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 ...