"My brother is too kind. He was eminent when my eminence was only imminent." -Niles Crane
Question #93179 posted on 06/19/2020 8:56 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board and Alumni,

Obscurify is an open-source Spotify plugin that compares what you listen to against a database of several hundred thousand Obscurify users worldwide (and in your area) to assign you an Obscurity rating from 1-100%: the higher the rating, the more obscure your taste in music compared to your peers.

The Board has long been a haven of the esoteric and unusual, and the music recommendations I've seen over the 13 years I've read the Board are often things I'd see, well, nowhere else.

And so, Board, Board, no longer on a Wall,
Whose musical taste is obscurest of them all?

--it's D.A.R.E. or yayfulness probably

P.S. as is your wont, additional observations, speculations and musical introspections are most welcome


Dear you,

Carl and I share a Spotify account and this was our result:


I'm pretty sure this has to do with the fact that Carl loves Christian rock and six out of ten of our top genres are some form of worship music. Even though I listen to Spotify way more than he does... Odd. 

-Goldie Rose


Dear Doctor,

My music is more obscure than 92% US Spotify users. Also, my 4th top genre is post-teen pop??

-Tally M.


Dear somebody,

68%, baby. Like with most things in my life, I'm fairly average but with a little kick of edginess. Also, in case you're wondering what trash I listen to while passing the time at work:

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As for why Alexandre Dumas is my #5 all-time... I listened to a quarter of the Count of Monte Cristo audiobook (which was still like 25 hours), lost my place, and gave up. Someday I'll return to it. Much like the Count of Monte Cristo himself.

Also does anyone know what permanent wave is and why it's in my top genres...?

-Van Goff


Dear it's not me,

I'd be interested to know the methodology behind quantifying something like "obscure."

I gave it a try tonight and came up with 87% obscure, with a score of 168. It says I listen mostly to alternative rock, which tracks, since I've had a list of the 100 top songs of 1997 playing for a bit. (Playlist available on request.) My second most common genre is something called "permanent wave," which Wikipedia helpfully defined as "a hairstyle consisting of styles set into the hair." Sounds made up to me.

Top artists are Fiona Apple, Sufjan Stevens, The Magnetic Fields, The Bee Gees, and Beck. Top tracks are "Epitaph for My Heart," "Trip Like I Do," "Cornflake Girl," and "The Weight of My Words."

Sorry to disappoint. Guess I'd better go listen to some more Yoshida Brothers to up my score.

- D. A. R. E.


Dear probably,

About the least surprising statistic here was my top genres, although I think "otacore" is a terrible name and to be honest I really don't understand how it beat out both k-pop and modern rock:




For reference, I didn't hop on the Spotify train until 2019 because I spent all of my time in junior high and high school listening to music that was too niche to be available for streaming. It took until last year for me to 1) realize that Spotify has expanded its selection dramatically since 2012 and 2) move even the slightest bit closer to the center of the mainstream musical spectrum.

Or so I thought. The rest of my results were a little frightening, and definitely worse than I expected.




It's a mystery to me how Against the Current somehow didn't even break my top 5, and a little concerning that somehow AmaLee is #1. I really don't feel like I listen to her that frequently, but the numbers don't lie.

I will grant that I habitually put Red Velvet on repeat for extended periods--although apparently not recently. 




This all-time tracklist is most certainly skewed by the fact that I use Spotify to play background music during Dungeons and Dragons sessions, although I'd be lying if I said I didn't put the Dark Souls soundtrack on purely for fun sometimes:




If this list doesn't speak for itself, I really don't know what does.




Dear reader,

I share a Spotify account with my wife (no ads! it's great!), but from the looks of the playlist I do a lot more listening. Stuff I noticed, by the numbers:

  • Obscurity rating: 92%
  • Obscurity score: 159
  • Number of songs by Jimmy Eat World on my top 50 songs of all time list: 27
  • Number of bands on my top 50 bands of all time list that I listened to once and then forgot about, which makes me wonder how this was generated: 10

Overall, it looks like my forays into forgotten Midwest emo and obscure punk from Spain were enough to cancel out my Jimmy Eat World obsession, but not enough to beat a few of the other writers. Thanks for sharing the link!



Dear D.A.R.E.fulness,

I popped on and got a score of 97% obscure, which surprised me, but then again, I don't listen to almost anything pop and like listening to theater stuff pretty often. I wouldn't say my stuff is that obscure, but I guess I listen to enough off-the-beaten-path music that it pulls me further away from mainstream.

So there you go.



Dear friend, 

Apparently some people here thought that I might have a high rating due to my enjoyment of "global music." 

However, I need not remind you that my top band is Coldplay, which makes me basic AF. Most of my other 'favorite' bands are well-known artists like Jason Mraz, OneRepublic, Jack Johnson, and... BTS. 

My music taste is not obscure and I don't think I could ever truthfully claim it was... even if I do like German pop and Northern African Rock. 

My score was 53%. 





Dear Aziraphale,

I was thinking that my musical tastes weren't all that obscure, and that I'd score 60-70%. Turns out my obscurity rating is 94%. According to the site, the happiness, energy, and danceability of my music is lower than average (27.5%, 12.3%, 7.1% respectively), but my acousticness is a whopping 86.3% higher.

I'll just retreat back to my moody/sad indie music now.



Dear you,

91% sounds about right. Listen to my music, it's awesome!





Dear friend,

My obscurity rating is 84%, and the only reason for that is because not enough people listen to Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox.

-guppy of doom