Usefulness of genres

hello - I have used Spinitron for several years and have a couple of issues.

I am finding the “Genre” field to be both limited and useless – there are only FIVE genres of music?? – in many cases it is inaccurate and cannot be edited or changed. I would like to see it done away with. What purpose does it serve?

2nd issue: I would like to be able to export leftover, unplayed entries to another (new) playlist to avoid having to do data entry twice. Is this possible?

advance / future playlists for prerecorded shows, and live playlists; and for playlist reporting periods at my station (WRFI Community Radio). thank youm, Dan Aloi Ithaca, NY, USA

1 Like

Don’t ask me what purpose the Genre field serves. I gave up on it years ago for Spinitron’s purposes. Everyone has their own unique understanding of what genre names means and own unique assignment of recordings. Without some consistency the data accumulated in that column I can’t think of how to use it.

But DJs and stations seem still interested in it so we still support it. The menu of genre’s you can choose in the spin entry form is set by your station management in Spinitron, choosing from the master list of genre names. If you think the 5 chosen for your station are not useful, maybe have a chat with management about changing that menu.

It is not normally required to assign a genre value to a spin, in which case you can ignore it and leave it blank. Station management can make the genre a required field - see 1 in the image below, in which case you have to choose from your station’s menu of genres.

If genre is not required at your station then management can set the field as hidable - see 2 in the image below – in which case you can hide it in your playlist options and not even see the silly thing ever again.

Spinitron doesn’t know what you actually played so it should export all the spins in playlists. You can uncheck the rows you did play during export or (and this is probably easier) delete them from the exported data after export.

I agree that 5 genres is probably not enough but where is the sweet spot number? Is there one? I can see some utility for using genre to run a report to determine how much jazz did we play last year, for example. The report might not be specific enough or completely accurate, but it could give you a ballpark number. AW

1 Like

It’s especially tough to make use of the genre field in Spinitron because: how do spins get a genre value? From automation, you usually get nothing. From recognition it’s a bit random: we get something from ACRCloud and if it matches one of the configured genres for your station then we use it, otherwise not. From the playlist entry form we get whatever the DJ gives, which might or might not be influenced by autocomplete suggestions or the “Did you mean?” search. Then finally there’s import, which is pretty hit and miss too.

So even if you had the right number of genres set in the menu config, what’s the chance that at the end of the day you’ve got usable data in that column?

Looking back, I wish I’d never given genres any place in Spinitron but what’s done is done. A station manager can uncheck the Enable checkbox for the Genre row of the Playlist fields setup that I showed above. This is probably the best bet.

Here in the Great White North we need the genres, at least to a certain degree. I have re-configured the “Release Custom Field” to CRTC Categories. The CRTC groups all music into two categories Popular and Specialty. Of the popular music we play 35% has to be defined as Canadian (by their method) but for Specialty music we only have to play 12.5% Canadian. It is an important part of our license in a country of 33 million snuggled up next to a country with 330 million people. That said I still have problems getting enough compliance (manually or automatically) to make the statistics useful unless I spend time going through them.


I use the Genre field regularly to help with compiling our music charts. No, it’s not complete or perfect, but it’s actually pretty close for most newer releases. This helps me to find more of the new songs that get played each week, especially when the host forgets to mark it as New, or forgets to add the year of release, or if neither of those attributes come up in an automated entry or playlist.

I also used to work in Canadian campus/community radio and I can definitely see the advantages Arbie mentions for those stations.