Archive for category visualization
I wrote an application over the weekend called Music Maze. The Music Maze lets you wander through the maze of similar artists until you find something you like. You can give it a try here: The Music Maze (be forewarned, the app plays music upon loading).
Web designer Patrick Galbraith has built the Map Of Metal – an interactive tool for exploring the world of metal. It is a bit like Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music but for metal. The map shows how the various subgenres of metal are connected, provides descriptions of the various subgenres (culled from Wikipedia) and plays full track examples of each type of music (drawn from Youtube). The map has a funky design sense that adds to the fun. Patrick uses denim, patches of leather, chains, threads , band-aids, buttons, pins and a whole lot of skulls to knit the whole visualization together.
There’s lots of information crammed into this hand made visualization. There are about a hundred metal genres represented, (South American death Metal anyone?), era, connections, influences, and lots of music. Each genre is represented by a dozen or so representative artists and tracks. Unlike Ishkur’s, the Map Of Metal plays full tracks so the music never stops while you are exploring. It is certainly a whole lot more interesting than the map of metal I built a few years ago by analyzing Last.fm tags:
I do wish that I could see the whole map at once – there is a navigation map that shows the whole thing but it is far too small to give me a sense of the whole space.
Nifty new visualization at Last.fm that shows the time of day when you listen to music:
The week long Visual Music Collaborative Workshop held at the Eyebeam just finished up. This was an invite-only event where participants did a deep dive into sound analysis techniques, openGL programming, and interfacing with mobile control devices.
Here’s one project built during the week that uses The Echo Nest analysis output:
(Via Aaron Meyers)
Steve Lloyd of Queen Mary University has released SongBite for Songbird. (Update – if the link is offline, and you are interested in trying SoundBite just email email@example.com ). SongBite is a visual music explorer that uses music similarity to enable network-based music navigation and to create automatic “sounds like” playlists.
Here’s a video that shows SoundBite in action:
It’s a pretty neat plugin for Songbird. It’s great to see yet another project from the Music Information Retrieval community go mainstream.
In his spare time, Echo Nest developer Reid Draper built hotttnesss.com – a neat web app that shows the top 50 hotttest artists (according to the Echo Nest get_top_hottt_artists) along with sparklines showing the historical hotttnesss for the last week. Reid used the nifty jquery sparklines plugin to make it happen. Mouse over an artist name to get links to the Last.fm and Spotify pages for the artist so you can find out what the big deal is about Broken Bells or lyaz.
This week Klaas, one of the researchers at Last.fm released to the Last.fm playground the ability to plot data from your personal listening history. (read about it here: Now in the Playground: Scrobbling Timelines).
You can look at when you started to listen to particular bands, or even compare your listening to one of your Last.fm friends (here you can see my cumulative listening as compared to my good Last.fm friend Neil Gaiman. It’s a really neat app that highlights the awesome listening data that Last.fm has been collecting for the last 6 or so years.
With the new Last.fm plots you can look at your listening history – but there’s a new app that takes this idea one step further. LastHistory, an application by Frederik Seiffert and Dominikus Baur from the Media Informatics Group of the University of Munich allows you to analyze music listening histories from Last.fm through an interactive visualization and to explore your own past by combining the music you listened to with your own photos and calendar entries. Like Klaas’s scrobbling graphs, LastHistory lets you browse music listening history, but LastHistory goes beyond that – it lets you interact with the visualization, allowing you to use your listening history for music exploration, and playlisting. And since the listening history can be any Last.fm listener, it is a great vehicle for music discovery too. The video makes it all really clear:
The integration with your iPhoto library is genius. While you listen to the music that you played in the car on that road trip to Tennessee in 2oo8 you can see a slide show of your photos from that same trip.
LastHistory runs on a Mac. When you run it for the first time, you tell it your last.fm name. It then goes to Last.fm to collect your listening history and info about all of the tracks. (This can take a few minutes depending on how long you’ve been listening at Last.fm). But even while it is retrieving your data you can start to interact with the data. And interacting with this application is very fun.
Each dot on the display represents a single song play at a point in the past. Mouse over the point to see the song name and to see other times when you played the song. Click on the song to hear it. The dots are colored by the genre (discovered by using the last.fm tags applied to the song). It is quite fun exploring my own listening history. Here’s the time when I first got the Weezer ‘Red’ Album:
This app is cool in so many ways, I know that I’m going to spend a lot of time playing with this app. But ff you try it out, remember that it is a 1.0 version. I did experience a crash or two, but it seemed to pick up where it left off without trouble. Oh yes, one more thing that moves this app from totally cool into über-cool is that it is all open source. Get the code here: LastHistory on Github. Congrats to Frederik and Dominikus for creating the first novel music exploration app of the decade. Nice job!
This looks like it’d be fun to play with: