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You Have Bad Taste in Music

· Music,UX,google

We all do — at least that’s my theory when we’re listening to others’ playlists. This realization came after listening to my Spotify songs with family on my Echo. There was a lot of “Alexa, next” being spoken but even more often was using the Spotify Android app to shuffle through songs until we found one suitable for all.

This issue is likely common when a multi-user device is accessing a single user’s preferences. For Echo and Google Home (and Assistant or Alexa-enabled products), it means a few challenges:

  • Mashing together all the listeners’ tastes to find songs that would be enjoyable by most
  • Making it easier to skip songs or replay songs by members of a group
  • Allowing for multiple people to add or modify a playlist

The canceled Nexus Q had offered up back in 2012 a party mode that allowed users to pick a song on their phone and then tap it to the Q and through NFC, add their song to the playlist. It assumed a lot of moving parts were working but the reality together is that catering to a group is still a kluge-y experience.

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