Posts Tagged ismir

Live from ISMIR

This week I’m attending ISMIR – the 10th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference  being held in Kobe Japan.  At this conference researchers gather to advance the state of the art in music information retrieval.  It is a varied bunch  including librarians, musicologists,  experts in signal processing, machine learning, text IR, visualization, HCI.  I’ll be trying to blog the various talks and poster sessions throughout the conference, (but at some point the jetlag will kick in – making it hard for me to think,  let alone type.  It’s 9AM – the keynote is starting …

Opening Remarks

Masataka and Ich give the opening remarks. First some stats:

  • 286 attendees from 28 countries
  • 212 submissions fro 29 countries
  • 123 papers (58%) accepted
  • 214 reviewers





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Tutorial Day at ISMIR

Monday was tutorial day. After months of preparation, Justin finally got to present our material. I was a bit worried that our timing on the talk would be way out of wack and we’d have to self edit on the fly – but all of our time estimates seemed to be right on the money. whew! The tutorial was well attended with 80 or so registered – and lots of good questions at the end. All in all I was pleased at how it turned out. Here’s Justin talking about Echo Nest features:

Justin presenting the tutorial

After the tutorial a bunch of us went into town for dinner. 15 of us managed to find a restaurant that could accommodate us – and after lots of miming and pointing at pictures on the menu we managed to get a good meal. Lots of fun.

Dinner in Kobe

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My first moments in Kobe – ISMIR 2009

After a 26 hours of travel from Nashua to Kobe Japan  via Bostin,  NYC,  Tokyo to Osaka  I arrived to find an extremely comfortable hotel at the conference center:

The conference hotel is the Portopia Hotel.  It is quite nice.  Here’s the lobby:

And the tower:

I went for a walk this morning to find an American-sized cup of coffee (24 oz is standard issue at Dunkin’s).  This is the closest thing I could find.  Looks like I’ll need another source of caffeine on this trip:

Thanks to Masataka, Ichiro and the rest of the conference committee for providing such a wonderful venue for ISMIR 2009.

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Using Visualizations for Music Discovery

On Monday, Justin and I will present our magnum opus – a three-hour long tutorial entitled:  Using Visualizations for Music Discovery.  In this talk we look the various techniques that can be used for visualization of music.  We include a survey of the many existing visualizations of music, as well as talk about techniques and algorithms for creating visualizations.   My hope is that this talk will be inspirational as well as educational spawning new music discovery visualizations.    I’ve uploaded a PDF of our slide deck to slideshare.  It’s a big deck, filled with examples, but note that large as it is,  the PDF isn’t the whole talk.  The tutorial will include many demonstrations and videos of visualizations that just are not practical to include in a PDF.  If you have the chance, be sure to check out the tutorial at ISMIR in Kobe on the 26th.

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ISMIR Cloud browser

Maarten Grachten, Markus Schedl, Tim Pohle  and Gerhard Widmer have created an ISMIR Cloud browser that lets you browse the 10 years of music information research via a text cloud.   Check it out:   The ISMIR Cloud Browser

The ISMIR Cloud Browser


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There must be 85 ways to visualize your music


Justin and I have been working hard, preparing our tutorial: Using Visualizations for Music Discovery being presented at ISMIR 2009 in Kobe Japan.  Here’s a teaser image showing 85 of the visualizations that we’ll be talking about during the tutorial.    If you’ve created a music visualization that is useful for music exploration and discovery, and you don’t see a thumbnail of it here, let me know in the next couple of days.

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What’s your favorite visualization for music discovery?

Justin and I have been working on our tutorial on using visualizations for music discovery to be presented  ISMIR 2009.  One  part of this tutorial will be a survey of current commercial and research-oriented systems that use visualization to help people explore for and discover new music.   Ultimately we hope to build a comprehensive web directory of these visualization as part of the supplementary material for the tutorial.  We could use your help building this directory.  If you know of an interesting  visualization that is used for music discovery (or even a technique that you think *could* be used for music discovery),  add a link/description in the comments on this post or send me an email at  Thanks much!

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Using Visualizations for Music Discovery

As Ben pointed out last week, the ISMIR  site has posted the tutorial schedule for ISMIR 2009.  I’m happy to see that the tutorial that Justin Donaldson and I proposed was accepted.  Our tutorial is called Using Visualizations for Music Discovery.  Here’s the abstract:

As the world of online music grows, tools for helping people find new and interesting music in these extremely large collections become increasingly important.  In this tutorial we look at one such tool that can be used to help people explore large music collections: data visualization.  We survey the state-of-the-art in visualization for music discovery in commercial and research systems. Using numerous examples, we explore different algorithms and techniques that can be used to visualize large and complex music spaces, focusing on the advantages and the disadvantages of the various techniques.   We investigate user factors that affect the usefulness of a visualization and we suggest possible areas of exploration for future research.

I’m excited about this tutorial – mainly because I get to work with Justin on it. He’s a really smart guy who really knows the state-of-the-art in visualizations. I’ll just be tagging along for the ride.

Detail from Genealog of Pop/Rock Music

Detail from Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music

We  are in the survey phase of talk preparation now. We’ve been gathing info on various types of visualizations and tagging them with the delicious tag MusicVizIsmir2009.  Feel free to tag along (pun intended) with us and tag items that you encounter that you feel may be particularly interesting, unique or salient.