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SXSW Music 2014

A Genre Map for Discovering the World of Music

All the music ever made (approximately) is a click or two away. Your favorite music in the world is probably something you've never even heard of yet. But which click leads to it?

Most music "discovery" tools are only designed to discover the most familiar thing you don't already know. Do you like the Dave Matthews Band? You might like O.A.R.! Want to know what your friends are listening to? They're listening to Daft Punk, because they don't know any more than you. Want to know what's hot? It's yet another Imagine Dragons song that actually came out in 2012. What we NEED are tools for discovery through exploration, not dictation.

This talk will provide a manic music-discovery demonstration-expedition, showcasing how discovery through exploration (The Echo Nest Discovery list & the genre mapping experiment, Every Noise at Once) in the new streaming world is not an opportunity to pay different people to dictate your taste, but rather a journey, unearthing new music JUST FOR YOU.

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  1. Why does every recommendation system keep recommending me stuff I already know and hate? F*ck Daft Punk.
  2. Why do my Pandora stations get boring after a while (and don't say it's me)?
  3. How many genres of music are there, anyway (not counting the ones that suck)?
  4. What makes this all so hard for computers -- certain computers, anyway?
  5. Is there anything materially more awesome than Bulgarian folk-pop?



Glenn McDonald, Principal Engineer, The Echo Nest

Meta Information:

  • Event: Music
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Technology
  • Track 2
  • Level:
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