Bruce Warila, the renowned music/technologist entrepreneur, has revealed his new project on Music Think Tank yesterday – He is working on a new form of music recommendation system that relies on what we could call MSO’s (music search optimization) techniques executed via MEI’s (music experience interfaces), like the one you see in the video bellow:
Warila goes into much broader detail on the subject and focuses his argumentation on the fact that the push-promotion methods currently used in traditional music marketing (‘push’ as in ramming products down people’s throats through closed and entrenched marketing vectors inaccessible to most people) are to make way to smoother and less intrusive pull-promotion strategies thanks to the use of user friendly technology and appropriate data associations. He calls it The Pull Music Paradigm Shift. Roughly speaking, think of how Google redefined the search for information and apply that to music. Reading Bruce’s post will enlighten you better than I ever will.
This is a very interesting read that will probably get you thinking on how you find and consume the music you love (or think you might love if you had more time to get into it), and on how your search experiences could be perfected.
This is an ambitious project no doubt, one that conveys hopes of re-interpreting heavily established models for searching and discovering music (in contrast to Pandora’s Music Genome, iTunes’s Genius etc).
On a personal level, music discovery for me is somewhat of a complicated task. I have hardly ever encountered a band I like a lot thanks to a recommendation system. FineTune put me onto a couple of bands, so has Last.fm. TuneGlue’s Audiomap helped on some occasions, but none of these services really contributed to diversifying my musical tastes (this of course also has to do with the fact that I’m pretty elitist when it comes to music – my brain discards enormous amounts of bands I don’t consider worthy of the bands I already love for reasons I have yet to understand. This makes my take on this subject kind of biased).
Has traditional push-promotion music marketing strategies helped me discover music? Absolutely not, or maybe on some very isolated cases that I can’t even recall (I think I discovered the band ‘Fall of Troy‘ via a MySpace banner for instance. Then again it’s hardly a band I would spend money on).
It is hard to say if a model like the one Bruce presents here is going to be a new paradigm for music discovery, but I do believe his views are accurate in terms revolutionizing the current established models. If orchestrated properly, new visual and interactive platforms can only help music lovers seek what they’re looking for, and the association of data filters to songs by scoring, ordering and sorting those songs is a great idea.
This sentence helped me visualize the concept a great deal:
[…] the ability to score and funnel music will be as simple as adjusting faders, dragging songs and waiving your controller. The user’s ability to chop through a mountain of music will only be limited by how fast his or her ears can process overlapping clips while visually subdividing a full screen of information.
Imagine an interactive platform that helps you scoop out music based on precise criterias by manipulating beautiful, high-end, user-friendly interfaces (much like taking a spoon and intentionally scooping out that portion of the ice scream carton containing an extra amount of cookie dough). No more clicks and page refreshes. No more getting lost in a maze of navigation queries. Just music, less music, then THE music.
I defend his vision and am most curious to know what is to come of it.