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Pandora Radio from Music Genome Project

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the something-to-play-with dept.

Music 200

kramthegram writes "The Music Genome Project, an attempt to define music by it's traits in a way similar to DNA defines traits in humans has led to the development of Pandora. Pandora uses the song choices you make to see what traits appeal to you and present you with custom radio station. While limiting you to thumbs up or thumbs down, the "gene" heuristics allows for a very quick adaptation to your musical tastes." Not sure how deep it goes, and I'm not sure I like that it led me from The Who to Styx and Def Leppard. But this is a neat little tool for discovering new music.

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Hurray! (5, Funny)

rbochan (827946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14137991)

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/07/173021 5&tid=141&tid=187 [slashdot.org]
At least this one took over a month.

Re:Hurray! (1, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138002)


Yeah, I wrote in to the editors as well. It's pointless for the users to care when the admins seem not to.

Re:Hurray! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138227)

Quit yer bitchin', it's a free subscription to the new /. classic site.

It's not a dupe, it's an encore presentation!

Re:Hurray! (2, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138018)

And the saddest part is instead of the editors taking the marginal amount of time necessary to just delete this story and instantly post the next in the queue when someone is helpful like you and points out their foible right away, they'll keep their thumbs up their asses like nothing is going on and ignore the issue.

That's because... (2, Informative)

sczimme (603413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138060)


At least this one took over a month.

That's because it was on Fark.com (yesterday? the day before?), so the people that like to copy links from one site to the other thought it was new.

Announcing the Slashdot Genome Project (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138104)

The Slashdot Genome Project

On November 29, 2005 a group of programmers and tech-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of Slashdot stories ever.

Together we set out to capture the essence of stories at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of story attributes or "genes" into a very large Slashdot Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical tech identity of a story - everything from author, source and url, to opinion, bias, trollishness, voice, and of course the rich world of editing and slashvertising. It's not about what a story looks like, or what site they supposedly belong to, or about who reads their stories - it's about what each individual story reads like.

Over the past 5 minutes, we've carefully read the stories of over 10,000 different submitters - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the technical qualities of each story one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as we endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of basements, offices and garages around the world.

It has been quite an adventure, you could say a little crazy - but now that we've created this extraordinary collection of stoiry analysis, we think we can help be your guide as you explore ways to remove duplicates from Slashdot.

We hope you enjoy the journey.

A.N. Cow-Ard
Founder
The Slashdot Genome Project

Re:Hurray! (1)

PhatboySlim (862704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138566)

Also posted on digg 18 days ago: http://www.digg.com/search?search=pandora [digg.com] Be on the lookout for the article relating to how the songs get cached in the temp folder. Why even buy it? Honestly?

OMG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14137993)

Frist post!

Re:OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138155)

Frist post!
 
I think that you'll have to ask Senator Frist a little more nicely than that...

suck it, fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138000)

Eat a dick! from kdawg

But (2, Interesting)

Voltageaav (798022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138011)

How useful will it really be? Sure, I like Punk, Alternative, and Metal. But the different bands have diffrents styles within the genra and I may love one band, but hate another similar one.

Re:But (1)

unik (929502) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138029)

Like they call Tool "progressive rock", but every other band in that genre is embarassing.

Re:But (0)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138114)

... I can't believe I'm commenting on a post about "progressive rock", but I agree actually...

Re:But (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138263)

Check out Dream Theater. Prog Metal that isn't embarassing... If you're into Tool and heavier stuff in general check out Train of Thought first. Feel free to shoot me an email if you want a streaming link. :)

On topic, I was surprised when I put them into Pandora, it threw out a few bands that didn't fit with their style at all. That was about a month ago and I haven't tried it since then, and don't remember exactly what it showed me.

Re:But (1)

unik (929502) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138057)

The Pandora site is actually fairly nice. I put in Tool and it played it, showed the front cover for Aenima, and played a few good sounding songs after.

Re:But (2, Informative)

Troglodyt (898143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138075)

That's not how it works, it lets you hear bands that sound similar, not bands within the same genre.
So the label people put on bands doesn't matter, it's how they sound.

Re:But (3, Interesting)

JesseL (107722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138147)

They have people listening to songs and classifying them by about 400 different attributes. They analyze the commonalities in those attributes between the songs you like and the ones you don't to provide more of what you like.

What it says about what I'm listening to right now:
"Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features a subtle use of vocal harmony, mild rythmic syncopation, varying tempo and time signatures, demanding instrumental part writing and a clear focus on recording studio production."

It works pretty well for me.

Re:But (1)

jferris (908786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138268)

I have to admit that I was sceptical at first, but I am using it to explore bands that have been generically deemed as "Progressive Metal" by starting with Nightwish as my artist. Over six or seven songs, I haven't had to rate anymore yet, because they are constantly bringing things in from the genre that I either already know of and like, or more importantly, exposing me to similar music that I have never heard before.

The only downside that I can see is that it is going to result in me spending more money on CDS. ;-)

Re:But (3, Funny)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138437)

This does work pretty well. Right now, I'm listening to Norwegian Death Metal:

"Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features vocals similar to cats being tortured, drum tracks with the subtlety of a wrecking ball, a bare modicum of musical talent, and a complete disregard for human life."

Re:But (3, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138525)

Man, I do not like this Pandora thing, I tried to use it and entered "Britney Spears" as an artist and it said:

"Based on what you've told us so far, we wont play anything, WTF! Britney Spears? what fucking shitty kind of music do you listen? get the fuck out of here!"

Re:But (1)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138675)

I just tried it out, and it's pretty good once you give it a few different artists. I'm just wondering if one of the 400 attributes is whether the singer can sing on-key.

Now, if there was only a way to make this comptible with an iPOD, then they'd really have something.

It works, just try it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138217)

I've been using Pandora for a while now. Although sometimes it misses badly, it generally gives you bands or songs similar on their 400 qualities. It does not go by genre, it goes by stuff like 'tone progression', 'emphasis on studio production', 'melody', etc. It does NOT go by genre or label. I've discovered some good artists with this thing.

TIP: When you hit the max songs per hour limit, just start a new 'station' with another band/song you like or that was already listed.

Re:But (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138267)

Ive been usng pandora for a few months and find it to be The Best Thing Ever (tm).

It took about 8 or 10 hours to get a good electronica station trained, but once I did the thing plays new music that I like constantly.

I made some art rock stations, and those were much easier. My only real complaint is that it doesn't know more jazz and classical.

Re:But (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138277)

How useful will it be?

n attempt to define music by it's traits in a way similar to DNA defines traits in humans
"Your honor, we identified him as a terrorist because of his music-listening habits. DNA doesn't lie!"

Wanna bet that someone at the NSA isn't thinking along those lines right about now?

[tt]

So then... (4, Interesting)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138023)

Is it anything like Last.FM [www.last.fm] , or does it run independant of other users? If it runs independant of other users, I'd say Last.FM would win in that category, because it's showing you what other people that listen to the same music that you do like.
I think Last.FM and this have the same aim, recommending music you might like, but I think Last.FM pulled it off better.

Re:So then... (4, Informative)

Troglodyt (898143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138138)

Pandora and LastFM are two very different services.
LastFM is recommending music you might like from a social perspective.
Pandora builds on the music genome projects, and lets you hear music that actually sounds similar, not music that other people who like your music might listen to.
It's kind of a double edged sword I guess, since you arguably get to listen to more new music through LastFM, but with Pandora you get to listen to stuff you would never have found through your social channels at all.

Re:So then... (1)

3dr (169908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138703)

I guess this is the main difference between Pandora and other services, such as Audiogalaxy. Pandora recommends based on an analysis of the music itself. Audiogalaxy associates songs/artists by user recommendations.

I can see value in both techniques. Pandora's technique will ignore "fashionable" boundaries since it's looking at a song's essence. Hence recommending Def Leppard as a previous poster mentioned.

Pandora is certainly worth testing out.

Re:So then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138326)

I would hardly agree that Last.fm is the better choice. Why? Because as a blanket statement to the entire rest of the world, I say simply this:

"Your music sucks."

Sure I probably like some fairly mainstream music, as much as the counter-culturist in me is loathe to admit it. But my tasted are, in my mind, extremely varied and after playing around with Last.fm a bit, I'm just not confident I'm being showed anything too interesting. Besides... you know, there is this whole deal that we keep coming back to:

"Your music sucks."

I rest my case.

Call me gay, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138027)

I don't think that music genetics will get anywhere. This is like using the iris to diagnose disease. Totally bogus.
 
We as a human race need to quit listening to so much music and therefore do not need this service. How about this for a change. I listen to a lot of POP music. If I listen to a lot of POP music, that just makes me more entertaining than I already was. And where does that get me? Where, people?

Re:Call me gay, but... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138069)

OK, you're gay.

"We as a human race need to quit listening to so much music and therefore do not need this service. "

Really? I thought we, as a human race, needed to stop killing other humans, stop killing the other intelligent life on this planet (dolphins, etc.) and start exploring the universe in peace and harmony. Silly me. Guess I'm not gay, huh?

If you're right, though, and listening to music is bad - then commenting on Slashdot must be much worse. I guess you'll be leaving, then? Good. Stay gone.

Re:Call me gay, but... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138598)

Really? I thought we, as a human race, needed to stop killing other humans, stop killing the other intelligent life on this planet (dolphins, etc.) and start exploring the universe in peace and harmony. Silly me. Guess I'm not gay, huh?
No, it just means you're not a Bush supporter. Which, means, as frar as the Bushies are concerned, you might as well be gay. Or Canadian. Same diff.

This is soo yesterday's FARK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138034)

How about some new stuff?

It's just a music version of... (4, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138048)

...Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Actually, it seems like an interesting idea. We all have libraries of CDs based on our likes and I suspect if the libraries were analyzed we'd find slighlty deeper relations between the disparate music we collect. I've got a very eclectic collection of music and I'd be hard pressed to see the link between Reba McIntyre, Pink Floyd, and David Sanborn, but maybe there is one.

Of course some conspiracy theorist is going to use this to determine that the music industry is actually selling the same 5 songs over and over again, just in different keys and rhythms. Because we all know it's true.

Re:It's just a music version of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138365)

I'd be hard pressed to see the link between Reba McIntyre, Pink Floyd, and David Sanborn...

My guess is that listening to McIntyre and Sanborn is so painful that you have to take drugs, which leads you to Pink Floyd.

Nice and Simple (1, Interesting)

under_score (65824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138050)

I like the user interface, but it would be cool if they would allow us to enter more than one "seed" artist. For example, I like Benny Bennassi, Patsy Cline and Rachmaninov. It would be cool to enter those three "seeds" and get some bizarre combination or mix of techno, country and classical. Fun!

Re:Nice and Simple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138089)

But Flash only! Damnit!

Re:Nice and Simple (1)

Leo Giertz (584210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138105)

If you would've actually UTFA (used the .... application ) for more than 5 mins you probably would've stumbled upon that feature. It's there, I promise, but now it's /.:ed so I can't tell the exact buttons to press.

Re:Nice and Simple (1)

greginnj (891863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138242)

Thanks for the tip ... since you seem to know the app, can I ask you another question? Is it possible to have separate 'ecosystems' for your seeds? Like, I listen to the Ramones, klezmer, and Anonymous 4, but I'm pretty sure I have no interest in anything that sorta sounds like a hodgepodge of the three of them, or even of any two of the three. Can I keep them from cross-pollinating, or do I need separate accounts?

Re:Nice and Simple (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138258)

Just click the blue "create a new station" button in the upper left corner.

You Can (1)

VaticDart (889055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138111)

Click on the downturned triangle on your station after you add the first artist, and it'll let you add as many other artists as you want. Not Rachmaninov though, they haven't done Classical yet.

Re:Nice and Simple (1)

n0dalus (807994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138115)

I like the user interface, but it would be cool if they would allow us to enter more than one "seed" artist.

You can enter more than one "seed" artist/song. Just open the properties for the radio station and add more.

Re:Nice and Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138121)

Click the arrow next to your newly-formed station. A drop down will appear.

Click "Add another artist" or similiar.

Enter another artist.

Done.

Re:Nice and Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138530)

You can do that, but my experience of adding disparate styles to a channel didn't go so well. Pandora just got confused and started playing all sorts of music that I didn't like very much. YMMV.

I'd recommend you just create different stations for each different style (adding different artists or songs with similar styles does work well), which also lets you choose which kind of music you feel like listening to at any time just by changing the channel.

Tips for getting the most out of Pandora (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138054)

The best resutls come from submitting a song that you like. Using the Artist will most likely get you going down the wrong path. This is due to not all songs sounding similar from one artist. I have had the best results by putting in 2 or 3 songs that are similar to my ear that like. If you can't think of any songs by an Artist, Google it first. Also, there is a "rating" system. If you like the song, then give it a Thumbs Up, if you don't, give it a Thumbs Down. This will help your station learn what kind of music you are actually looking for. Rate the songs for better results.

Re:Tips for getting the most out of Pandora (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138392)

Bizarrely enough, after entering a hardcore/metal artist, the second song I got was a country song. However... after googling for it, I stumbled across the purevolume website of the depicted band, and they are most definitely NOT a country band.

Methinks their database took a wrong turn somewhere.

Noooooooo!!!! (2, Interesting)

j-tull (201124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138058)

I've been loving Pandora for about a week now. Just this morning I thought, "Hmmm... maybe I should try to get this posted to Slashdot. I'll bet a lot of the Slashdot crowd would dig this," but then I thought again to myself. I said, "Self, why would you want to slashdot their server and rob yourself of this little jewel?"

If you dirty buggers bring down this server... so help me steve...

It's a nice site (4, Interesting)

n0dalus (807994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138059)

I do like the site, unfortunately though after around 3 hours of using it, it stopped giving me new songs that I liked; it just played song's I already said I'd liked, or songs I didn't like. One interesting thing is that is uses basic mp3 files for the music, so it's actually not too hard to download the mp3's directly from the server if you log the right packets.
Pity they'll be putting ads on it (soon).

Sounds interesting, but... (3, Interesting)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138066)

... I've given up. The Pandora player insists on using Flash local storage, which I had disabled. Now, no matter what I do with the local storage settings, Pandora just keeps telling me I need to enable Flash local storage. Following their instructions doesn't help.

Too bad.

Sean

Re:Sounds interesting, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138486)

too bad,
so sad

we all know that flash is a secret mind control developed by the black government in the USA, damn them MIB's

www.music-map.com (3, Informative)

kill-1 (36256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138076)

A very similar concept that actually works is www.music-map.com [music-map.com] . This engine takes the input of all users into account and really let's you discover new artists from the genres you like.

Re:www.music-map.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138448)

A very similar concept that actually works is www.music-map.com. This engine takes the input of all users into account and really let's you discover new artists from the genres you like.

Slayer returns Britney Spears
Bolt Thrower returns Madonna
Cannibal Corpse returns Lil John

I love this site (3, Informative)

MrP- (45616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138086)

I found this site yesterday from the fark link, thought it was stupid at first but once I tried it a bit I realized how awesome it is. Just playing with it for like 10 minutes last night I ended up finding about 10 new bands I had never heard before.

Better music recommendations, anyone? (2, Interesting)

UR30 (603039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138087)

I once bought a highly recommended cd from Amazon, and it was the worst piece of noise I have ever heard (I won't mention the artist in question). But almost all the reviews were five starts and glowing. Finding new interesting artists which match your taste in music is a hard task. Could a classification system help to make suggestions?

Re:Better music recommendations, anyone? (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138182)

I've played around with weighing ratings based on how often the raters agree wih your own ratings, but I'm pretty certain it won't scale at all.
prototype here:
http://www.the-h.net/opinion/ [the-h.net]

Last.FM (3, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138093)

I find Last.FM [www.last.fm] a better method to find new music. Granted, the new Player REALLY SUCKS, I used it before they started the new player thing. There is a Proxy [gimp.org] being developed which restores the old functionallity more or less.

Oh, that and the Pandora music project is not free:

Q: How much does it cost?

Pandora is available in two forms. Both versions have exactly the same features.

The first form is an advertising-supported version which is entirely free. Over time we'll be incorporating ads into this version of Pandora.

For those who want to steer clear of advertising, subscriptions are available in two different flavors:

        ANNUAL: 12 months of unlimited use for $36
        QUARTERLY: 3 months of unlimited use for $12



while the last.fm is free unless you want a "personal" radio.

Re:Last.FM (0)

pimpforalivin (934434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138170)

It is free, that price is for removal of advertising.

Re:Last.FM (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138376)

and the Pandora music project is not free:

Nope, it's free. Based on your post, it works just like Slashdot. Have I had to pay money for /. ? Nope. Is it free then? Yup. By your logic, real radio isn't free because it has ads. Ditto broadcast TV.

Re:Last.FM (2, Insightful)

thelost (808451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138571)

the last.fm proxy is excellent and I truly love last.fm radio. the only complaint I would make is that the music selection when you select similar artists to any given artist isn't a massive collection, and quickly loops the same stuff again and again. more info can be found about last.fm proxy here too: http://www.last.fm/group/LastFMProxy/ [www.last.fm]

Music-Map (2, Informative)

Alef (605149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138100)

The site is not responding (big surprise). But from the description it sounds like it is similar to Music-Map [music-map.com] .

Re:Music-Map (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138174)

No, you can not LISTEN to music with music-map. It is more like a last.fm [slashdot.org]

Re:Music-Map (1)

Alef (605149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138236)

Yes, I know that, that is why I didn't say "equivalent to music-map".

Btw, that link of yours 404s...

Re:Music-Map (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138653)

Music-map is done subjectively ("name your top 3 artists"); this is done a little more objectively, by breaking down the songs into categorisable bits. So this promises results from a different map altogether.

Works best when you pick a song (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138101)

It appears that giving it a song is a much better fit than giving it a group. Because a group is so diverse in the songs it plays (and the AI is based around the songs), it is really hit or miss... but if you pick a song you like from the group, you'll find a much better match.

Go ahead and try it.

What I still havent seen anyone do (5, Interesting)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138107)

and now that I know C a little, maybe I'll try out making a plugin or something..
I have lots of MP3s. I like most of them. However, I'm not always in the mood for all of them. There is very little music I've dismissed completely as bad, so "Thumbs up" || "Thumbs down" is pretty lame (,stupid, closed-minded, moronic, a horrible basis for anything, encouraging of the already prevailent general-dumbness of people whose music I tend not to be in the mood for, etc)

What I've wanted is a system by which music can be automatically catagorized based not on whether or not I like it, but rather based on whether or not I'm likely to enjoy it /right now/.

How this would work: Start with the standard "Shuffle", picking at random any song. Then, if I hit "next" right after a song starts, decide "This song doesnt go well with this other song right now", and instead try selecting one which my lack of hitting "next" in the past has indicated /would/ go well. (various probability weighting schemes, decreased weight as we move on, requiring much use before it really knows you, blah blah blah...)

The closest I've seen has been plugins which weight the shuffle based on a rating you choose, which doesnt ever fluxuate.

Point: Playlists should be quaint by now. Why should I need to choose in advance what I'm in the mood to listen to an hour from now?

Re:What I still havent seen anyone do (1)

daranz (914716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138363)

Sounds like something that would have to keep a huge database of relations between songs. Also, it seems like something that would derandomize shuffle unless it was capable of generating entire playlists dynamically. While it seems like a fairly good idea, it could prove difficult to implement.

Then, also, I tend to skip songs for other reasons - for example, hearing the song too many times lately, and being bored of it.

Re:What I still havent seen anyone do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138551)

I'm too lazy to log in from work.

This DOES sound like a nice idea. Personally, I would base it on genre rather than individual songs to make it a LOT easier to program. If I skip a song early, its genre goes down a fair bit. If I listen to half or more, nothing happens. If I listen all the way through, it goes up.

If you want it a little more complicated, have multiple genres affected by the skip, depending on how often I tend to skip those genres together.

Again, nice idea!

Re:What I still havent seen anyone do (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138623)

You should try looking at http://www.synapseai.com/ [synapseai.com] . They have a great player that does exactly what you've suggested. They also have a winamp plugin called "The brain" which works pretty well too, except that it plays all file types(including video) from your library. It doesn't really suggest anything that you have never played yet though. It simply listens to your habits, and suggests songs(or video) that you already played.

Re:What I still havent seen anyone do (1)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138663)

I don't see how you'll ever train this thing. Unless there are consistent patterns in your mood changes, you'll never get good enough statistics. You'll just be sitting there skipping songs the whole time, instead of enjoying the music before you.
Just have multiple playlists. Toss is some randomness if you feel like it.

Re:What I still havent seen anyone do (1)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138688)

hmmm, ignore me, misinterpreted the idea

It gives music a user may actually want!? (3, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138130)

Sue them!!

-- RIAA

(the funny/scary part is that it's not far fetched to me that they actually will, for being too accurate in handing out music a user wants to listen to)

Not entirely novel... (3, Informative)

CupBeEmpty (720791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138139)

I have been a happy (and donating) user of Last FM [last.fm] formerly Audioscrobbler. They do a really good job of matching up music tastes and their radio program is good. They also have a plugin that allows you to submit what you play from most major audio players so you can track what you listen to and compare with others. They have full tagging capabilities and extensive forums as well as music 'groups' of like minded appreciators. I have been very impressed and I admit I haven't played with Pandora much but it doesn't seem too much better/different.

Re:Not entirely novel... (1)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138299)

Last.FM seems like an excellent tool, I'm glad I read about it today. One oddity I just noticed, is that if you search for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin is #1 the Beatles come up as #2. If you search for the Beatles though, Led Zeppelin is #1, but Pink Floyd doesn't even show up in the top 100.

Another interesting site for discovering new music (1)

brett77 (808513) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138177)

http://www.liveplasma.com/ [liveplasma.com] (Flash application)

I believe this is the company that does the related stories matrix on news.com.com.

The problem with this system... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138205)

...is when you select an artist whose musical style is very diverse. For example, the first time this story was posted I went to the Pandora website and entered "Opeth". Anyone who's heard Opeth knows that although you can more or less call them a death metal band, their music is very eclectic and ranges from 70's prog-rock to jazz to folk music. Depending on which song from Opeth's catalog Pandora chooses, it's going to be difficult to match you up with another similar band. Although Opeth's music blends multiple genres, it's definitely a unique style.


Also, in my case Pandora chose a song off the Opeth album "Damnation", which happens to be a much more laid-back album that contains mostly folksy ballads and absolutely no heavy metal whatsoever. So when Pandora attempted to find similar bands based on that one song, obviously the selections weren't at all what I had in mind. I couldn't figure out how to get the thing to choose a different song - it seemed locked in on that first one.


At any rate, I remember the first article speaking derisively of the "user recommendations" at Amazon. Yeah, they often suck, but I've discovered some great music there too. I never would have known about a great band called Porcupine Tree if Amazon hadn't recommended them to me as a fan of Opeth, for no other reason than the fact that Porcupine Tree's singer/songwriter/guitarist/etc. produced a few Opeth albums.

I use... (2, Insightful)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138207)

...a combination of the iTunes store (trying without buying) and www.pitchforkmedia.com to hunt for new music. Pitchfork has a few recommended albums every month, I'll look them up on iTunes, and often iTunes itself has suggestions for other artists I'll like. It's been spot on so far and has let me to some great discoveries.

Nice idea, but... (2, Insightful)

n0dalus (807994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138223)

As someone who has read enough books on music to know what they are talking about when they say 'We chose this song because it features x and y', I can honestly say this doesn't mean much. I think genre and statistical comparisons between users has a far greater impact on what songs it chooses than what they suggest in their FAQ/info pages.
The whole idea of analyzing a song for different qualities is great, but it really doesn't get you very far with something like this. I can think of a million songs with 'Mild rhythmatic syncopation' and 'Major key tonality' (just an example of the reasons it told me it was playing a song), and I would probably only like a small portion of them. I suspect that the genre of my song (eg 'Hard rock roots' or 'punk roots' etc) is the biggest deciding factor in what it plays -- not the actual style of the song.

Re:Nice idea, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138440)

Yeah the problem is most of us have one criteria that's kinda hard to put into an algorithm: "Is it GOOD?"

Suppressing the violent side (1)

dilvish_the_damned (167205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138249)

CmdrTaco, we all know the MGP doesnt lie. You should just admit there is a little Styx and Def Leppard in each and every one of us. The object is to suppress this tendency and desire lest loved ones get hurt by it.

/. is merciless (0, Flamebait)

nazsco (695026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138250)

oh my god, they linked to an online radio. isn't anything sacred anymore? ...thankfully its flash based so most of the comments will be how none can hear it because they don't have open source plugins and they will not loose that many bandwith

Wow... (1)

Errandboy of Doom (917941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138259)

I put in Kimya Dawson, Hank Williams, Public Enemy, Blue Oyster Cult, and then my machine crashed.

Makes sense.

I always dug Audioscrobbler for social recommendations, I guess it's operating as Last.fm [www.last.fm] now.

Better to use human judgement (2, Insightful)

helix_r (134185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138275)


I am skeptical of any algorithm that purports to gauge or classify taste. People listen to music for complicated reasons and they often listen to very different genres.

A better solution is to point people to "taste-makers".

I found by illegally downloading music using limewire, that I could find very interesting new music by simply broswing the collections of the people that were downloading from me. That really opened up my horizons as far as taste is concerned. I don't think an algorithm could come close to that.

Technical details? (1)

j-tull (201124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138280)

Does anyone know where you can find the technical details of any of these systems? I'd like to know how they're representing their knowledge and how they're doing their reasoning (a.k.a. song selection).

I've done some work in knowledge representation using the OLW [w3.org] specifications from the W3C and the Racer [racer-systems.com] reasoning engine, but I had never thought of applying it to music. As a music buff and computer geek, the application of knowledge modeling to music seems a natural fit to me, and I'd love some pointers to any ongoing research in this area or thoughts on future directions for this technology.

Oh yea, and if anyone wants to front a couple million for me to form a startup that would be cool too. I know several bright people who could really dig into something like this.

Linux sounds issues (1)

kdawgud (915237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138342)

anyone have problems getting pandora to output sound on your linux computer? I've got Fedora core 3 and I don't hear anything (although xmms works fine /w arts).

Good, but not great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138354)

It's nice because it exposes you to new music. The problem is that most music isn't that good, even it's similar to music you like. I still use it even though it didn't live up to my expectations.

It's also interesting the way it describes the music you like. I like music with minor tonalities, varying time signatures, dirty guitar riffs and an emphasis on production (metal).

musicplasma visulisation (1)

kotku (249450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138374)

try out http://www.musicplasma.com./ [www.musicplasma.com]

It has an interesting [flash based] visulisation engine that shows associations between artists and their peers. The interface is reasonably nice and quick to use. It seems if you create an account then you can create your own maps and recommendations.

 

When duping becomes a bad thing (1)

Slayback (12197) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138395)

If you couple the plain annoyance from seeing a story duped and the slashdoting that is going to inevitably occur, this dupe really pisses me off. I'm a subscriber to Pandora and as soon as one slashdotting is over, then it gets digged. Then digged again, then slashdoted once more.

Enough with the dupes already! I'm looking at YOU slashdot and digg. I want to listen to my music in peace!

Re:When duping becomes a bad thing (1)

SubconsciousSeraphim (193154) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138463)

Agreed. You'd almost think that the people from Yahoo were doing it to cripple the service and make Launch [yahoo.com] more attractive. *smirks*

allmusic (0, Offtopic)

beaverbrother (586749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138423)

All Music [allmusic.com] does a pretty good job of classifying artists

I can see it now . . . (0)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138426)

[Submits playlist]

You have the tastes of an ogre.

[Throws computer into swamp]

Personalized tastes lead to blinders (5, Insightful)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138456)

You know, most of the media world is pretty excited about these concepts of "personalized media"... where the media that is presented to you is based on the types of things that you already like (it's just starting to take off in music, but watch for it in the future in television, movies, and internet sites). But I see this as somewhat of a problem, where people are never exposed to new things. If everything in our world is personalized and created specifically for our tastes, how do we define our tastes? When do we ever get a chance to listen to something we don't like, and say that we don't like it? Or listen to new things we've never heard of, and that may not be in any way related to our database of media we like, and say we like it?

The situation presents us with two possibilities: either we get pidgeonholed into a "genre" artificially created by the content distributors (as broad or narrow as that genre might be), or our tastes enter a feedback loop, where the only things we listen to are the things our personalized media players play for us, whose choices are based on things we listen to in our personalized media players.

So where do we get outside input? My suggestion at this point would be to do away with artificial genres and create relationships between media based purely on a database of what people like and don't like. (Last.FM does this now.) Then I would like to see the media player throw in a randomly chosen selection once in a while, just to test its own theory, so to speak. However, for that to work, the selection would have to be truly random; no fair throwing in something that you are marketing heavily (I'm talking to you, [RI|MP]AA...) just to get people to hear it. So instead of choosing music based only on your tastes, your media player will choose music based *mostly* on your tastes, and then throw you a curve ball once in a while to see how you react. Who knows? Maybe that diehard punk fan would enjoy a Beethoven piece or a 70's pop song. But the media player would never know that unless it tried.

how is this different from gnod? (1)

spasm (79260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138481)

how is this different from gnod [gnod.net] , other than having some bizzare split basic-free/premium-pay_for_service model instead of being free?

Um, this isn't new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138511)

Launchcast (now Yahoo Music) has been doing this for several years already. So what?

Audioscrobbler (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138513)

I prefer audioscrobbler.com (not for those afraid of having stuff logged).

It has a small opensource client which runs in lots of mp3 players, it sends the info of the songs to their database giving you a massive list of which songs you listen to etc etc and reccomends more etc.

Awesome stuff :P

www.audioscrobbler.com/user/djsmiley2k

A negative 2-cents (1)

Nuriko Yanagi (924928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138532)

Thought I'd weigh in with a "this sucks" rating. I put in the first popular artist that came to mind - the Barenaked Ladies - and it seems that they are the only band in this thing's database that I like in that genre. I assumed the programming would move through genres with my selections, but all it did was annoy me with more crappy artists - often three or more times with the same artists. It should be adaptive enough to see that if I negatively rate an artist twice, that perhaps I dislike that artist. This isn't adaptive at all. It is simply "choose a genre" and cycle through random songs. And in agreement with some posts here, I feel that attempting to boil down music into certain elements such as the tempo, volume, attitude and instruments used is unfair to artists. There are so many different factors, I greatly doubt the effectiveness of attempting to classify music in such descript and specific terms. Well wasn't this a dandy for my first post >.>

Progress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138575)

Any idea what progress has been made on this music genome project? How well 'sequenced' is this (ever growing) genome? The blurb kind of indicates that they've reached an end of analysing.
The first (and my favourite) artist I typed in couldn't be found. It might just be that I have an obscure taste, of course.

The genome is subjective (1)

The_reformant (777653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138580)

This isnt the kind of music genome project i want to see. Basically the traits which are analysed are highly subjective and if you listen to a lot of one particular genre of music (particularly smaller genres) you are almost certainly going to be more qualified to judge the supposed traits than the experts. To me it seems they essentially lumped all of heavy metal together leading me to getting results like megadeth with a seed of tool despite the two artists not sounding similar at all.

I'd prefer to see a project which tries to create an analytic genome for each song, I've been thinking about if it would be possible to do something like compare FFTs of segments of the song, sam 2 second frames throughout the track. If these could be encoded in some kind of relative way you're likely to get music that has similar characteristics. Further its entirely objective.

However from what i remember they're experts are all from Nashville so if your into country music your probably gonna get some pretty decent results.

Why can I only base it on one artist or song? (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138610)

I want to give it a variety of what I listen to, and have it offer suggestions from all those categories, mixed up together. For instance, my main favorites are 90s alt rock groups, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Weezer, Rancid, Metallica, Reel Big Fish (heck even in that group there's a bunch of variety) come to mind. But I also listen to hiphop/rap (lately it seems I'm on an old-school kick, but some of the eclectic newer stuff is good, too). I'll also listen to country and the occasional techno. I want new or unheard of music in all of those genres without having to track down each one separately. I want to seed it with say, 50 (100?) songs, and have it base it on that. I don't really want to listen to all of my music that is based on a single song. Just my $.02.

Noooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14138615)

Do not open the site

Averaging to the mean gives you pablum (1)

unfortunateson (527551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14138664)

I have diversified tastes. The Who and Nickel Creek don't have much in common.
Add enough different bands, and you get "we chose this for mixed instrumentation in a major key."

Which leads to Backstreet Boys.

What they need is several categories with a randomized selection from your multiple tastes.
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