So Spotify is publicising an App that tells you your year in stats. Apparently I have listened to 19,000 minutes of music, which is 321 hours.
I am not complaining, I love to get stats, after all I am a researcher. However the first problem I have is that I want to understand the context for that? Is it a lot or a little? It sounds like ‘Big Data’ but I have nothing to compare it with.
They tell me my top genres which is interesting in that it confirms that I listen to hardly any guitar music nowadays. However what on earth is ‘Shimmer Pop’?
..however the key point is that Spotify is a controlled environment, it doesn’t know what goes on outside of its own pocket universe. In my case, if i REALLY like something I will download it to keep in iTunes.
So in terms of my activity Spotify is really the outer area of a dartboard, it misses the bullseye. New Order, Blur, Public Service Broadcasting, Mercury Rev live in a divergent digital universe as far as my listening is concerned. Or to put it another way, like the dartboard, Spotify takes up the vast majority of my listening, but not the REALLY good stuff. As illustrated recently by Spotify emailing me tell me that based on my musical listening I would really like a band called…. Kraftwerk.
So all in all it really does show the dangers in Big Data as nearly every Big Data set has a caveat.
Or as we are up to number 6 in the countdown tomorrow I will leave the final words to Number 6 himself.