The Music Genome Project and Pandora

Someone turned me onto “Pandora” today so I thought that I would pass along the info.   I will just let Pandora’s website do the talking…

“Q: What is Pandora?Pandora is a music discovery service designed to help you enjoy music you already know, and to help you discover new music you’ll love.  It’s powered by the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken, the Music Genome Project: a crazy project started back in early 2000 to capture the complex musical DNA of songs using a large team of highly-trained musicians.  Just tell us one of your favorite songs or artists and we’ll launch a streaming station to explore that part of the musical universe.”

And what is the Music genome project you might ask?   I’ll let wikipedia do the talking on this one…..

“The Music Genome Project, created in January 2000, is an effort founded by Will Glaser, Jon Kraft, and Tim Westergren to “capture the essence of music at the fundamental level” using over 400 attributes to describe songs and a complex mathematical algorithm to organize them.

A given song is represented by a vector containing approximately 150 genes. Each gene corresponds to a characteristic of the music, for example, gender of lead vocalist, level of distortion on the electric guitar, type of background vocals, etc. Rock and pop songs have 150 genes, rap songs have 350, and jazz songs have approximately 400. Other genres of music, such as world and classical, have 300-500 genes. The system depends on a sufficient number of genes to render useful results. Each gene is a number between 1 and 5. Fractional values are allowed but are limited to half integers.[1] (The term genome is borrowed from genetics.)

Given the vector of one or more songs, a list of other similar songs is constructed using a distance function.

To create a song’s genome, it is analyzed by a musician in a process that takes 20 to 30 minutes per song. Ten percent of songs are analyzed by more than one technician to ensure conformity with the standards, i.e., reliability.”

The just of it is an intelligent music experience.  Let it know what you like and what you don’t and it takes over from there.  I play music all the time so it will be interesting to give this a try and see how I dig it in a couple of weeks.

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