Apple Music’s Recommendation Algorithm Is Drunk

Apple Music’s For You recommendation algorithm can suggest some interesting music, but it seems to be stuck in a loop of confusion for me. Today, in the Fridays’ Albums section, two of the four quartets of albums are just wrong.

The first one is this:

Tindersticks

While the top two albums are indeed records I like a lot, and I do like David Byrne’s music, I HAVE NEVER LISTENED TO TINDERSTICKS. Apple Music is constantly showing me “Because you listen to Tindersticks” in this section. I had to look up the band; I’d never heard of them. I have never listened to them, unless, somehow, a song of theirs came up on an Apple Music radio station I played.

The problem is that they keep telling me I listen to this band but I don’t know anything about them, and now I don’t care. Is “Tindersticks” paying Apple Music to be featured this way? Has someone hacked my Apple Music account to play music by this band? Is it a typo for Teruhisa Fukuda, whose latest album I have listened to a number of times? I make a Recently Played playing in my iTunes library going back 5 years, and THERE IS NOT ONE SONG BY TINDERSTICKS.

Okay, that’s the first. But the second today is this:

Canned heat

I know Canned Heat, I’ve heard their music. I remember 🎶 “I’m going to the country, la-de-da-de-da-de-la-la.” It was in the Woodstock movie, right? I may even have owned that album when I was a teenager. But, like Tindersticks, I HAVE NEVER LISTENED TO CANNED HEAT ON APPLE MUSIC. I checked my Recently Played playlist. Again, it’s possible that one song came up in an Apple Music radio station, because tracks you hear there don’t show up as recently played. And, to be honest, none of the four artists in this quartet are bands I particularly care for.

This is really annoying, like all those recommended albums that I dislike but still get more recommendations for the same artists. This makes me wonder if Apple Music is possessed. Possessed by evil spirits who like Tindersticks and Canned Heat.

7 thoughts on “Apple Music’s Recommendation Algorithm Is Drunk

  1. Just another example of the change to Apple’s mantra from “It just works” to “It just DOESN’T work anymore!”

  2. If your Apple Music recommendations Algorithm is drunk, then mine was an alcoholic and always drunk. From the start the recommendations were way off. It kept insisting that I listen to hip-hop and rap, the two music categories I never, ever listen to.
    I found an algorithm that was sober and it is called “Spotify”. I’m completely embedded in the Apple ecosystem except for my streaming music.
    Hopefully, one day, I can go back to Apple Music.

  3. Late in a 6-month free trial through Verizon Wireless, I have cancelled my subscription to Apple Music because of this same issue complicated by my infuriated reaction to the treatment of classical music as utilitarian: for sleep, for melancholy, for reading, for whatever denies classical music value on its own merits. Thanks, but I’ll keep Spotify. It knows me better, and the playlists show it.

  4. “I know Canned Heat, I’ve heard their music”. You didn’t have one of their albums in your iTunes collection at any time? That’s what annoys me most: Apple Music grabs all the Genius information based on my MP3 collection and recommends me bands, that are only there for historical reasons, but if I even heard them that was decades ago.

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