One of the things we've been working on this summer on Project Aura is a web application called The Music Explaura. The Explaura is designed to help people discover new music. One of the key features of the Explaura is that it offers transparent, steerable recommendations - you can ask the recommender why something was recommended, and you can steer the recommender toward music that you'll like. If you like heavy metal music, but you don't like cookie monster vocals you can point the recommender in the right direction. It's fun to play with and I've been finding lots of new music with it.

All the cool bits in the user interface were implemented by our summer Über-intern Francois Maillet. Francois will be demoing the interface during the Late Breaking/Demo session at ISMIR so if you are interested in seeing the Explaura in action be sure to stop by.

Update: Here's a little video showing steerable recommendations in action



Hi Paul, I really like the sound of this project. Is there any vague ETA you can share with us? It's looking pretty damn cool so please don't say "In a few years..." :)

Posted by Peter on September 11, 2008 at 06:09 AM EDT #

@Peter - thanks for your interest. We are aiming for a fall release of Project Aura - this will include the Music Explaura web app along with a set of web services for music discovery and recommendation.

Posted by Paul on September 11, 2008 at 06:15 AM EDT #

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