As television users embrace the adfree environment with TiVo, more premium content, while broadcasters scramble to figure out how to add more ads that are un-“zappable” etc- Music listeners will begin to embrace the ad filled environment in exchange for free content. While labels and big-wigs scramble to figure out the best way to implement. But commercials during streaming? That’s hardly original… isn’t that just what (terrestrial) radio does?
I guess tried and true is what they’re aiming for.
What about required ad viewing during downloads- that will only last as long as people have speeds <T1, or maybe have mandatory “holding” periods like MegaUpload and other sites do, you can pay for VIP access to skip… but what stops people from reposting on their own server?
You could also reward people for looking at ads with bonus content… but that only goes so far too.
What is the world to do?
But apparently iLike doesn’t or at least it has absolutely NO idea who or what DANGER is… Observe: Danger is not, classic rock, hair band, anti-folk alternative or rap/hip-hop, but pairing it with Van Halen, that’s just funny- maybe trying to do a more abstract reference like 80s glam rock with electronica featuring 80s style synths?
Now for those of you who don’t know, DANGER is the French producer, graphic designer and electronic musician/remix artist Franck Rivoire. His style is unique and consistent through his tracks and remixes utilizing lots of breaks and stutters in his beats, stereo flange/phase and house synths. I digg his tracks and his remixes are even better, my favorite probably being the We Are Scientists—Chick Lit (Danger TV Remix Edit). Other electronic artists such as Justice (also French) also rock my socks especially with DVNO, Waters of Nazareth and their Death From Above 1979—Blood On Our Hands Remix. Also, on the topic of foreign electronica, Yelle is pretty good (and you gotta check the Ce Jeu remix by THE VIDEOBAND) but I gotta give it up to The Touch, especially for this vid (effects by Richard Wikström who basically painted it frame by frame, (I asked him)- his real life like rendition of Krang has to be one of my favorite Cartoon-to-Life illustrations I’ve seen.
cool animation. watch in HQ.
Best new “supergroup” from 2008.
The Mighty Underdogs is a hip hop “supergroup” formed by rappers Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and Lateef the Truth Speaker of Latyrx, and producer Headnodic of the Crown City Rockers.
The quick answer: Pretty decent actually.
Get past the shameless excuse to push the iTunes music store on you, asking you to download related music you’ll probably like and tracks you may be missing from a particular album or artists discography- the actual playlist creator is pretty decent. I imagine it uses the category/genre, artist, featured artists, producer, label information combined with related purchase history of customers and ratings of that song. UPDATE: I found an entry by Ryan Faas who seems to have more detailed information about how the Genius feature works- basically inline with what I previously thought. One interesting thing I found is that it seems to evaluate each track individually. I found this with the Steel Pulse playlist (viewable at that bottom of page), all the tracks looked legit except you got Mims in there… But, if you listen to the track, that specific track actually is a remix that features Reggae style artists Cham and Junior Reid.
Here’s an example of the first one I tried. Built off the Postal Service – Nothing Better
And here’s one for Portugal. The Man – Gold Fronts – not too bad either…
And One for Saves the Day – Jesse And My Whetstone
So How Smart is a “Genius”?
Now, it’s not perfect, as repeating artists in a playlist is typically a no-no. Especially repeating artists twice in a row. Unfortunately I could not find an option to keep it from repeating artists, however you can use the “refresh” button to regenerate a playlist until one you are happy with is created. All the ones I’ve posted here are the initial playlist generated for each track, I did not press refresh.
Also, in terms of goal, it is definitely a success, although you may do things slightly differently when manually trying to create that “perfect playlist”, part of the stated purpose of Genius Playlists is to
help you discover songs in your library you never knew you had — and rediscover forgotten favorites.
Being a music horder/packrat/scavenger I have a relatively massive library with many tracks I’ve never even listened too yet, it definitely has assisted me in that aspect so far. It also helps me discover specific tracks from artist they did in a style not typical to their own (just a raw example, Mims). It’s great for artists like Broken Social Scene who have a huge variety of styles.
You can also regenerate a playlist anytime along the line- so for example say you started with everything based off of RATM – Bulls On Parade and it gets to Incubus – Wish You Were Here, and you think, hey, that’s a decent mood change, just make sure Incubus is highlighted and click the little atom/genius button again and it will recreate a playlist based on Incubus – WYWH. Pretty cool. You can also do that with any track within the playlist without it actually playing, just select it- but note, pressing the genius button will switch to the selected track (and create a new playlist).
So What’s the catch?
Now remember, for the actual playlists (not the suggestions) you actually have to have the music in YOUR library (I was unable to get it to pull in music from any shared libraries I was connected to). So the accuracy, variety and general decency of your generated playlist will probably be related someone directly to your music library size.
Another catch, to generate a playlist off a song- that song needs to be available in the iTunes store- so tough luck for all you fans of The Beatles and AC/DC. I also imagine that for a song to be indexed by Genius and thus included in a generated playlist it needs to be available in the iTunes music store as well.
When saving the playlists it creates, they remain dynamic- this is good and bad. Good, meaning you can still refresh it and use the dynamic genius options- Bad because, unfortunately, once you refresh it, you cannot revert back to the one you originally saved/generated.
Do you have a good playlist Genius generated? Post it in the comments! Or, have a track you want to see a playlist generated for, let me know, I’ll do my best to get it up.
The IQ Tests
Here are some more playlists I generated for additional examples/reference. I tried to show a variety of music genres.
NOTE: I believe the queries I ran to be pretty fair representations as it was pulling the songs from a library of 21,011 tracks, over 105 Gigs of music.
PS- on the topic of new iTunes 8 features, I’d just like to say, that although an improvement, the “New” iTunes visualizer,
is not that visually impressive. I’ll still take Leopard’s Jelly any day.
UPDATE: I partially take that back. Although Jelly, appears “smoother”- it seems I was using the wrong music to truly see the new improved responsives and upgrades. I put on the new visualize to some chiptune (Stu – chiprape) and it was actually pretty sweet. Really cool.
Alright, so at this point, they’re nothing “new”. They’re on this months cover of SPIN. Their CD came out almost a month ago (Jan 29th, 08) and they’ve had a single (demo) out for almost a year. People are starting to catch on. That’s not the point though. They’re music rocks. I’m a bit obsessed. I first got to hear them when I played them on my radioshow in early Jan when we got an early release of their CD. If you haven’t done so, listen to them. As my girlfriends says- it’s perfect spring music. In my mind, you just can’t not be happy when you listen to it. It’s so damn unique, catchy and upbeat.
Afro-beat indie fusion amazing-ness.