MusicLens is a search system and interface for selecting and building music playlists. Instead of the normal browse through the a music collection by scrolling through artist, genre, album and song menus, when you use MusicLens you adjust sliders associated with the music properties. If you want quiet music, slide the appropriate slider to the 'silent' end, or if you want loud, driving music, slide it to the 'ear-busting' end. MusicLens give you sliders associated with speed, instrumentation, emotion, year of release. If you don't care about a particular property you can deselect a slider and that property won't be used in selecting music. MusicLens is certainly a novel way of accessing a music collection. It relieves one of having to browse through the words that surround the music. Instead, you can interact with your music collection using musical terms. I can say: give me a playlist of fast, happy songs with female vocalists, and I'll get a list that may span genres and artists, but fits that criteria.

I'm not so sure though, that the slider interface is appropriate for all of these properties. Some properties such as emotion are hard to represent on a linear scale. Does 'happy' come before or after 'content' and 'joyful'. Is 'angry' closer to 'sad' or 'frantic'. Still, I do like the idea that you can use musical terms to interact with your music collection instead of just the words.

More info in this paper.


Interesting how moving the 'sex' slider all the way to 'female' produces hits like Aaron Carter and 'NSync. I must not be using it correctly -- or maybe I am...

Posted by Sten Anderson on September 29, 2005 at 04:50 PM EDT #

WOW! Very interesting... 'NSync are so "female".... :P

Posted by ulver on September 30, 2005 at 01:31 PM EDT #

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