Echo Nest

Gracenote launches developer program, now competes with The Echo Nest

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 12:20pm

Metadata and music recognition technology company Gracenote has launched the Gracenote Developer program, making available tools for developers to build services using Gracenote data. Gracenote has licensed their technology before, but has now released it music APIs ("application programming interface") and SDKs ("software development kit") fully.

Now, a music service (like a webcaster) can use these tools to add Gracenote-powered functionality to their service. Gracenote's MusicID, for example, can identify artists, albums, and songs by "hearing" them via a mobile phone. Gracenote's database has descriptive metadata for more than two thousand music genres and subgenres, and more than 100 musical "moods," and is the world's largest commercial source of album cover art and artist bios.

As MusicAlly reports, this puts Gracenote in more direct competition with music intelligence data company The Echo Nest, "whose APIs have been used for more than 350 apps (not to mention Spotify, Nokia, Vevo and Clear Channel), and which raised $17.3m of funding in 2012 before poaching two of Gracenote’s senior executives."

More from Gracenote here. Read more from MusicAlly here.

Fortune magazine features "massive music brain" The Echo Nest

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 10:10am

We've written about The Echo Nest before (here), and company executives have spoken at RAIN Summit events in the past. Fortune has published a profile of the company that offers a simple explanation of how The Echo Nest assembles what it calls "The Knowledge" -- its collection of data points on millions of songs that it licenses to leading online music services like Spotify, iHeartRadio, MOG, and Vevo.

The article suggests The Echo Nest's stance towards "openness" (it hosts "music-app 'hack days'" and gives "developers free access to its technology for noncommercial experimentation") "is making it the 'mothership' for entrepreneurs looking to 'create new musical experiences,' explains David McKinney, a coder in Australia whose experiments led to the creation of an investor-backed startup called Discovr."

Read the Fortune article here.

The Echo Nest makes public some "Taste Profile Attributes" metrics used to build "music intelligence" about listeners

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 11:20am

The Echo Nest is making public some of the "Taste Profile Attributes" it uses to create its "music intelligence" database.

Taste Profiles "allow us to maintain a detailed understanding of someone’s music activity - not only what they’re listening to, but also their likes, dislikes, skips, and bans. We apply Taste Profiles to help streaming services, social networks, and app developers craft the best experience for each of their users," the company explained in its blog. The "Taste Profile Attributes" are the actual scores and summaries that are the building blocks of the "Taste Profiles" for a music fan.

The Echo Nest has assembled a database of the musical characterists of more than 30 million songs. It's this information that allows its clients like Spotify, iHeartRadio, Rdio and more to "associate" music for their listeners -- the intelligence behind creating custom streaming channels, for instance, or the knowledge that allows them to know "if this listener likes artist A or song B, they'll like artist C and song D."

The attributes The Echo Nest is making public are:

"Diversity: Measures the overall diversity of a fan’s listening by mapping the distance across the musical styles enjoyed by the listener.

"Mainstreamness: Measures the overall familiarity of a user’s listening activity to determine preference for either mainstream or more obscure music.

"Freshness: Measures listening habits to determine how much a user cares about new album releases vs. sticking with older music.

"Adventurousness: Measures a listener’s openness to music outside their comfort zone.

"We use these attributes to paint a detailed picture of each user. So far, we have only used them internally. Today, The Echo Nest offers early access to our Taste Profile Attributes for our customers and app developers," says The Echo Nest. In the blog, they go on to offer some ideas for how services could use these attributes. For instance:

"Use the 'mainstreamness' attribute to find fans who spend most of their time listening to deep tracks. Instead of showing devout hipsters the new Billboard hot 100 every time they visit your New Releases section, show them what’s just starting to surface on the Hype Machine or Pitchfork."

Access to Taste Profile Attributes is via The Echo Nest's developer site. Read The Echo Nest blog announcement here.

Echo Nest launches new tool to connect users to radio stations, and each other, based on their musical interests

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 12:00pm

The Echo NestThe Echo Nest is looking to give webcasters and developers more tools that analyze the social (and perhaps even the political) aspects of music.

The company has just announced the launch of Taste Profile Similarity, a tool which gives services (like iHeartRadio and Spotify's radio service, both of which use The Echo Nest) the ability to connect different users based on similar music interests. It can also be used, points out The Echo Nest, to automatically suggest specific streaming radio stations to users based on their taste in music.

"Taste Profiles help us understand which music a listener likes or doesn’t like with precision, so we can make personalized playlists more relevant across a variety of services," The Echo Nest writes at its blog.

To showcase the new tool, the company has launched a web capp called "What's your stereotype?" You can punch in your favorite artists and the site will place you in a musical stereotype category. Try it out here and read more here.

The Echo Nest has also used its Taste Profiles to discover what musical interests say about about users' politics. For example, The Echo Nest found that Republicans appear to have less diverse taste in music than Democrats, that Kenny Chesney fans are most likely to be Republican and that Rihanna fans most likely to be Democrat.

You can read much more in the company's blog post here.

ReadWriteWeb: 2011 web music trends include recommendations services, cloud music and group listening

Thursday, December 1, 2011 - 11:00am

Turntable.fmCloud music, recommendation engines and group listening. Those are just a few of the big online music trends of 2011, according to a new ReadWriteWeb article.

The year was good for algorithm-powered Internet radio services, with Pandora going public in February and the Echo Nest fueling new music services like iHeartRadio.

"As powerful as these machine-driven recommendation engines can be, there's still something to be said for human curation," writes ReadWriteWeb, pointing out that human-curated music services like Turntable.fm (pictured) and Shufflr.fm gained in popularity during the year.

Turntable.fm drove another 2011 web music trend, one that harkens back to AM/FM: group listening, where many users hear the same music at once. Meanwhile, Facebook forcefully introduced social features to streaming services while giant tech companies pushed music into the cloud.

You can find ReadWriteWeb's full analysis of the biggest Internet music trends of 2011 here.

New website recommends cocktail recipes based on your favorite music

Friday, November 11, 2011 - 11:55am

Drinkify recommends a 1 Fat Tire for RadioheadA new site called Drinkify aims to recommend the perfect alcoholic beverage to accompany your favorite music. The service mashes music info from Last.fm and the Echo Nest with a proprietary drink database. 

The result? Recommendations for whiskey for Johnny Cash, scotch for Glee and merlot for Frank Sinatra.

Lifehacker has more coverage here.

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