music intelligence

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.

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