We’ve been building a new playlisting engine here at the Echo Nest. The engine is really neat – it lets you apply a whole range of very flexible constraints and orderings to make all sorts of playlists that would be a challenge for even the most savvy DJ. Playlists like 15 songs with a tempo between 120 and 130 BPM ordered by how danceable they are by very popular female artists that sound similar to Lady Gaga, that live near London, but never ever include tracks by The Spice Girls.
I was playing with the engine this weekend, writing some rules to make novelty playlists to test the limits of the engine. I started with rules typical for a similar-artist playlist: 15 songs long, filled with songs by artists similar to a seed artist (in this case Weezer), the first and last song must be by the seed artist, and no two consecutive songs can be by the same artist. Simple enough, but then I added two more rules to turn this into a novelty playlist that would be very hard for a human to make. See if you can guess what the two rules are. I think one of the rules is pretty obvious, but the second is a bit more subtle. Post your guesses in the comments.
0 Tripping Down the Freeway - Weezer 1 Yer All I've Got Ttonight - The Smashing Pumpkins 2 The Most Beautiful Things - Jimmy Eat World 3 Someday You Will Be Loved - Death Cab For Cutie 4 Don't Make Me Prove It - Veruca Salt 5 The Sacred And Profane - Smashing Pumpkins, The 6 Everything Is Alright - Motion City Soundtrack 7 The Ego's Last Stand - The Flaming Lips 8 Don't Believe A Word - Third Eye Blind 9 Don's Gone Columbia - Teenage Fanclub 10 Alone + Easy Target - Foo Fighters 11 The Houses Of Roofs - Biffy Clyro 12 Santa Has a Mullet - Nerf Herder 13 Turtleneck Coverup - Ozma 14 Perfect Situation - Weezer
Here’s another playlist – with a different set of two novelty rules, with a seed artist of Led Zeppelin. Again, if you can guess the rules, post a comment.
0 El Niño - Jethro Tull
1 Cheater - Uriah Heep
2 Hot Dog - Led Zeppelin
3 One Thing - Lynyrd Skynyrd
4 Nightmare - Black Sabbath
5 Ezy Ryder - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
6 Soulshine - Govt Mule
7 The Gypsy - Deep Purple
8 I'll Wait - Van Halen
9 Slow Down - Ozzy Osbourne
10 Civil War - Guns N' Roses
11 One Rainy Wish - Jimi Hendrix
12 Overture (Live) - Grand Funk Railroad
13 Larger Than Life - Gov'T Mule