For the past few months, whenever I experience Spotify, I come away thinking, “Man, Spotify has really become like radio.” If you don’t pay for Spotify’s premium service, it is truly hard to tell the difference. This is not meant as a compliment. It imposes algorithmic playlists. It pushes talk radio (sorry, they call them podcasts now) and generally devotes most of its real estate and algorithms to the “top of the pops.” Sure, it does all that in the guise of personalization, but with much less personality.
You know, all technology companies say that they never want to become the very thing they despised. Microsoft didn’t want to be IBM. Google didn’t want to be Microsoft. Spotify didn’t want to be radio. And nothing captures that more elegantly than this conceptual design for a notional Braun Audio product called 07. It takes its cues from old transistor radios, except it has Spotify inside. It is a creation of Cairo-based Abdelrahman Shaapan. It is pretty stellar — you should check out his work on his Behance. I wonder what Dieter Rams would say about this design.