I recently came across Pandora from the Music Genome Project. Rejecting the idea that you could classify music by questionable genre titles or even by artist, they’ve attempted to break it down to the individual song level. Exploring things like melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics and more, they’ve created a massive database that creates a “genome” for each song and uses that calculate similarities. Fire up the website and enter a song title for it to produce a dedicated station, often songs by artists you’ll recognise and also some you won’t, but all bearing a strong musical resemblance to your chosen track. There are some limitations due to their license from the record companies, like the inability to go backwards and the restricted number of tracks you can skip in an hour. It’s certainly a very ambitious project, well worth checking out.
Someone pointed me towards The Piracy Calculator which produces a rough estimate of the value of your dubiously acquired P2P stash. Although amusing to see, it’s not purely facetious. Scroll down to read the moral and you’ll discover he’s making a very valid point. Piracy is piracy, not theft. The rest of the site, which I’d not come across before, actually has quite a few interesting reads. It’s a bit like a subdued Maddox on tranquilisers and anger-management therapy.
In a similar vein is a shift in gaming journalism that may be described as the Dan Hsu phenomenon. At first his Peter Moore interview seems just like ever other propaganda interview you’ve read on the 360. I mean seriously, the industry can’t pay for better publicity than the usual brand of arse-kissing interviews they’re treated to by most magazines. By the second page, however, it becomes evident that Hsu has some sort of personal vendetta, and he’s asking all those real questions that have been floating around message boards for the past month. It’s not that the answers have changed, but at least the questions are, if not probing, at least blunt.