Create your perfect Spotify playlist with Microsoft's MixShape

MixShape shows a graphically representation of your songs

As part of its never-ending promo-push for Internet Explorer, Microsoft has teamed up with Spotify and DJ James Lavelle to produce a browser-based playlist service called MixShape.

It can make new situation-appropriate playlists for your listening delight as well as modify your existing ones to make them better.

Better how? Essentially you can import one of your existing playlists for MixShape so the tracks are arranged in the right order for tempo – you can choose a particular 'curve' you want your music to be arranged in, so for a party you might want it to be slow to start, then upbeat later or for exercise you might need an endurance curve.

MixShape rearranges your music to match that tempo curve, making sure each is appropriate and throwing out songs that might be too slow or just not fit in. It will then find you other Spotify songs which do match and are also to your taste.

A track is represented as a shape on the curve, hence the name. You can see a clever graphical representation of the reordering of the tracks as it works.

The service uses music intelligence from Echo Nest to order the tracks, so rest assured - it won't be chucking Pink into your Britpop playlist.

MixShape can also extend playlists for you - say you have an hour long playlist you want to extend for a party. No problem.

And MixShape can also completely auto-generate new playlists for you - tell it what you're going to be doing (sitting at work, exercising and the like) and it can either give you an automatically generated playlist featuring tracks curated by James Lavelle.

All out for touch

Of course, the purpose of all this is to promote Internet Explorer 10 and encourage developers to produce more apps and services that take advantage of the touch version of IE10 in Windows 8.

"We've been doing several app demonstrations around HTML5," UK Internet Explorer head Gabby Hegerty told TechRadar. "And we're obsessively talking about touch browsing using Windows 8 and Internet Explorer.

"Traditionally we've been talking about speed on browsers, but essentially now they're all pretty comparable. With IE10 the engineering team really wanted to strip back and think about what is it that will make the difference in terms of web browsing and we really believe it is touch browsing, they wanted to make it a first class experience alongside apps."

The MixShape team is also running a competition, to find the UK's best MixShape. The winner will receive a Windows 8 tablet, an Xbox 360, a Windows Phone HTC 8X, a year's subscription to Spotify and a framed copy of their MixShape signed by James Lavelle – presumably it will be a nice colourful curve for your wall.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.