Yesterday, SXSW opened up the 2012 Panel Picker allowing you to vote up (or down) your favorite panels. The SXSW organizers will use the voting info to help whittle the nearly 3,600 proposals down to 500. I took a tour through the list of music related panel proposals and selected a few that I think are worth voting for. Talks in green are on my “can’t miss this talk” list. Note that I work with or have collaborated with many of the speakers on my list, so my list can not be construed as objective in any way.
There are many recurring themes. Turnatable.fm is everywhere. Everyone wants to talk about the role of the curator in this new world of algorithmic music recommendations. And Spotify is not to be found anywhere!
I’ve broken my list down into a few categories:
Social Music – there must be a twenty panels related to social music. (Eleven(!) have something to do with Turntable.fm) My favorites are:
- Social Music Strategies: Viral & the Power of Free – with folks from MOG, Turntable, Sirius XM, Facebook and Fred Wilson. I’m not a big fan of big panels (by the time you get done with the introductions, it is time for Q&A), but this panel seems stacked with people with an interesting perspective on the social music scene. I’m particularly interested in hearing the different perspectives from Turntable vs. Sirius XM.
- Can Social Music Save the Music Industry? – Rdio, Turntable, Gartner, Rootmusic, Songkick – Another good lineup of speakers (Turntable.fm is everywhere at SXSW this year) exploring social music. Curiously, there’s no Spotify here (or as far as I can tell on any talks at SXSW).
- Turntable.fm the Future of Music is Social – Turntable.fm – This is the turntable.fm story.
- Reinventing Tribal Music in the land of Earbuds – AT&T – this talk explores how music consumption changes with new social services and the technical/sociological issues that arise when people are once again free to choose and listen to music together.
Man vs. Machine – what is the role of the human curator in this age of algorithmic recommendation and music. Curiously, there are at least 5 panel proposals on this topic.
- Music Discovery:Man Vs. Machine – MOG, KCRW, Turntable.fm, Heather Browne
- Music/Radio Content: Tastemakers vs. Automation – Slacker
- Editor vs. Algorithm in the Music Discovery Space – SPIN, Hype Machine, Echo Nest, 7Digital
- Curation in the age of mechanical recommendations – Matt Ogle / Echo Nest – This is my pick for the Man vs. Machine talk. Matt is *the* man when it comes to understanding what is going on in the world of music listening experience.
- Crowding out the Experts – Social Taste Formation – Last.fm, Via, Rolling Stone – Is social media reducing the importance of reviewers and traditional cultural gatekeepers? Are Yelp, Twitter, Last.fm and other platforms creating a new class of tastemakers?
Music Discovery – A half dozen panels on music recommendation and discovery. Favs include:
- YouKnowYouWantIt: Recommendation Engines that Rock – Netflix, Pandora, Match.com – this panel is filled with recommendation rock stars
- The Dark Art of Digital Music Recommendations – Rovi – Michael Papish of Rovi promises to dive under the hood of music recommendation.
- No Points for Style: Genre vs. Music Networks – SceneMachine – Any talk proposal with statements like “Genre uses a 19th-century tool — a Darwinian tree — to solve a 21st-century problem. And unlike evolutionary science, it’s subjective. By the time a genre branch has been labeled (viz. “grunge”), the scene it describes is as dead as Australopithecus.” is worth checking out.
Mobile Music – Is that a million songs in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?
- Music Everywhere: Are we there yet? – Soundcloud, Songkick, Jawbone – Have we arrived at the proverbial celestial jukebox? What are the challenges?
Big Data – exploring big data sets to learn about music
- Data Mining Music – Paul Lamere – Shameless self promotion. What can we learn if we have really deep data about millions of songs?
- The Wisdom of Thieves: Meaning in P2P Behavior – Ben Fields – Don’t miss Ben’s talk about what we can learn about music (and other media) from mining P2P behavior. This talk is on my must see list.
- Big data for Everyman: Help liberate the data serf – Splunk – webifying and exploiting big data
Echo Nesty panels – proposals from folks from the nest. Of course, I recommend all of these fine talks.
- Active Listening – Tristan Jehan – Tristan takes a look at how the music experience is changing now that the listener can take much more active control of the listening experience. There’s no one who understands music analysis and understanding better than Tristan.
- Data Mining Music – Paul Lamere – This is my awesome talk about extracting info from big data sets like the Million Song Dataset. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’ll be looking at things like click track detectors, passion indexes, loudness wars and son on.
- What’s a music fan worth? – Jim Lucchese – Echo Nest CEO takes a look at the economics of music, from iOS apps to musicians. Jim knows this stuff better than anyone.
- Music Apps Gone Wild – Eliot Van Buskirk – Eliot takes a tour of the most advanced, wackiest music apps that exist — or are on their way to existing.
- Curation in the age of mechanical recommendations – Matt Ogle – Matt is a phenomenal speaker and thinker in the music space. His take on the role of the curator in this world of algorithms is at the top of my SXSW panel list.
- Editor vs. Algorithm in the Music Discovery Space – SPIN, Hype Machine, Echo Nest (Jim Lucchese), 7Digital
- Defining Music Discovery through Listening – Echo Nest (Tristan Jehan), Hunted Media – This session will examine “true” music discovery through listening and how technology is the facilitator.
- Designing Future Music Experiences – Rdio, Turntable, Mary Fagot – A look at the user experience for next generation music apps.
- Music at the App Store: Lessons from Eno and Björk – Are albums as apps gimmicks or do they provide real value?
- Participatory Culture: The Discourse of Pitchfork – An analysis of ten years of music writing to extract themes.