If you like Norah Jones ... You might like Ravi Shankar.

At first blush, this looks like a bad recommendation - the Starbucks queen seems quite removed from the Indian Master - it is hard to imagine any kind of connection between these two artists, but the connection is actually quite close. Ravi Shankar is the father of Norah Jones. This little tidbit - the paternity of Norah Jones - turns what seems to be a bad recommendation into a credible recommendation.

Often we get recommendations like this - where they seem to make no sense, but with a little information the recommendations can become good, or at least reasonable.

Recently last.fm added a 'connections' tab to the set of artist tabs, so now it is easier to find these types of musical connections.


Musicbrainz has this data too.



I really had no idea Ravi Shankar is the father of Norah Jones. Shocking... but not as shocking as the "holiday duets" album the two could put out.

Posted by Colin Brumelle on May 14, 2008 at 10:26 PM EDT #

As far as i understand, these connections are made manually on the group tabs (not the artist tabs) by the owner of a group:
"Group owners can connect their groups to other entities on the site.
This helps the system find groups with specific interests."

I don't own any group so i can't see exactly the possibilities. but you can see for generic group which are not bounded to one artist.
Last.fm say they use these connections, but i still don't see any trace of her father on Nora's page :)

Posted by florent on May 16, 2008 at 02:12 AM EDT #

This type of information has been available from AMG for years. Check the Norah Jones page at allmusic.com, and then check the Ravi Shankar page.

Is this a case of reinventing the wheel?

Posted by roomforjello on May 18, 2008 at 09:59 AM EDT #

@roomforjello - yes there are commercial entities like All Music that provide this information - and they do a good job at doing it. AMG's data is well curated and accurate. But for many companies that are trying to do recommendation, especially startups that don't have a lot of money, AMG is too expensive - so these folks have to find alternatives to get that data. MusicBrainz and Last.fm are harnessing the wisdom of the crowds to create the same information that the AMG experts create. AMG is akin to the Encylopedia Britannica while MusicBrainz is more akin to the Wikipedia. I'm interested in seeing everyone, even small startups that can't afford expensive professionally maintained metadata, provide good recommendation and discovery tools - which is why I highlight these techniques.

Posted by Paul on May 18, 2008 at 10:22 AM EDT #

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