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Apple Music’s strength is in its curated editorial playlists, but the service has been steadily improving algorithmic playlists over the past year. This continues with the launch of a new playlist feature called Heavy Rotation Mix. This self-updating playlist takes into account the songs you’ve recently been listening to the most. (Apple’s description reads, “The tracks you can’t get enough of lately, all in one place.”)

Apple Music will keep updating your Heavy Rotation Mix every day. The playlist will include 25 of your top songs from your recent listening history. This can result in some surprises—I was puzzled to find lots of cat-themed songs by The Kiffness in my Heavy Rotation Mix. Then I remembered that I’ve only been using Apple Music while running these days, and during my runs, I have a habit of playing the Cat Jams EP on loop.

The Heavy Rotation Mix collects your music listening history from all of the devices connected to your Apple Music account, so if your kids have hijacked your iPad or HomePod to listen to an artist on loop, expect that to reflect in your Heavy Rotation Mix.

This new playlist differs from your Favorites Mix playlist in Apple Music. The Favorites Mix is updated once a week and appears to choose your top songs from a across a longer listening period. In my case, the Favorites Mix has songs that I’ve played a lot over the past year, while Heavy Rotation Mix has my top songs from the past month or so.

The new playlist is a solid addition to Apple Music’s algorithmic mixes—most of which appear under the Made for You section in the app. To find them all, open the Apple Music app and go to the Listen Now tab. If you scroll down, you’ll see the Made for You section, collecting the following playlists:

  • Heavy Rotation Mix

  • Favorites Mix

  • Get Up! Mix

  • Chill Mix

  • New Music Mix

Editorial versus algorithmic playlists

The difference between an editorial playlist and an algorithmic one is simple: An editorial playlist is the same for everyone who uses Apple Music, while the algorithmic ones are personalized to your tastes. Your Heavy Rotation Mix will be unlike anyone else’s, unless of course you have a soulmate who listens to the same songs that you do, with the same frequency (if so: weird). If you don’t like Apple’s algorithmic playlists, here’s how you can create your own self-updating smart playlists on Apple Music.

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