9. March 2009

Music Intersector Now With Up to Five Users


Some time ago, I created a little addon to Last.fm called Music Intersector. It shows which bands are common between the favorites of two users. As you might have noticed, Last.fm has integrated this functionality into its own system, so my old music intersector became a bit pointless.

Not anymore. I just updated it and it can now show the musical similarities between up to five users. Perfect for small parties and gatherings. :)

» Music Intersector

Unfortunately, the number of results declines extremely rapidly with more than two users. There is not much that I can do about it, since Last.fm only offers access to the top 50 artists and not the whole profile.

19. January 2009

beyond vision


beyond vision

There is one project that I was working on, but never found the time to tell you about: beyond vision. It is the largest project that I have done so far and it required so much time that I didn’t have any time left to write about it. :) But in December it was finally completed, so now there is time to tell:

18 musicians, 7 huge screens. beyond vision is the fusion of music and film – not just music with visual support and not just film with film music. Together both media tell an abstract story like it would not be possible for each medium alone.

I already set up a small page full with information about this project, so I will not copy it here. If you are interested, just take a look at the following link:

» beyond vision

I am sorry that I did not have the time to mention this project earlier. I guessed that most of you are probably not from Germany so the tour dates would probably not have been very interesting for you. :) And now, at least I have some more material to show you (don’t miss the photos).

I hope I will be able to show you some more background information soon. A documentary is already in the making, so hopefully I can show you some video footage from the performances somewhen…

Topics: beyond visionconcertinstallationmetamusicvideo

8. August 2008

Music Matching your Running Speed or Heartbeat: Yamaha BodiBeat


Yamaha BodiBeat

Yamaha released a mp3 player which automatically chooses songs which match your current activity. It is called BodiBeat or more plainly BF-1.

Using a accelerometer the player tries to determine the current running rhythm. It then automatically chooses the music best matching this rhythm.

In another mode, it monitors the heartbeat of the listener using an ear clip (stylish… yuk). If the pulse becomes slower than the optimal training pulse, BodiBeat plays faster music. If the heartbeat accelerates too much, it plays slower music.

Alternatively Yamaha’s BodiBeat can also be used as a plain simple mp3 player. ^_^

I’m not really a jogging person, so this toy is not for me. However, I’m very curious how well this will work. Yamaha claims that the player can even switch mid-song to something with a more approptiate speed – I can hardly imagine how this can be done smoothly.

Nevertheless, I think the idea is pretty cool. :)

» Yahama BodiBeat

(via Boing Boing via OhGizmo! via The Red Ferret Journal)

More weird mp3 players

Floating MP3-Player: Music for your bath tub

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: fitnessjoggingmp3 playermusic

9. June 2008

Anberlin – Blueprints for the Black Market (CD Review / Recommendation)

Cover: Anberlin - Blueprints for the Black Market

Anberlin are an american Band which exists since 2002. Their style is commonly referred to as alternative rock, emo or "christian rock" (weird term for a music style). I am very bad in categorizing music, so please leave a comment if you know more. :)

In 2003, Anberlin released their debut record, Blueprints for the Black Market. As usually I don’t have the verbal skills to adequately describe why this record is so cool, so I’ll stick with a simple description: It rocks! :) My favorite tracks are "Readyfuels", "Autobahn" and "Glass to the arson". The "Lovesong" cover is pretty cool as well.

Unfortunately, the acoustic version of Autobahn is not included on the CD – a shame! This version is what first introduced me to Anberlin. According to an internet source, this version was originally created as a promo for the website of the Rolling Stone Magazine and maybe was also found on the MTV website. Now, the acoustic Autobahn seems to be only available through illegal channels. If someone knows a legal source, please leave a comment!

Samples

Listening samples are available at Amazon and Last.fm

Tracks on Blueprints for the Black Market

  1. Readyfuels
  2. Foreign Language
  3. Change the World (Lost Ones)
  4. Cold War Transmissions
  5. Glass to the Arson
  6. Undeveloped Story
  7. Autobahn
  8. We Dreamt in Heist
  9. Love Song
  10. Cadence
  11. Naïve Orleans

More Music Recommendations

Subway to Sally – Bastard

Ghoultown – Tales from the Dead West

Deine Lakaien – Acoustic (music review)

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: alternativeCDemomusicrecommendationreview

26. May 2008

MySong: Simple Software Automatically Composes Musical Accompaniment

A research project by a student (Ian Simon) and a Microsoft empoyee lead to a nice toy called MySong. This software analyzes the melody of a vocal track and automatically creates a musical accompaniment:

MySong [...] automatically chooses chords to accompany a vocal melody, allowing a user with no musical training to rapidly create accompanied music. MySong is a creative tool for folks who like to sing but would never get a chance to experiment with creating real original music. Come on, you know who you are… you sing in the car, or in the shower, or you go to karaoke clubs, or you just once in a while find yourself singing along with catchy commercial jingles.

Here is a short video which demonstrates MySong:

For those who can’t/won’t watch the video, here a short description: At first, you sing a melody into your microphone. As soon as you’re done, MySong builds a chord sequence around it. You can influence the style a bit with two sliders. You can decide whether the music should sound more sad or happy and whether it should be normal or jazzy.

MySong’s creators emphasize that their program is not meant to automate songwriting. Nobody will ever create a top 40 hit using any version of MySong. It is rather meant to at least give people an impression of how it feels to write a song. It should also be good enough to produce a birthday or valentine song.

Unfortunately, the program is not available for download. I hope Microsoft doesn’t let it rot in the drawer…

» MySong Website

The website also has an article of a scientific journal which describes the theories behind MySong in detail. There’s also tons of samples.

(via Basic Thinking via ReadWriteWeb)

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: compositionmusicsingingsoftware

19. April 2008

Satanic Message for Computer Geeks


Satanic messages in music are usually found in form of passages which, played in reverse (and with much fantasy), result in subversive texts.

A satanic message for advanced satanic followers discovered Alberto Garcia: The band Urusei Yatsura placed an acoustically coded computer program at the beginning of one of their songs. Decoded and run with a computer it writes a satanic message on the screen. :)

» read on!

Topics: emulatormusicSatan

30. January 2008

Subway to Sally – Bastard (Review)


Subway to Sally - Bastard

Subway to Sally have been one of my favourite bands for a long time now. Most people would call their style folk metal, but somehow this does not feel right for me. They are definitely using a lot of folk elements and also use several classical instruments (shalm, violin, bagpipe, mandolin and more). Their use of guitars is also very heavy – but I think metal is something else. :)

My personal favourite of Subway to Sally is their album Herzblut from 2001. Everything that followed was a downwards trend (from my perspective, there are probably also a lot of people who think otherwise). The bottom of this trend was Nord Nord Ost – the only album by Subway to Sally which I do not have.

Last year appeared Bastard, the album that finally started the upwards trend again.

» read on!

Topics: musicreview

10. January 2008

thesixtyone – Digg-Styled Music Discovery System


the sixty one

thesixtyone is a platform on which you can listen to and rate music and rate it. Musicians upload their music for everyone to listen to. If you like it, you can “bump” it, giving it a vote. The music which gets voted the most is posted to the front page. So basically, it works for music like the famous social news platform Digg works for news.

» read on!

Topics: discoveringinternetmusic

23. November 2007

Ghoultown – Tales from the Dead West (CD-Review)


Ghoultown - Tales from the Dead West

Ghoultown create music that I have difficulties to categorize. It sounds a bit like Country, but is based mainly on electric guitars. The atmosphere is gloomy, although the music doesn’t take itself overly serious at this.

» read on!

Topics: albumCDgothabillymusicrecommendationrecordreview

22. November 2007

Last.fm Open Mind Index – How open are you to different styles of music?


The list of Last.fm extensions is still expanding. :) Today: The Last.fm Open Mind Index

With this tool, you can calculate your personal Open Mind Index (OMI). The OMI is intended to reflect the bandwidth or your personal musical taste. The higher the number, the broader is your taste in music and the more open you are to different styles of music.

» read on!

Topics: extensionlast.fmmainstreammusictool

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