has its issues in a collaborative setting.

  1. Letting everyone control my music » Blog Archive » The Code Train
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