Certain recent political events have brought up the topic of news bias, and how most people live in an echo chamber online - their views parroted back to them since like attracts like, so there is rarely any “outsider” input. I’m not here to talk about politics, but I have found it interesting how the same thing occurs in other, completely unrelated areas.

A few months ago (perhaps a year), I started paying for a subscription to Google Play Music. I had uploaded my music library to it a while ago, so I’ve been using the service for years, but I finally decided to switch to relying on streaming rather than my own curated library. I must say, the experience has been fantastic! With few exceptions, all the music I had previously uploaded was available - to the point where I just ended up removing all my own uploaded content. Initially, too, I enjoyed features such as the highlighting of new releases from artists I listen to, as well as suggestions of new artists based on my listening habits.

Recently, though, that former feature has really started to bug me, and has made me question whether services like GPM and Spotify are really music “discovery” services as they claim to be, or if they’re simply echo chambers designed to sell you more of what you like. I mean, obviously, it’s the latter - that’s what makes them money. If I only listen to RnB, why would I want to be suggested an Eric Clapton album? But what has annoyed me is just how persistent it is in trying to, effectively, narrow my musical tastes. I’m a person of wide musical interests, so I must say that - like getting news from your friends on Facebook, finding new music on GPM is probably going result to in a bit of an echo chamber. I’m probably in the minority, but, if I already listen to The Motorleague, why would I also want to listen to seven other bands that are stylistically similar?

Feature request: give me an album or artist you think I won’t like, Google Play.