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Curation Versus Algorithms


DanSmedra

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"Music curation is suddenly the hot topic when it comes to streaming music services after the reports that it will be the distinguishing feature of the yet-to-be-launched Beats Music. Yes, it seems like song suggestions from a real human being trump that of an algorithm, at least on paper, and the threat of this new feature by Beats has caused both Spotify and Rdio to respond with curation features of their own."

 

BBBBSSSS

 

In my opinion, the public as well as the audiophile community was #$*@7ed royally with bit of nonsense. Keep in mind that Beats in conjunction with Apple put a bullet in the head of MOG and screwed David Hyman. Why? Because Tim Cook (Apple) saw MOG as undermining iTunes music sales revenues. But I digress.

 

Pandora was the first to introduce algorthmic music selection. It serves a wonderful purpose for those with discriminating music tastes, those who wanted to discover what THEY like in the way of music. Pandora's 400 music tags created music profiles for the cosmos of music genre. There's NOTHING wrong with that!! The interactive presentation/feedback feature in Pandora allows listeners to experientially discovery music that pushes all the right buttons for all the right moments. Pandora has introduced my wife and I to a wonderful group of new musically skilled artists, which we would never would have known even existed.

 

By contrast, music curation (using so-called "real human beings") is a huge problem, in my opinion. Where does Beats, Spotify, TIDAL, etc. hire these music "curators" or "editors"? Is this some kind of social welfare, full-employment effort for the 20-40 something crowd? Why are these curators "experts" at anything? Why do they know what's "good" music? Curators will always be hugely subjective and biased in creating playlists, etc. I don't need ANYONE telling me what is "good" music. Further, the employment of the locust of curators adds to the cost of music services. No wonder TIDAL is $20 @ month, it has a burgeoning salary overhead to meet.

 

Ok, my rant is over. If you see things differently, that's fine. I'll continue to vote with my feet and dollars. I'll use Pandora for discovery, then build my streaming library in TIDAL.

Source: TIDAL HiFi/Masters, Pandora One > iPeng 9.2.1 on iPhone6s/iPad

Great Room: SBT#1 > Cullen Coax > PS Audio DL3 DAC > Audio Envy cables > Martin Logan (ML) 200Wpc Purity.

SBT#2 >JVC 110w amp > ML Motion 4 & AudioEngine 5.

Garage: SBT3 > Audioquest TOS > Wyred mINT > Cullen Cables > Martin Logan Motion 12

Carry Anywhere: TIDAL/Pandora >iPhone 6s > Bose Mini Bluetooth speaker.

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Back in the old days, Pandora could not do recommendations for Classical. So I didn't use them.

 

These days (at least for Spotify), the "curation" is just social media recommendations, looking at others' playlists, and computer generated recommendations much like what amazon does.

You're not paying a new cost to listen to each song, so nobody cares if a recommendation is bad or not.

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"Music curation is suddenly the hot topic when it comes to streaming music services after the reports that it will be the distinguishing feature of the yet-to-be-launched Beats Music. Yes, it seems like song suggestions from a real human being trump that of an algorithm, at least on paper, and the threat of this new feature by Beats has caused both Spotify and Rdio to respond with curation features of their own."

.......

Ok, my rant is over. If you see things differently, that's fine. I'll continue to vote with my feet and dollars. I'll use Pandora for discovery, then build my streaming library in TIDAL.

 

I think the currating you are criticizing is nothing more than a promotion vehicle for the music services (payolla anyone?) and for the musicians. At least for the services I subscribe to, none of this is factored in to their Pandora style smart radio services. How will beats use curating differently than the other services?

 

FYI Pandora's music genome requires humans to actually listen and grade/apply attributes to thousands (or tens of thousands) of songs each month. As you say, each song has over 400 attributes, these attributes are all applied by humans employed by Pandora. So there is a large amount of human input (and indeed particular tastes, preferences and maybe bias or error) that go in to applying the attributes for each song in Pandora's catalogue.

 

Beats, Spotify, Rdio, the third party apps for the services etc use the Echnonest (recently acquired by spotify). They say they have over a trillion datapoints they use for analysis. You can read about the Echonest here.

 

There are a lot of useful apps that use Echonest data. My favourite by far is Smart Mix/The Blender. This plug in works with LMS - it will analyze your own personal catalogue and allow you to generate pandora style never ending playlists based on your own music or music from a service. If you like Pandora style radio stations and have a large library, Smart Mix gives a really awesome way of playing your own music.

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Thanks gnan, I'll check it out. Thanks for the feedback and input.

Source: TIDAL HiFi/Masters, Pandora One > iPeng 9.2.1 on iPhone6s/iPad

Great Room: SBT#1 > Cullen Coax > PS Audio DL3 DAC > Audio Envy cables > Martin Logan (ML) 200Wpc Purity.

SBT#2 >JVC 110w amp > ML Motion 4 & AudioEngine 5.

Garage: SBT3 > Audioquest TOS > Wyred mINT > Cullen Cables > Martin Logan Motion 12

Carry Anywhere: TIDAL/Pandora >iPhone 6s > Bose Mini Bluetooth speaker.

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Beats, Spotify, Rdio, the third party apps for the services etc use the Echnonest (recently acquired by spotify). They say they have over a trillion datapoints they use for analysis. You can read about the Echonest here.

 

I can never thank you enough for putting me on to Echonest. I found the Demo section and what a find! I'm using it to search for genre and artist. This is a powerful tool. Rdio used it to create a standalone iOS app for searching and creating playlists. TIDAL should get on board or some create an independent app. I'd buy it.

Source: TIDAL HiFi/Masters, Pandora One > iPeng 9.2.1 on iPhone6s/iPad

Great Room: SBT#1 > Cullen Coax > PS Audio DL3 DAC > Audio Envy cables > Martin Logan (ML) 200Wpc Purity.

SBT#2 >JVC 110w amp > ML Motion 4 & AudioEngine 5.

Garage: SBT3 > Audioquest TOS > Wyred mINT > Cullen Cables > Martin Logan Motion 12

Carry Anywhere: TIDAL/Pandora >iPhone 6s > Bose Mini Bluetooth speaker.

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