Like many Internet users, I recently learned of the pudding.cool tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to rate one’s taste in music via Spotify.
The premise is simple: a user calls up pudding.cool in his or her browser, selects the “How Bad Is Your Spotify?” option, and logs in to the streaming app to find out. The AI tool then rates the user’s taste in music based on a catalogue of “objectively good music” curated from sources such as Pitchfork, Stereogum, and NPR Tiny Desk Concerts among others.
The user will also be prompted to respond to questions from the AI tool to continue on with the reading and produce a final rating.
Interested to see how my musical taste fared, I let the AI tool rate my Spotify account. I wasn’t at all surprised by what I found out.
The AI tool told me I was 42% basic and noted that my Spotify account contains a lot of pop music. (It does. I like catchy pop music, what can I say)?
In addition, I learned that my love of country music, Christmas music, and worship music contributed to my overall “bad” score. (I don’t care, I admit that I love all of these types of music unashamedly).
But most unsurprisingly, I learned that I “stan” artists such as Taylor Swift to “an uncomfortable extent.” (Again, I don’t care. I’ve grown up with TSwift, know every word to every one of her songs, go to all her concerts, and frequently write about her music on this blog).
Using the AI tool was quick and fun, plus it gave me a laugh. (Because who doesn’t enjoy being roasted in good jest every once in a while)?
It also reminded me that while my taste in music may not be “good” compared to other people’s standards, it’s my taste. I listen to country music, Christmas music, and worship music because I enjoy it, not because someone is holding a gun to my head. Like anyone else’s, my musical taste is as unique as my fingerprints, and bad or not, it’s part of what makes me me.
Someone else may dislike it. They might even write off my taste–and by association, this blog–as “bad” or “uncultured” or even “juvenile,” but it’s authentic. Because I’m not ever going to be the type of person who says I like something if I don’t. I think my rating demonstrates just the opposite–I know what I like and I stick with it.
I’ve met all kinds of people in the real world who have had much to say about my musical taste and I haven’t let that influence me. (My personal favorite is a friend I met in college who was shocked to learn I knew who Fleetwood Mac is. Which is fair, I suppose, because I wasn’t exactly subtle about my love of country music back then. Or ever, really). And no offense, pudding.cool, I’m not going to let an AI tool influence my taste in music, either.
I’ll keep on playing country music, Christmas music, worship music, and Taylor Swift’s music on repeat. If that means my taste is “bad” or “uncool,” or “lame,” then okay. I fully embrace it.
PS: Say hi or join in the fun and roast me on Spotify here.