Infinite Gangnam Style for iPhone

One of the most frequent complaints I’ve heard about Infinite Gangnam Style is that it is hard to take it with you.  Due to the image swapping pseudo-video in the desktop version, it doesn’t run very well on iOS devices.  This means you can’t listen to Gangnam  Style 24/7.   Clearly, since Infinite Gangnam Style is supposed to let you listen to Gangnam Style forever, this would not do.  So, I’ve made an iPhone specific version called  Gangn∞m Style:

This version plays on your iPhone device through Mobile Safari, letting you listen to a never-ending, every changing version of Gangnam Style wherever you are and whenever you want.   So now there’s no excuse to ever stop listening to the greatest pop song of the millenium.

Some tech details: The hardest bit was figuring out how to prevent the iPhone from going to sleep after a minute or so of playing.  There’s no direct way to disable sleep mode in the browser, but there’s a little hack.  I created a 5 second long silent mp3, and then force that silence to loop forever with a bit of html:

        <audio src="silence.mp3" preload autoplay loop></audio>

This keeps Safari live and prevents the iPhone from deciding it wants to go to sleep. Of course this will wear down your battery, but that is one of the risks inherent in infinite listening.

I used jQTouch to give a nifty iOS look and feel in the browser, and of course I used the Echo Nest analyzer to figure out where all the beats were in the song, and to build the beat by beat similarity graph that I use to make the song play forever.

Go check out  Gangn∞m Style and let me know what you think.

  1. #1 by James Gagan (@jgagan) on November 3, 2012 - 1:08 pm

    Hi Paul – first off this is is a fun hack – well done! I have to ask though, how do you reconcile infinite gangnam style with your previously expressed views on using unlicensed content in music apps (
    In the FAQ for Infinite Gangnam Style you state:

    “What does Psy think about this? I don’t know. I hope he doesn’t mind that we are using his music and images.” (

    Is this the approach you and echonest now recommend music startups take with unlicenced content? Have you changed your mind on this issue?

    • #2 by Paul on November 3, 2012 - 2:06 pm

      Hi James – there are a whole bunch of differences between what I and the music hacking community are doing building music hacks that incorporate commercial music and what companies like Grooveshark do. Here are a few: (1) I’m not trying to build a business on top of someone else’s copyright. Infinite Gangnam Style is a non-commercial music demo, not a business. (2) I’m adding some value – I don’t just offer up a copy of Psy’s work, I change it into something different, something that doesn’t take away value from Psy. (3) In order to encourage remixing and parodies Psy has waived his copyright on the song. (4) If Psy or his management were to ask me to take down my hack, I would.

      I’ve made lots of music hacks in the last 5 years that incorporate commercial music including remixes and hacks of songs by Lady Gaga, Bjork, Black Eyed Peas, Queen, Nickelback, Skrillex, Guns N’ Roses and more. On five occasions I’ve been contacted by the artist or the artist’s management about a hack that uses their music. All five of these interactions were extremely positive. The artist expressed a positive opinion of the the hack, offering words of encouragement, suggestions for improvement, or were interested in incorporating the hack into their world. These artists seemed to understand that hacks like these can increase their audience without sacrificing sales.

      So no, I have not changed my mind. I stand by my ‘Who is the ahole?’ post – you should not try to build a business on top of someone else’s IP. What I’m doing with these music hacks is very different from what a company like Grooveshark does.

  2. #3 by drwestco on November 13, 2012 - 1:28 pm

    I just get the “Sorry, this app needs advanced web audio.” error message on iPhone.

    • #4 by Paul on November 13, 2012 - 2:56 pm

      What version of the iPhone do you have?

      • #5 by drwestco on November 13, 2012 - 3:56 pm

        I’m using an iPhone 4, still running iOS 5.something.

      • #6 by drwestco on November 14, 2012 - 5:00 am

        Aha. webkitAudioContext is new to iOS6 – that explains it. Sad, but fair.

  3. #7 by Yewinaye on December 30, 2012 - 12:28 am


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