Artist Explorer is easy and fun, and you’re practically guaranteed to find artists of interest to you that you’ve never heard or even heard about.
Spotify software engineer Faruk Sahin and technical writer Chris Hughes built Artist Explorer during Spotify Hack Week in early November, using deep data about the relationships between from Spotify and its subsidiary The Echo Nest, through their APIs. The design really brings it home, but our favorite thing about it is the way it connects any music fan to such a great range of fresh music to listen to, and how easily it does it.
Start with any artist, and click your way through to any of the others to bring up a list of more artists to listen to that sound similar. It’s like “choose your own adventure,” but for the massive amount of music on Spotify:
In addition to exploring by artist, you can do the same with genres, using the search box on the top right of Artist Explorer:
Scroll up to expand the view, or down to zoom in; the animation is really quite smooth. And when you click any artist, you’ll hear their top tracks, popularity score, genres, biography, and more.
To delve even deeper into the world of music makers, you can expand the maximum number of artists included, and keep on exploring for as long as you want. And the whole time, you get to listen to the bands you’re looking at. It’s an incredibly efficient way to work your way through a few new paths through the world of music starting from a whatever artists you’re currently into.
New Music For You That Is Fun and Easy, Even If You Feel Lazy
Artist Explorer is yet another cure for lazy listener syndrome — and yet you can be lazy and still use it to work your way through an astonishing amount of music in a very short time, saving the treasures you find for later, by collecting them into playlists or into your Spotify collection, because the app is so easy and fun to use. And the music you find, you can keep.
“We wanted to build something cool to demonstrate what you can do with Spotify Web APIs,” recalled Sahin. “Also, we wanted to visualise artist relationships in a natural way to make discovering new artists easier. Since the artists relationships can be taught as a big connected graph, we thought visualising it as connected components would make sense.”
“As all listeners know, loving music is about more than just playing music,” added Hughes. “Music is such an interesting landscape, and Artist Explorer is just one of an infinite variety of such tools that can be used to explore it in a novel fashion.”
“Our Web API gives developers a unique opportunity to build serious apps for music lovers. Its collection of powerful endpoints, combined with even richer music metadata services like those of the Echo Nest API, make it possible to build truly rich, creative, innovative applications. Our aim here was to set out to create a fast and fun way to discover new artists, and get a taste of their music. We are receiving fantastic feedback from people who have already discovered new artists and new sub-genres through Artist Explorer.”
Anyone can agree that there’s so much amazing music waiting to be discovered by each of us, for each of us. It’s always a good time to freshen up your headphones and speakers with some new artists, and this, again, is just such an easy and fun way to go about it. (Some Spotify staffers have been playing it as a game, to see who can get from one artist to another in the fewest moves.)
Give it a whirl: