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Linking Music

Categorise music by similar tracks rather than genre.
  [vote for,

It can be very difficult to organise music into genres, partly because music is often influenced by many different genres and it does not fit neatly into any single one. Why not create a "web" of music that is classified by tracks that are similar to each other. There does not have to be a limit on the number of links a track can have, although this may create rather a lot of data.

This would enable the creation of seamlessly flowing automatic playlists with no jarring juxtaposition (as can happen with random mode).

Another possibility is a visual map of music that could be used to select the music you want to listen to or suggest new music that you may like. Music Plasma is an example of something similar, although it is based on artists rather than individual albums or tracks, and it is limited in size. http://www.musicplasma.com/

How these links should be genreated, I am unsure. I have several ideas for this, and you may have some more. The most time consuming method would be for individual users to create their own links but only the most dedicated cataloger would bother. A colaborative database could be set up over the internet but there may be discrepencies in the data and users disagreeing with each other. Some sort of automation would be desirable. Currently, music recognition software (that identifies genres) is at an early stage of development and would consequently be unsuitable for the job. So perhaps the best option would be an algorithm that calculates links based on tracks that are played consecutively. Artists could also create links (after all they should know their influences!).

I hope you understood all of that.

BlueGiraffe, Nov 22 2005

Live Plasma http://www.musicplasma.com/
Visual map of similar artists. [BlueGiraffe, Nov 22 2005]

last.fm http://www.last.fm/
Personal music profile. Recommends new music based on others' profiles. Listen to radio. [BlueGiraffe, Nov 22 2005]

Pandora, by the Music Genome Project http://www.pandora.com/
Baked in terms of the recognition and classification of musically similar tracks. [yamahito, Jan 24 2006]

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       Automatic linking wouldn't work for me as I like to juxtapose my music, skipping lightly from an Irish jig to a 12 minute prog rock dirge, or some jaunty punk to a sweetly sung ballad...   

       I like the idea [+]. I already use MusicPlasma to find new artists, but track-by-track listing would be better, especially when some artists create a wide variety of different styles of music over a career. How can you catagorize someone like David Bowie? or Aphex Twin?   

       Finding a way to link the tracks is the hard bit..
Minimal, Nov 23 2005

       Dire Straights albums could be left exactly as they are...
ConsulFlaminicus, Nov 25 2005

       I think that's the idea behind the Music Genome Project (see link to Pandora), Ian. My problem with it is that these 'tags' are on an objective music theory/technical basis for the MGP, and music is as much or more about the mood and subjective qualities of the piece.   

       They're trying to do a good thing by using this pandora thing to gather feedback, but at the moment it's a very basic form of feedback - I like it, I don't like it or I don't care enough to vote (although if they're clever they're making a note of which songs get skipped through most frequently).   

       I'd like to see a mechanism where people can, if they're bothered, rate songs on less objective scales - on a scale of one to ten from 'laid back groove' to 'manic funky' or something.
yamahito, Jan 24 2006


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