Monday, April 10, 2006

FP radio is on the air

I'm trying out a cool new feature, Festival Preview Radio, which you'll find at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar on this page. It is based on Pandora, the Internet music system designed to help users discover new artists similar in style to their existing favorite artists.

Pandora is the commercial product that grew out of The Music Genome project, as research project to classify music styles and performers according to a taxonomy of 400 attributes. The idea is that you enter the names of favorite musicians or songs into the program and it will play back other similar music. Full-length, high-fidelity songs then stream to your computer. It works through ordinary Flash-enabled web browsers, so you don't need to download any new software.

For Festival Preview Radio, I've input the performers booked for upcoming festivals to create a "radio station" for each festival. Keep in mind that the songs selected may be selections by artists either in the lineup or others similar in style to those in the lineup. Therefore you can think of the Grey Fox station not as a playlist of performers appearing at the festival, but of a larger set of artists that the festival management might have booked if they had more stage slots and budget.

So far, I've put up stations for Old Settlers', Strawberry Spring and Grey Fox, and I'll put up more festival stations soon. Since each festival includes a range of musical styles, you hear a variety of styles on each. Still, it is interesting to compare the stations to see how the system interprets the varying personalities of the different festival. Check it out, and enjoy the music..

1 comment:

ZC said...

Pandora is a great resource for studio releases. The guys behind it employ trained musicians with college degrees in music to analyze tunes and assign categories. My Newgrass Channel competes with the Widespread Panic channel for ear time. Recommended.