Finding soundtracks on spotify, mog and rdio

Ethan Kaplan over at hypebot had a problem with how hard it is to find soundtracks by John Williams on music services like Spotify and Rdio.  Here’s what he said:

Try going to Spotify and browsing movie soundtracks. I’ll wait.

Try searching for John Williams. He is not a guitarist, but that is what comes up mixed in with all of the soundtrack work he has done.

And this is not something unique to Spotify, but also endemic to Rdio and Mog. Mog at least has a page of curated soundtracks, but its just as hard to find them “in the wild” as it is on Spotify. The same applies to Rdio.

Well, of course, if you search for John Williams you’ll get music by both the movie composer and by the guitarist. That is only natural, because, you may really want the music by the guitarist and not music by the composer. Let’s see what happens if you go one step further than Ethan did and search for “john williams soundstracks”. Here are the results on Spotify:


Not surprisingly, there are hundreds of matches of John Williams and soundtracks.  Similar results with Rdio:

Lots of John Williams soundtrack results. Rdio even offers human curated playlists filled with soundtracks. What could be better? Likewise, if you just search for soundtracks there are lots of hits:

So I don’t buy Ethan’s premise that it is hard to find soundtracks or music by the movie composer John Williams.  However, Ethan’s point still stands:  finding new music on current generation music services really sucks.  The next generation music services need to do much better to help people explore and discover new music.  Music exploration should be fun and yet we are doomed to try to explore and discover music using a tool that looks like an accountant’s spreadsheet.



  1. #1 by Vijay Satti on July 14, 2011 - 11:29 am

    My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.

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