10/16/2007

10-16-07 - 2

Lately any time I decide to do something, as soon as I start doing it I think "WTF is the point" and then I don't do it. I was going to paint the lugs on my sweet old road bike, and started to look into what kind of paint and such, and then went "WTF is the point" and stopped.

I'm in the middle of this giant endeavor to rip all my CDs and then get rid of them. I've done a few hundred and I'm up to "C" and I'm starting to think "WTF am I doing this for". It would be nice to just not have all these fucking things to lug around, but then I have to get some kind of iPod adapter thing for my car and spend a lot of time loading songs on my iPod and all that garbage waste of time. It's just busy work.

I still want to write a nice auto-DJ app. It would scan through your whole music library and analyze all your songs (which would take several days). Analysis would detect the beats and also the "energy level" and "style" of the songs (there are various papers on making estimates of these things with subband spectrum analysis and "timbre" study and so on). Then the user could pick a song to get it started. When that song ended, the autoDJ would randomly pick another song which was close to the original in all 3 attributes, and perhaps beat match and cross fade if the beat structure is clean enough (a lot of rock songs do annoying intros or fade outs that don't match the primary beat, so you wouldn't want to crossfade them). So the autoDJ takes a random walk through your music collection in a way that provides pleasing transitions that stay in the sort of general musical area of the seed song. Anyway, this is like a few weeks work, but WTF is the point?

Addendum : I've found two existing things that are similar to the auto-DJ I described. One is Pandora which appears to be based on a database that's manually marked up by human listeners. The other is MusicIP which has a free Mixer app you can download. They seem to actually do an automatic content-based identification of song "mood". It appears to me that they don't actually run it on your client, but rather identify your songs and look it up in their online database. In my experience there are a lot of problems with MusicIP. It's just not nearly good enough to actually let it just play. It is, however, kind of a fun tool to browse your music collection if it's way too big and you haven't even listened to half of what you have.

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