New software is able to trace paths amidst a music jungle

Jul 05, 2013
New software is able to trace paths amidst a music jungle
© 2013 EPFL

The Genezik software, conceived by researchers from the Signal Processing Laboratory at EPFL (LTS2), offers an innovative approach to playlist making and to rediscovering forgotten songs. This is one of the inventions that EPFL will be presenting during the Montreux Jazz Festival.

A digital music library can easily begin to look like a jungle after having downloaded thousands of tracks over the years. It is so much so that, out of comfort, we often end by listening to the same customary playlists. Genezik, a piece of software invented by researchers from the EPFL's Signal Processing Laboratory (LTS2), proposes to guide listeners in the exploration of new musical avenues and help them rediscover their own music and forgotten pieces as if listening to them for the first time. This is one of the inventions that EPFL is currently presenting within the framework of the Montreux Jazz Festival. The general public will be able to test it in the "Chalet d'en bas" through 15,000 musical pieces from the festival archives.

Mainly, what makes this program original is its possibility to create musical paths. It determines which pieces to put together when, for example, gently taking the from good old Aretha Franklin to Daft Punk, or even from a Mozart piece to Metallica. After choosing a single song, it creates a coherent route among tracks whose properties have been determined to be similar with regards to scientifically established parameters.

Finely dissected tracks

"When cataloguing music, most of the programs currently used are based on tags or user reviews, explains Kirell Benzi, Genezik creator with his colleague Florian Carrere. Then again, a band like Led Zeppelin, for example, is generally classified as hard rock, but some of their songs, including "D'yer Mak'er" are much closer to Bob Marley! Our program can easily identify it as such. "

Genezik's concept lies in combining a thorough of music signals and each user's musical "DNA". For each song, the software dissects data such as its rhythmic structure, timbre, harmonic progression, notes, their sequence, the spaces between them, disharmonies, and so on. Based on the "graph theory" each piece is represented by a node in a graph. All nodes are grouped and connected according to their similarities and they form sorting clouds under the categories of "rock", "pop", "jazz", etc. Consequently, each user's musical DNA is gradually deciphered through automatic learning algorithms based on their listening habits.

Graph networks

To integrate a human dimension to the listening process, the software is then able to record the listener's instructions, who at any time can indicate whether she/he likes a transition between two songs or not. In this way, the system will consider this information in its subsequent proposals and, as a result, it gradually refines and customizes its suggestions. Additionally, the software comprises a social dimension as different users' graphs can be connected to each other and form a network, enabling them to recommend songs to discover to each other.

In the coming months, Genezik's creators will put a start-up together and launch an application for mobiles and tablets. They also plan to develop their system to create playlists tailored to specific activities such as jogging, concentrating, relaxing etc.

Explore further: Theme parks offering smart-phone options to improve visitor experience

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

In the mood for music

Jun 27, 2013

Could a computer distinguish between the moods of a mournful classical movement or an angst-ridden emo rock song? Research to be published in the International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies, suggests that i ...

Musicians take note of tune-writing app

May 06, 2013

Need some instant musical notation to remember that little tune you just came up with? A new mobile app created by a researcher from KTH Royal Institute of Technology makes it possible to score any melody ...

Music of the spheres: Star Songs

Jun 04, 2013

(Phys.org) —Plato, the Greek philosopher and mathematician, described music and astronomy as "sister sciences" that both encompass harmonious motions, whether of instrument strings or celestial objects. ...

Spotify doesn't quite hit the spot

Sep 16, 2011

Subscription services have been touted as the future of music for the past decade. But at least in this country, they've never taken off.

Recommended for you

Researchers jailbreak iOS 7.1.2

19 hours ago

Security researchers at the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) have discovered a way to jailbreak current generation Apple iOS devices (e.g., iPhones and iPads) running the latest iOS software.

Smartphones as a health tool for older adults

19 hours ago

A team of researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) is creating a smartphone app that will help older adults to understand ...

Can you trust that app?

19 hours ago

You're on your smartphone, browsing through Facebook. In a fit of productivity, you search for, say, a project management app to help you use your non-Instagram and cat video time more effectively. You download ...

Facebook's Internet.org expands in Zambia

Jul 31, 2014

(AP)—Facebook's Internet.org project is taking another step toward its goal of bringing the Internet to people who are not yet online with an app launching Thursday in Zambia.

Body by smartphone

Jul 30, 2014

We love our smartphones. Since they marched out of the corporate world and into the hands of consumers about 10 years ago, we've relied more and more on our iPhone and Android devices to organize our schedules, ...

User comments : 0