I’m driving somewhere with my friend Jin, and we leave Spotify playing in the car. We have no clue what song is queued up next, but as each of them begin to play, we comment things like “Natasha I think you would like this song,” “Jin, this would go well with your ___ playlist!” Understanding each other’s taste in music requires us to listen to a few of the other person’s playlist to get a grasp of what they like, but we go by feel, and have no systematic way of determining what song someone would like.

In this article, I’m going to show you how Spotify makes guesses with the use of decision trees and inputs of your playlist data. Since a person usually saves music that they listen to a lot, we can start getting a sense of their music taste by looking through every single song they’ve saved. …

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