Predicting Exactly the Music You Want to Hear: A Frontier of AI

Let’s face it: there’s just too much music.  Many of us spend too much of our time researching and looking for music that we don’t spend nearly enough time savouring it.  Our attention spans have shrunk to that of goldfish and we’re often left sputtering like a dog on a loose rug.  Music discover is a big deal in the industry today, which is why everyone from Apple and Google to Songza and Spotify are working on ways to help us sort through the clutter.

Billboard takes a look:

Recommendation algorithms increasingly suggest everything we may want to watch, read or buy; who to follow on Twitter, what New York Times article to read next or what home goods products to order from Amazon.What happens when that logic is applied to something as personal, unexplainable and previously unquantifiable as music?Data is trendy right now, and the music industry is catching on. Samsung just launched a mobile personalized radio app called Milk, Lyor Cohen is tapping Twitter metrics, Gracenote is analyzing BitTorrent data and Warner Music inked a label deal with Shazam. A forthcoming Cone speaker promises to really get to know you by using contextual information like what room you are in and the time of day to tell you exactly what it thinks you want to hear.

It’s not a totally new concept. Pandora’s genome project was first launched in 2000 to analyze and catalog a web of musical attributes. Apple launched its Genius feature in iTunes in 2008 using purchase history to recommend what you might like. Most digital music services today come with suggested artists and some sort of auto play function — and most of those services are, or were, being powered by Echo Nest data.

Advances have been made, but this is hardly an exact science.  Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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