Last week Forgotify came into being. Its sole purpose is to play songs from Spotify that have never been played by anyone before.
Surprisingly, this amounts to quite a lot of songs – about 4 million, or 20% of all of the songs on Spotify. The list is regularly refreshed, so songs which do get played are removed, and any new unplayed songs that are added to Spotify’s catalogue are included.
When you open the site and click ‘Start Listening’, Forgotify will select a random unplayed song, and then open the Spotify Web player allowing you to listen to it. For this reason, you will need to have a Spotify account. If you don’t like the song, just click ‘Next’, and another random unplayed song will play. The communication with the Spotify Web Player was a little flaky when I tried in Firefox but it did work eventually. However, some songs won’t play due to geographical restrictions – Spotify may not have a license to stream that song in your country, and this happened to me on a couple of occasions. And any songs you listen to will get scrobbled to last.fm if you have linked your last.fm and Spotify accounts.
Quite a few of the ‘songs’ Forgotify found for me were not in fact music at all – one was some 1980s punk poetry, and another was recorded speeches by someone I’d never heard of. Eventually it found, somewhat fittingly, ‘This Record is Broken’ by Gary Myrick – an early-1980s new wave artist. last.fm reported that I was only one of 13 of its users to ever scrobble that song. It’s not bad, I suppose – not the sort of thing I would choose to listen to, and it sounds very much of its time.
I quite like odd little hacks like this that make use of web services in ways that their designers didn’t intend to. Spotify haven’t commented on the launch of Forgortify, but hopefully they will let it be. Maybe someone will discover something fantastic on it, that until now has been ignored by everyone else. Who knows.