“You gotta listen to this one song. It’ll change your life, I swear.”
When Natalie Portman’s manic pixie dreamgirl archetype dropped a knowledge bomb on a young Zach Braff in the form of The Shins, the moment represented way more than just an indie meet cute. In retrospect, it was a major sign of things to come: personalized song recommendations were gearing up to enter the mainstream. Half a year later, Braff’s Grammy-winning, platinum-selling compilation soundtrack for Garden State firmly established that a handpicked list of songs could be a legitimate musical form in its own right. And the modern playlist was born.
All of which sounds a little bizarre to our ears today. Was there really a time when playlists weren’t an essential part of how we listen to music? Yes – at least not in the way we’ve quickly accepted as normal. Sure, the radio always provided a sort-of playlist function, but its one-size-fits-all approach left out anyone who didn’t fit into its very specific (and repetitive) mold. The modern, personalized playlist is decidedly a result of modern technology. Without the CD burners and a-la-carte song purchases made possible by cutting-edge 2004 tech, collecting independent songs together simply couldn’t happen. And neither could playlists.
So the way we listen has always evolved alongside technology. And 2016 is no exception – in an age where streaming has opened up the world’s music to everyone, personalized playlists have exploded in diversity, quality, and abundance. Playlists are now designed around a rainbow of possible moods and life moments – everything from making breakfast in bed to spending the night hanging at home with your cats. Every genre, from Acid Jazz to Zydeco, can be explored at the touch of a button. And for those too independent to fit into any categories whatsoever, Spotify’s Discover Weekly and Apple Music’s ‘For You’ features personalize each list for an audience of one.
The result is that all of us are able to access a world of music that was previously reserved for only the biggest collectors and record junkies. We’re listening differently. More and more Sonos listeners are choosing curated radio stations and custom playlists over individual tracks. Less time spent searching for single songs, more time spent filling your home with a continual flow of music. So in response, we’ve evolved our Sonos App to make this new style of listening as fast and easy as possible.
Speaking of ease, you’ll now be able to tap a song and have it play instantly, instead of having to select “Play Now” or “Play Next.” Not only that, but when that song ends Sonos will now immediately play whatever is next.
For those times when curated playlists just aren’t cutting it and you want to build your own to perfectly compliment the mood, you still can! We know our faithful Sonos friends have grown quite used to the ins and outs of the current app, so rest assured you will never lose a queue you’ve built because you accidentally hit a song or are still getting used to hitting *** instead. It will always prompt you before you replace it with a new queue.
It all adds up to a faster connection between you and your music, designed for the way we listen now. So go ahead – update your Sonos and press play on a brand new playlist and listen out loud.
Already updated? Test out the improved playlist experience with one of our favorites.