Adele is now telling Spotify how to play music

If you use Spotify, you may have nothings something different about its interface over the weekend if you wanted to listen to a specific album.

It used to be that Spotify had a “shuffle” button–an icon with two crisscrossing arrows–visible whenever you called up an album. It was there by default, meaning that listeners could immediately listen to songs from the album in random order.

This has not sat well with artists. They spend a lot of time agonizing over the sequencing of the songs on an album. Sometimes the songs need to be in a specific order to tell a story (think Green Day’s American Idiot or The Wall from Pink Floyd). Other times, the artist is looking to provide a listening experience that evolves ebbs and flows to the music. The shuffle button–which first appeared on CD players back in the 1980s–ruins that.

Adele was most pissed by this, especially since she ordered the tracks on her brand new 30 album to weave a story over its twelve songs. She wants people to experience the album in a specific way, the way in which it was designed.

In a demonstration of her clout, she asked that Spotify do away with the shuffle button on the landing page for an album as a default option. And Spotify listened.

Now if you go to any album on Spotify, the default shuffle button is gone. However, you can still go to the “Now Playing” view and find a shuffle icon.

I like it. If you’re going to listen to an album, do it right. Otherwise you’re just cheating yourself out of a proper listening experience.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Adele is now telling Spotify how to play music

  • December 2, 2021 at 12:07 pm
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    Only the flip side (see what I did there) many albums aren’t worth listening to in order, even listen to completely.

    Reply

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