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[FEEDBACK] What do you think of "Flow"?



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The biggest issue, as mentioned by others, is Flow just seems to play the most popular track by an artist over and over again and makes you hate it even if you initially liked it. Like, when I start Flow I just click through the first 5 tracks because they are the same, and then I'm just waiting for the other usual suspects to pop up. And I don't really want to "dislike" the song but there is no other way.
So:
  • every band in existence wrote only one song, their main hit, no exceptions!
  • it pushes you towards popular music in general, which creates a feeling of listening to local radio station; it never tries to go from something more well-known in a genre towards something less popular, always the other way around.
  • it never forgives and never forgets, once it assumes you like some genre, it will be throwing at you band after band after band of that genre and there is just no way out of this. My bane is indie rock, I have no idea where I crossed the line but now it smothers me with those. Also, due to the initial issue it is the same "every band has only one track" syndrome, mind you.
  • it tries to force feed you some music, like, I need to dislike every Mumford and Sons track in existence to stop seeing them in my Flow.
  • it randomly throws some music in just because the artist is from my country.
Userlevel 6
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Thanks all for sharing your thoughts around Flow, we will keep monitoring this post in order to collect all your feedback and sending them to the team in charge 😉
My ideas on the Flow problems (and how to improve the service)

  • Most probably the real product problem is the choice of product metrics valuing total listens more than user retention when introducing recommendation changes.
  • I believe people generally don't generally care about new music and listen to the most catchy popular tunes they know, probably we can say the same even about Deezer users. Music just finds them this way or another (mostly through heavy marketing). Other people are more new music-hungry though. They subscribe to musical topics on FB, Reddit, etc., go through reviews and new album releases, use the discovery services such as Flow. Hence the music choice of the latter is more consistent with their own musical taste and more conscious. You can separate "discovery indifferent" users from the "discovery oriented" ones by the fact (or frequency) of Flow usage and value the listen events of the latter users higher when training the Flow algorithm.
  • Flow makes a playlist ignoring the idea of song sequence, e.g. a slow tender song can be followed by an angry crust punk track. I can see two product options for fixing that, each one needs a feature for guessing the tempo of a track (which is easy). Also the predominance of major or minor can be detected more or less easily. So Flow can either enforce the next song to not be completely different on both scales from the previous one or have a (killer) feature to set the approximate tempo and tonality for the whole playlist. The next feature to implement is global shortcuts for altering those.
  • My personal experience tells me that sometimes I want more or less recent music but sometimes I want a blast from the past. With "recent music" mean there were rather short 1-3 month periods when I generally explored genres of avantgarde black metal or early trip hop or Russian rap or just found a super-cool artist who dominated my playlist for a couple of weeks. It would be super-nice to have an option to mix two sources of recommendations: one calculated on the most broad time window technically possible, and the other one calculated on the last week or two. Depending on the recommending mechanism the mixing and filtering of the two sources can be done on server or on client
  • Probably Flow needs time to "get" my taste. I don't have that much time to listen through so a cool option would be to train it by hand. Let the Flow make a playlist for me - most probably I know 80% of the tunes there despite I do not have them in my history. Let me throw the songs I don't want to hear out of the playlist. This way I would be able to get a more or less good playlist in 5 minutes not in 3 hours of listening and clicking NEXT all the time
  • I guess Last.fm integration might be good for the Flow to make a heap of data to train on. Song identification can be a problem here though
Userlevel 7
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thanks for the feedback Everyone, just to let you know that Android users can now block artists on Deezer! Please update your app to the 6.0.5.271 version!

To block an artist you need to open their page on Deezer and go to the 3 dots on the top.
Userlevel 1
Works really well for me. Keep up the good work. Would like it if there was a option to exclude from flow recommendations - so I may have a track favourited but choose not to allow this to contribute to flow recommendations. Or have a personal flow playlist where I can add certain tracks into a playlist and it will create a flow from that.
I m one month with Deezer, I am tired of fabricating playlists on Spotify especially as I love tons of music styles but particularly German electronic music. I took’ deezer only for slightly better sound quality and for flow. The flow app would be perfection only if it was not playing the same songs over and over again from the top tracks. I had to block songs I like because they are playing too often. I also get too much of the top charts songs (which I usually hate) and not enough of what I do actually listen. I am also sad that you can only like up to 2000 songs, it’s very blocking. But Appart of that I am happy
Flow choices seem to stay stale with no way of dismissing a flow selection. You end up with the same 5 flow playlists for eternity with barely minimal switching up over time. Would be useful to have the ability to dismiss a flow queue and refresh for another one.
Also, random songs that show up despite never having listened to the genre.
Thanks helene.deezer for starting this thread!

I find Flow to be bafflingly repetitive, and there are plenty of posts on numerous threads expressing similar dissatisfaction, some dating back nearly a year.

With 962 favorite tracks, a playlist with 481 songs, 99 artists and 23 albums in my library, this certainly would not seem a lack of data issue as is often suggested by replies, but rather the algorithm is fundamentally flawed.

It would be nice to know if this is even considered a known issue by Deezer, and if so, is there an ETA for a fix?

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