I'm the Director of Developer Community at The Echo Nest, a research-focused music intelligence startup that provides music information services to developers and partners through a data mining and machine listening platform. I am especially interested in hybrid music recommenders and using visualizations to aid music discovery.
Posted in Music on September 9, 2020
I’ve been reading blogs seemingly forever. I’ve read lots of great posts .. but there’s one blog post that I still think about all the time even though it is nearly 5 years old. It’s by Sascha Judd and its all boy bands and the diversity crisis in tech. It’s a must read: How The Tech Sector Could Move In One Direction.
Someday I may get back to organizing tech events – and when I do, I’ll be thinking about better ways to engage with fan armies.
Posted in Music on September 7, 2020
A few months ago, we finally shutdown the final remnants of the old Echo Nest infrastructure. One of casualties of this final shutdown was the archive of my old blog Duke Listens! that I authored while I was a researcher at Sun Labs. However, I did manage to have a backup sitting on an old backblaze disk, so this morning I took a bit of time to re-host it on one of my personal servers. You can find it at:
The blog serves as a reminder of the history of music recommendation and discovery during the iPhone era. Some notable posts:
- My first MIR-related post (June 2004)
- My first hardcore MIR post (January 2005)
- A decade too early prediction about Apple (January 2005)
- I discover Radio Paradise (April 2005)
- First Google Music rumor (June 2005)
- First Amazon Music rumor (August 2005)
- First Pandora Post (September 2005)
- First mention of The Echo Nest (October 2005)
- Why there’s no Google Music search (December 2005)
- First mention of Spotify (January 2007)
- My review of Spotify (November 2007)
- The Echo Nest goes live (March 2008)
- The Echo Nest launches their API (September 2008)
- My first look at iTunes genius recommendations (September 2008)
- My last post (February 2009)
Today Amazon released AWS DeepComposer which is a keyboard that will let you “create a melody that will transform into a completely original song in seconds”.
To me it looks like an Arturia Keystep knock-off. I’m still puzzling over whether or not there’s any special ML-related features – or is it just a MIDI keyboard that comes with some AWS credits. Anyone with any insights, please let me know.
Tero Parvianen has en excellent introduction to Generative Music with lots of live examples. Well worth 20 minutes of your time with lots of food for thought.
I’ve spent the last 15 or so years thinking mostly about the machinery that gets music from the bits in an audio recording into the ears of a listener. There are dozens of examples of tools for music discovery, organization and listening in the sidebar at the right on this blog. But lately I’ve been thinking quite a bit more about the machinery that goes into getting the bits into an audio recording in the first place. I’m particularly interested in two aspects of this: (1) music synthesis – the machinery that can create the sounds from scratch and (2) generative music – machinery that can generate the music from scratch.
If you are interested in synthesis and generative music, feel free to follow along in Music Machinery Chapter 2. I’m a newbie at it all so pointers and guidance will be greatly appreciated.
Posted in Music on December 2, 2019
Woah, its been a while since I’ve posted to this blog (three and a half years to be exact). I think it’s time for a bit of a reboot on this blog. Stay tuned!
Posted in Music on April 30, 2016
I’ve pushed out some updates to GirlTalkInABox – there are now some nifty filters (chorus, phaser, delay and wahwah), and you can interactively adjust the playback rate of the song. A few other minor changes as well to make live performances a little easier. Check it out at GirlTalkInABox.
Posted in Music on March 13, 2016
I’ve just added a new Smarter Playlists component called My Top Tracks. This track source will generate a list of the top 50 tracks from your recent listening history. You can choose from 3 different time ranges:
- short term – the last month or so
- medium term – the last half year or so
- long term – the last several years
The component configuration looks like this:
Here’s an example program using the new component to surface up tracks that I’ve listened to a lot in the past that haven’t been getting a lot of play time in the last half-year.
Feel free to try out the new component and send me feedback via the google group.
update – to use the new component, you will need to logout and then log back into SmarterPlaylists to grant it the extra permissions it needs to read your recent play history.
As of this morning, there have been 1,363 SmarterPlaylist programs written. Currently there are 300 SmarterPlaylist jobs running periodically. I was wondering what were the most popular components, so I took inventory by looking at all of those 1,363 programs to see which components were used the most often. Here’s the list:
19 Weighted Shuffler
18 Spoken Word
The big surprises for me were to see how often the Echo Nest Artist and Genre radio are being used, and even after being around for only a week, how often the RelativeDatedSpotifyPlaylist is being used.
This morning I added a ‘title filter’ component to SmarterPlaylists. This component lets you filter tracks based on regex string matching of the track title. This is useful for filtering out certain types of track – such as remixes, radio edits or songs with 9 in the title.
The title filter allows you to invert the sense of the filter, and makes it easy to ignore case in your matches as well:
Using this filter we can take our favorite dubstep playlist and eliminate all the radio edits.
To try this yourself, you can import the program.
Thanks to Drew Davidson for the component suggestion.