Music agents

July 18, 2006 at 7:58 am | Posted in Music | 1 Comment

I just found MusicLens, which like last.fm and Pandora could be described as a music agent, a piece of software that lets you find out about new music. It’s interesting the way these agents all use different approaches.

  • With last.fm you download some software that monitors what you listen to on your computer; last.fm then plays music based upon your listening habits (and those whose listening habits are similar to yours).
  • Pandora is a flash based music player that lets you define stations by choosing specific songs and then rating others that play; station music is chosen by looking for similarities in parameters assigned to each song by humans.
  • MusicLens lets you just enter a bunch of parameters in manually, and then lists matching songs which can be previewed or used as a basis for further searching. It isn’t clear to me whether the parameters are assigned to songs by computer or by humans.

The thing is, all of these are interesting in theory, but in reality what I end up using most are just internet radio stations, where some random human out there just selects songs. If I like their taste, I’ll probably like some of the songs I’ve never heard before. For me at least, this seems to work better than last.fm or Pandora, both of which tend to result in kind of incoherent music streams, since the songs are picked by computer. But to actively find new music, MusicLens seems like a good approach.

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  1. I love your site!

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