Anorak News | Music Boxes

Music Boxes

by | 17th, January 2006

‘HOW do you categorise your music collection?

Is it a simple A to Z of hits and albums? Or are you in tune with your inner muso, categorising your library of sounds by genre, cross referencing each item by artiste’s name, country of origin and musical influences?

Imagine how much more complex and thorough your collection would be if it were organised by a computer.

The Guardian reports that Brian Whitman and Tristan Jehan, two scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have devised computer software that defines music in a whole new way.

The Echo Nest software analyses the context of a song – taking into account reviews – as well as how loud or soft it is, and the tempo.

‘At the same time, it also can listen to the music – do some signal processing to figure out stuff like dominant key and pitch and rhythm and structure,” says Dr Whitman.

Of course, the real muso will have done this already. But for those of us with lives, it sounds evey bit as good and useful as Geri Halliwell.

But better than this – and what’s sure to get the music industry buzzing like a fan of German trance music – is the programme’s ability to predict how well a song will perform in the charts.

As Dr Whitman says: ‘For record company executives, this raises the tantalising possibility of knowing in advance whether their latest pop act will hit the charts at a strong position.”

Although, given the retrospective state of the pop charts, today’s hit-makers might just like to consider how well the song performed when it was originally released…’

Posted: 17th, January 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink