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Plex just changed the game when it comes to music playlists that aren't terrible

Plex's new Super Sonic system actually listens to your music to create perfect playlists.

Published onAugust 12, 2021

  • The new Plex Super Sonic feature ditches metadata-based playlist creation.
  • Instead, the new system “listens” to your music and crafts appropriate playlists from that knowledge.
  • The new feature is only available to Plex Pass customers.

When you create an automatic playlist on your music streaming platform of choice, it is almost certainly based on metadata. In other words, a track by Radiohead will get paired with tracks by artists in similar genres, as well as other Radiohead tracks.

However, in the case of Radiohead, playlists can get messy. Early guitar-based Radiohead doesn’t exactly mix well with In Rainbows-era Radiohead. Not only does this cause problems when choosing what other artists should be on the playlist, but even the Radiohead songs on the playlist can clash. This is a problem that the new Plex Super Sonic feature is going to attempt to fix.

See also: I ditched Google Play Music for my own Plex server

Super Sonic uses an “advanced neural network” to actually “listen” to your library. That way, when you make a playlist based on a hard-rocking song by The Police, you get other hard-rocking songs — not some sappy Sting solo tracks.

This will change the game when it comes to automatic playlists. However, the feature is built into Plex’s standalone music player called Plexamp, which is exclusive to Plex Pass users. That means Plex fans on the free tier will be left out.

There’s a lot more to Plex Super Sonic, though.

Plex Super Sonic: A bevy of features for music lovers

Along with the new sound-based playlist creation tool, Super Sonic can do other cool things:

  • Mixes For You: This Plex Super Sonic feature looks at the albums you’ve had on heavy rotation recently, clusters them into mixes, and then sprinkles in sonically similar albums.
  • Track and album radios: This feature replaces Plex Mix. It will play either tracks or full albums that sound sonically similar.
  • On This Day: This will tell you what albums in your library came out on whatever day it is. It will create a playlist of sonically similar albums for you.

Super Sonic is available now in the latest version of Plexamp. You’ll need to enable it in your Plex Media Server first, and it doesn’t support servers based on ARM CPUs. You can find more information on this in the Plex blog post.

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