Friday, March 27, 2009

I have been working on the Genius Playlist Project (GPP) for the past few days, and it has been going well. I am now in a mid-90s alt rock section. I'll post some playlists when I get a chance.

Right now it is cool that Mikexor is back in Atlanta. We are all going to dinner soon. Jeremy is in California right now doing an installation, so I doubt he will be joining us. I'm now realizing that it is pointless to post these things because the only people that would check this are here already (except Jeremy, who already knows). I guess the only person that isn't in the know is Mark . . . so now he is.

I have got to find some other use for this blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On user generated content:

I'm bouncing this around a few places because I think it unifies a few aspects of my life. At work (Paideia) we recently had a seminar/lecture led by Dr. Alan November regarding the use of the internet/technology/your mom in the classroom. He was an interesting lecture that seemed a bit on the extreme side for me (by the way, books are dead so stop reading them) but that might have been a stance chosen to instigate more discussion.

One of Dr. November's points was that we could change our classrooms to global learning centers through Skype and social sites, and generate real content using podcasts and youtube. Much of the time was spent convincing us (the teachers) that there was nothing that we could do to stop this massive paradigm shift (that was our "english" class at Tech freshman year) and that it was really better for us anyway. His go to defense of the new paradigm was the ability for the student to be a part of something greater either through communication with more people or by unique content generation (videos, blogs, podcasts, etc.).

The idea of user created content has been talked about in the video gaming press for the past few years. Sure there are all the old quake mods, but things slowly started moving forward through leaderboards, the ability to upload your Halo 3 footage, and then it hit the fan with the big marketing of Little Big Planet and a push in MMORPGs. Up to a year ago people have been drooling over the prospect the internet offered for getting "work" done through multiple users. Remember when we were all playing with the google images tag "game?" I loved that game, and Google was getting me to tag their images for them.

Last tangent before I tie all this together. For those that haven't read the book Tipping Point it centers around the ideas of Mavens and Salespeople. Maven's are those people that are always up on the latest shit and want to tell you about it, and Salespeople are the ones with the connection to popular culture that can push something into the forefront. I want to add another class to the structure, Creators. These are the people that generate the idea/product/content that Mavens latch on to and Salespeople then push.

Now to try and fuse these ideas together. Dr. November wants teachers to use the POWER OF THE INTERNET to connect learners and create new content. But 90% of the content created on the internet is crap. This type of learning is valuable because it will teach people the tools they need to be a Creator. Sure, only some of them will go on to create valid content, but only a small number of the people I teach calculus will end up using it anyway. But, without a valid curriculum for what creation tools need to be taught (and that is fucking hard to generate in an ever evolving landscape) it can often lack direction. Not to mention that this doesn't teach people how to be Mavens, or perhaps better Creators. Then what about salesmen? Based on many of the discussion on my podcasts (and common sense) it only takes a few Creators to generate quality content, but it disappears in the pile of shit that is the web unless people push it to the top (iPhone top 10 list, the reason I follow PA, etc.). So it seems like a good thing for everyone to be at least a decent Maven. In the end, most people don't even want to be Creators, and they don't want to be Mavens, they just want to use cool shit that is easy and watch. This has been the failing of Little Big Planet. Sure it is cool that I can create my own board, but that takes time and I would rather play a board generated by someone who knows what they are doing. Same with youTube, I don't want to post a video, I want to see "On a Boat" one more time. So, while Dr. November is pushing the idea of making Creators out of our students, which while valuable doesn't seem as valuable as making more Mavens.

Based on my argument earlier, no one will read this because it will get lost in the usual shit of the internets. Word.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Here is what I had for Friday, but I didn't get a chance to listen to it that much so we are going to hold it over for one more day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Based on the God Only Knows we got a lot of stuff from the 60s rock scene and ended on You Can't Always Get What You Want . . . fuckin' sweet. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Of interesting note, Linger (The Cranberries) and Lovefool (The Cardigans) both were pulled onto the God Only Knows playlist.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Today's Playlist was pretty good.

I have to admit that I forced the next pivot to be God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. I thought it was interesting that Coldplay's Don't Panic had a Beach Boys song. I'm a bit worried that with all of mikexor's music on here I might get in a Bob Dylan spiral that I can't get out of.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pivoted on 12:51 by The Strokes. Here's what it got me. That's about 52% similarity with the last playlist. That isn't very much, although it felt like a lot more listening to it. I guess that is a compliment because the "feel" of the playlists shouldn't necessarily deviate that much each time. Tomorrow's pivot is Don't Panic, so we will see if things mellow out a bit.
hmm... i really like this genius playlist experiment. here are the questions that i immediately thought of whilst reading your post:

  • is the genius algorithm purely deterministic? i.e. if i start with the same version of itunes and the same copy of the master drive, will i get the same playlist as you? how long will it take them to diverge? well, i guess probably really fast. the question is, then, what is the rate of divergence? but since we don't have a divergence quantifier, that'd be hard to measure.

  • is it better for the playlist if the genius is really smart or sort of stupid? pandora is supposed to be wicked smart because all of the data behind the songs is generated by actual humans (who know about music) listening to and 'tagging' the tracks. i find, though, that it plays a) the same fucking songs all the time and b) the songs on your 'radio station' sound like the songs on any radio station -- similar in 'genre' or current popular appeal, rather than being artist/era agnostic and actually sounding the same. i'm guessing this is why martin thought he could get stuck in a loop.

  • i really need to sync with the master drive.

also, and i'm not making excuses here, while traffic on this site has slowed, there's pretty good volume on mikex0r's japan blog. we don't have rights to post, but most of the fort is represented in the comments.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Let's see what happens why I try to upload a screen shot of today's playlist:

I think that is better. I ended on The Strokes 12:51 so we'll see where that takes us tomorrow.
Huh? Apparently our blog has been labeled "Adult/Explicit" or some shit by Paideia's web-gate. I've tried to attach a picture, but I'm not sure it is going to work.

Anyway, the reason for this post is something that I imagine others have already played with, but maybe it will be novel to a few. Apple's Genius Bar in iTunes is a great way for them to push more content and therefore more money on you. It is very appealing sitting (optionally) right next to my other music. The better choice, especially having the Master Drive 2 is to use the Genius option when playing/selecting a song to get a playlist of "similar" songs from your library. With well over a bajillion songs on the master drive it produces some interesting results and can help you find songs you didn't remember (or never knew) you owned.

When I was thinking about it this morning I thought of an interesting application of the Genius playlist. I'll start today with one song selected and 20-25 songs added to the playlist from Genius. At the end of the day, whatever song I am on I select that and then make a new playlist from that song tomorrow. Rinse, Repeat, Reveal?

I'm thinking it is like a swivel/swing table (looking at you Brad, because I don't know what I just said). Where each link/playlist in the chain has one similarity in font and behind. I guess there is a chance to just swing around the same grouping of songs over and over again, depending on where I end up at the end of the day. But I'm kind of curious where the playlist will take me. Will I eventually be able to make the logical jump from Hip Hop to Funk, and then from Funk to Jazz? Is there someway that I can end up on an audiotrack from LoTR? If so, will I ever be able to get out? It kind of has an organic feel that might be pretty interesting.