Posts Tagged infinite jukebox

The Mobile Infinite Jukebox Survey results

Over the last six months or so The Infinite Jukebox had a link to a survey about features peopled would like to see in a mobile version of The Infinite Jukebox.  Since then, over 10,000 people have taken the survey.   Here are the results.

The survey was linked to directly from the Infinite Jukebox. The questions asked were:



Since the text in link to the survey was “Interested in a mobile version of the Infinite Jukebox? Then take this one minute survey” it is no surprise that 99% of all respondents are interested in a mobile version of the app.




The split between Android and iOS aligns with other iOS vs Android metrics out there on the webs.


As for how much people would be willing to pay, 64% would be willing to pay something for the app.


This was a bit surprising – 70% of folks want to play music from their own collection, and only 11% are interested in playing music from a streaming service like Spotify or Rdio.


The final question was an open-ended question asking about what other features would you like to see in the Infinite Jukebox. Many of the responses were about what features would like to see in the current web version, while many were about what features should be in a mobile version. Some of the more common results are here:

Common new feature suggestions 

  • Background playing
  • Offline playling
  • No Ads
  • Simple tuning options
  • Playlist support
  • Choose song length
  • Time limits per song
  • Infinitise multiple songs
  • Color schemes
  • Volume controls
  • Social features (voting on best tunings)

So, you may be wondering where is the mobile version of the Infinite Jukebox?  It is coming along, all the hard coding bits are done, but it has been very much a spare time project.   I do hope to release it sometime in the near future. Here’s a short clip of the app in action:

Thanks to everyone who took the survey, its been quite informative.

Leave a comment

Infinite Jukebox improved

It has been over two years since the Infinite Jukebox was first released after Music Hack Day Boston 2012.  Since then millions of people have spent nearly a million hours listening to infinite versions of their favorite songs. It has been my most popular hack.

There has always been a problem with the Infinite Jukebox. Certain songs have sections with very dense interconnections. For these songs the Infinite Jukebox would sometimes get stuck playing the same section of the song for many minutes or hours before breaking free.  This morning I finally sat down and worked out a good way to deal with this problem. The Infinite Jukebox will now try to steer the song toward the beats that have been played the least. When the jukebox is deciding which beat to play next, it will search through all the possible future paths up to five beats into the future to find the path that brings the jukebox to the least played part of the song.  The result is that we exit out of the rats nest of connections rather quickly.  The code is quite succinct – just 20 lines in one recursive function.  Good payback for such a small amount of code.


While I was in the codebase, I made a few other minor changes. I switched around the color palettes to favor more green and blue colors, and I use a different color to draw the beat connections when we make a jump.

1 Comment

Visualizing the Structure of Pop Music

The Infinite Jukebox generates plots of songs in which the most similar beats are connected by arcs. I call these plots cantograms. For instance, below is a labeled cantogram for the song Rolling in the Deep by Adele. The song starts at 3:00 on the circle and proceeds clockwise, beat by beat completely around the circle. I’ve labeled the plot so you can see how it aligns with the music. There’s an intro, a first verse, a chorus, a second verse, etc. until the outro and the end of the song.

Rolling in the Deep (labelled) by Adele

One thing that’s interesting is that most of the beat similarity connections occur between the beats in the three instances of the chorus. This certainly makes intuitive sense. The verses have different lyrics, so for the most part they won’t be too similar to each other, but the choruses have the same lyrics, the same harmony, the same instrumentation. They may even be, for all we know may even be exactly the same audio, that perfect performance, cut and pasted three times by the audio engineer to make the best sounding version of the song.

Now take a look at the cantogram for another popular song. The plot below shows the beat similarities for the song Tik Tok by Ke$ha. What strikes me the most about this plot is how similar it looks to the plot for Rolling in the Deep. It has the characteristic longer intro+first verse, some minor inter-verse similarities and the very strong similarities between the three choruses.

Tik Tok by Ke$ha

As we look at more plots for modern pop music we see the same pattern over and over again. In this plot for Lady Gag’s Paparazzi a cantogram we again see the same pattern.

Lady Gaga – Paparazzi

We see it in the plot for Justin Bieber’s Baby:

Justin Bieber – Baby

Taylor Swift’s Fearless has a two verses before the first chorus, shifting it further around the circle, but other than that the pattern holds:

Taylor Swift – Fearless

Now compare and contrast the pop cantograms with those from other styles of music. First up is Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to heaven. There’s no discernable repeating chorus, or global song repetition, the only real long-arc repetition occurs during the guitar solo for the last quarter of the song.

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven

Here’s another style of music. Deadmau5’s Raise your weapon. This is electronica (and maybe some dubstep). Clearly from the cantogram we can see that is is not a traditional pop song. Very little long arc repetition, with the densest cluster being the final dubstep break.

Deadmau5 – Raise your weapon

Dave Brubeck’s Take Five has a very different pattern, with lots of short term repetition during the first half of the song, while during the second half with Joe Morello’s drum solo there’s a very different pattern.

Dave Brubeck – Take Five

Green Grass and High Tides has yet a different pattern – no three choruses and out here. (By the way, the final guitar solo is well worth listening to in the Infinite Jukebox. It is the guitar solo that never ends).

Green Grass And High Tides by The Outlaws

The progressive rock anthem Roundabout doesn’t have the Pop Pattern

Yes – Roundabout

Nor does Yo-Yo Ma’s performance of the Cello suite No. 1.

01 Cello Suite No.1, 1. Prelude by Yo-Yo Ma

Looking at the pop plots one begins to understand that pop music really could be made in a factory. Each song is cut from the same mold. In fact, one of the most successful pop songs in recent years, was produced by a label with factory in its name. Looking at Rebecca Black’s Friday we can tell right away that it is a pop song:

Friday by Rebecca Black

Compare that plot to this years Youtube breakout, Thanksgiving by Nicole Westbrook, (another Ark Music Factory assembly):

Nicole Westbrook – It’s Thanksgiving (Official Video)

The plot has all the makings of the standard pop song for the 2010s.

In the music information retrieval research community there has been quite a bit of research into algorithmically extracting song structure, and visualizations are often part of this work. If you are interested in learning more about this research, I suggest looking at some of the publications by Meinard Müller and Craig Sapp.

Of course, not every pop song will follow the pattern that I’ve shown here. Nevertheless, I find it interesting that this very simple visualization is able to show us something about the structure of the modern pop song, and how similar this structure is across many of the top pop songs.

update: since publishing this post I’ve updated the layout algorithm in the Infinite Jukebox so that songs start and end at 12 Noon and not 3PM, so the plots you see in this post are rotated 90degrees clockwise from what you would see in the jukebox.




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,315 other followers