Spotify is testing auto-mixed playlists that work even when they are on shuffle. On a few playlists across the streaming service, they are implementing something that is an upgrade from the “crossfade” function that has been in use for some time now.
As spotted by Music Ally, the new auto-mixing feature can be found if you turn off crossfade in settings and then turn shuffle mode on in a playlist like the drum and bass fix or HouseWerk. As you see from the video below, it beat-matches and transitions between songs pretty seamlessly.
Austin Kramer, head of Electronic Music at Spotify, tweeted the news out so this something they are working on clearly an initiative for the electronic space. A Spotify spokesperson did not offer any further details on the mater, saying to Music Ally, "We are always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this time." Back in 2015, they introduced the “Party” feature with Diplo that was supposed to do a similar thing, though this is apparently a little different.
When it comes to mixing within genres, notably within electronic music, that may be easier for an algorithm to understand, but if it needs to mix jazz into hip-hop, into folk into ambient, then there may be problems as it attempts to deconstruct and analyze each song and how they mesh together in a more eclectic playlist. The art of DJing by humans will always have a bit of soul and character that a computer cannot replicate. This could force humans to step their game up and work on being better mixers.