Sunday, February 18, 2007

Music Personality Tests and Personal Recommendations

My wife came across some intriguing stuff, including this blog, which asks the question, "how good is music as a measure of personality?"

What does your taste in music say about your personality? take this test... my results were reasonable accurate. then there's some other interesting personality tests here.

then there's some interesting development trends in personal recommendation software etc.

i just tried out this internet "radio station" called Pandora which targets music to what you like, and continually updates the playlist of a station (you can have up to 100) depending on what bands and songs you like. Here's what they say at their home page:

"Ever since we started the Music Genome Project, our friends would ask: Can you help me discover more music that I'll like? Those questions often evolved into great conversations. Each friend told us their favorite artists and songs, explored the music we suggested, gave us feedback, and we in turn made new suggestions. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal DJs. We created Pandora so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you. "

so, i thought i'd check it out and typed in "mr bungle" and then took notes on what happened. the program looked thru its database, and startd off playing bungle's "pink cigarette"... and stated something about it exemplifying certain recording studio qualities, syncopation and some other stuff. i am intrigued by this.

the next track i got was by The Citizens ... meant to have similar mixed acoustic and tonal something or other... wasn't that impressed by it. but i can see how that song had connections to the bungle song they played before. and i like this idea, of how they've analysed all these songs and use certain attributes to choose the songs they play you, not just like the amazon method, "people who bought this also bought this" type of prediction to what you might like. it's at a higher level.

...then i got freakin Switchfoot- gave that the thumbs down too.

next is Menomena which is very different...

then Blinker The Star... hmmm, ok. yeah, quite like it.

i guess this will get more and more personalised the more feedback i provide. it's an interesting way to hear new music. and i think it's a great idea to have a number of different stations, for different music styles at different times. i'll need a death/black metal station, and an experimental one, etc.

ohhh, next is Pernice Brothers ... don't like this sort of thing, pretty melodramatic soft piano shoe gazing pop/rock.. errrgh gets a bit better and more built up, but thumbs down. let's move on. i like how it kills the song immediately with a thumbs down.

Lisa Mednick. yeah, similar to Dead Can Dance. interesting.

and then that was the end of the trial. just set up a free account. all you need is an email address, and i had to pretend i was in the US with the zip code of 12340... seems to have worked. it was just for international licensing. but now i look like a seppo!

i've now learnt that you can actually add songs or bands to your station (and have up to 100 stations) and that widens the possible songs in a similar way to your initial 'seeding' choice. so i added John Zorn, Fantomas, Can, Einsturzende Neubauten, Tortoise, Trans Am, and Ween. i seem to be getting a lot of synth industrial now, like Skinny Puppy. but that's okay. have to keep playing with it, and set up some other stations. but i highly recommend!