The Filter is an entertainment recommendation service that asks questions about your taste, then tries to refer you to CDs and DVDs you might be interested in buying. (The site will eventually add other forms of entertainment, such as TV shows.) It's been in a closed beta since earlier this year, and has gotten some press thanks to the involvement of art-rocker Peter Gabriel. On Tuesday, it opened to the masses.
Streaming-music service Pandora announced on Tuesday that it is testing out a beta version of a downloadable desktop application for Windows and Mac.
Until this point, Pandora had offered only Web-based music. A desktop application has been on the start-up's to-do list for some time, the blog post explained, and was also a common request from members.
The application is built using Adobe Integrated Runtime, or AIR, the Web-meets-desktop software that debuted in February and now powers a number of popular light applications like Twitter client Twhirl.
Pandora is ad-supported to handle the licensing fees that inevitably come from … Read more
Pandora is a music discovery and recommendation service. Users can listen to tracks via a simplistic player, and if they like or dislike a song they can vote yes or no on it. If they don't like it, the service will automatically skip it and move onto something else. If they do like it, Pandora will pull up tracks it thinks are similar in style. With enough use, it can effectively introduce you to all sorts of new music, and users can make their own radio stations based on personal tastes.
The service makes its money from advertisements that … Read more
I was surprised to read on David Kusek's blog (Future of Music) that Indie's share of the music market is galloping toward 30 percent. I'm not sure where Kusek gets that number, though I was able to find some corroboration, but that is a surprising rise for a once obscure slice of the music pie.
It's also perhaps indicative of how music distribution is changing music preferences:
Indie Labels now account for upwards of 30 percent of total music sales, up from the low 20's just a few years ago. This is a profound shift in the powerbase that favors the independent artist and innovator.… Read more
Apple may have many reasons for preventing Flash applications to work on the iPhone and iPod Touch, but I can't think of one more compelling than Pandora.
The free Music Genome Project-based service, which is fast gaining a cult following similar to that of Apple products for its simple user interface and innovative edge in music consumption, is sure to present some serious competition to iTunes on any mobile device.
Sure, Pandora technically is Apple-friendly, letting users bookmark songs they hear on their customized radio stations, then buy them through iTunes. But when you've customized your "Paul … Read more
BookLamp is a project that the people at Amazon.com would be idiots to pass up buying.
It's a machine learning tool that's been designed to go through books and analyze not only how they're written, but also help group together novels that share similar structures and styles. The hope is to help people discover books they may like based on previously read novels, or what kind of reading experience they're going for. Internet radio recommendation service Pandora does something similar, employing a thumbs up and down system combined with listening history.
Because BookLamp's system uses machine learning, it skips the three major aspects of each book that humans usually tally: story line and plot, the characters, and writing style. Instead, it figures out bits of these three items by using written cues and quantifiers like word density, pacing, action, character dialogue (as noted by quotations), and level of description. The system also blends in one to five star ratings from Amazon.com.
So far, the database has 179 books, but is tracking more than 700,000 data points over 30,000 scenes from those titles. If it were to scale to track more works, in theory the results for related items would be even more precise. In its current state, users can go in and pick from one of the titles and get recommendations for similar titles, or view the graphs of what the system has recorded for its pacing, density, and other characteristics.
One of the coolest features, and the one I think is the killer app is the pacing analysis. It will go through and figure out when the pace of a book speeds up or slows down.
In the video demo (embedded after the break), creator Aaron Stanton picks Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park as an example, and demonstrates that BookLamp was smart enough to detect when the pace ramps up, including on what page that change occurs. I could see this being a great way to check and see if you're wasting your time on a read that's off to an incredibly slow start and potentially going nowhere. Instead of giving up, you could simply give the chart a quick look.
The project has been around since 2003 and continues to build up its database. There's a sign-up form to request a work to be added. You can also play around with the browsing and stats tool by registering. Be sure to hit the read more button to check out the video walk-through.
When I first read about Jango in an alumni update from my alma mater (go Ephs), my first thought was "how many more streaming online music services does the world need?" We've already got Last.fm, Pandora, Slacker, iLike, Imeem, Ezmo...can I stop now?
But Jango offers a refreshingly clear and simple take on the theme. As with many of these services, you start by entering a favorite artist's name...and a song starts playing. You don't need to sign in, download any software, invite friends, choose other favorite artists, or let anything connect … Read more
Pandora has added classical music to the Music Genome Project, the extensive music database and engine that powers its DIY Internet radio site.
If you were addicted to Pandora before, just wait until you can actually figure out what kind of classical music you like.
The addition is significant as more than any other DIY Internet radio site, Pandora is known for its ability to figure out what listeners like based on a musical genetic code for each song. Nowhere is a song's musical genetic code more relevant to figuring out what you like than in the complexities of … Read more
A new social-networking DIY Internet radio site called Jango went into public beta on Monday.
Jango, which Webware reviewed while it was still in private testing, offers many of the common features other leading music sites offer, but embeds the controls right within the main play bar.
The site concentrates on improving the usability and interface for DIY music sites that can sometime be daunting. Things like weighting the worth of a song, scrolling your own and others' playlists, finding band information, and managing music is all one click, mouse movement, or thumbnail away from the main play bar.
What … Read more