Sunday, February 11, 2007

If this is one of those things everyone in the world already knows about, forgive me.

Pandora internet radio will take a song or artist you like and then suggest other things you might like. This, in and of itself, does not sound that exciting. In fact, I could design a system that would do this. My system would work like this:

Type in the name of an artist or song you like: _______________

Based on the fact that you like ____________, the Jocelyn Music Recommeding Engine suggests you try The Cure. They make awesome 80s-style pop that is layered, atmospheric, and fun. If the song "Just Like Heaven" does not make you want to dance around, then you are dead inside.

(Note: The system recommends The Cure regardless of your input)

My point, here, is that no matter how justified my system's recommendations, the ones Pandora makes are actually based on your input, in a very specific, nay scientific, way. When I told it I liked Snow Patrol, it gave me a song I never heard of, but I believe I will like it because it has "similar use of vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation, major key tonality..." I believe this justifies the use of the term "audio science."

Variations on the "If you like x, you might like y" theme: (a) "If you like tequlia, you might like mariachi music" (b) "if you like The Simpsons, you might like Family Guy, because it is basically an exact replica of The Simpsons" (c) "If you like ricotta cheese, you might also like feta cheese"

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