One question that arises whenever someone wants to listens to music is: Is it worth creating a playlist -- or do I just press shuffle?" The former is getting
more and more difficult, due to the sheer amount of music available on today's
computers while the latter is rendered useless by the huge variety of music on
-- Jakob Frank, Analysing and Evaluating Playlists on Music Maps, WDA'2009
In my previous post, I discussed the different different approaches used to generate music playlists automatically, and compared the features of four playlist recommenders. In this post I'll describe an experiment I conducted to discover how the playlists differ when using each of those products.
These products are not really direct competitors; you could conceivably find a use for each. Using different technologies and approaches to produce their results, each offers a different mix of features and services. In my previous post I summarized those differences in a table.
In one important respect, however, all four share a common goal: they aim to pick music tracks that will sound good together in a playlist. But to evaluate products against that simple goal statement involves some complications that we must discuss first ...
Launching new iPhone apps is a bit like making babies, but with a less predicable gestation period. There's a lot of anxious waiting for the big day. So we're proud to announce that you can now download Moodagent by Syntonetic -- free for a limited time!
As a beta tester for Moodagent, I've had the opportunity to discover first-hand what distinguishes the various music playlisting options available. As you can imagine, playlist quality is quite subjective. And no one wants to listen to music the same way in every situation. Therefore, the good news today is that you can automatically build playlists for an ever-increasing array of music in more ways than ever.
Automatic Playlisting Distinctions
To explain the fundamental distinctions between automatic playlist generators, I'll compare four products:
On the face of it, all four products have similar goals -- to pick music tracks that sound good together in a playlist. But each one works in different ways and employs different technologies under the covers -- producing different results.
In this post I'll briefly provide some context for comparing these products and summarize their features and technology differences. Following a head-to-head comparison, you'll find further discussion and links to some important issues.