The State of Me

A scary ghost.  Woo! I should really say a couple of words about what’s happening with me at the moment, I think. For the next 18 days I’m going to be well and truly thrown into finishing off my dissertation, so there’ll be little in the way of updates. Between now and the 11th of April I’ve got to write up to another 15,000 words, finish off my coding, and basically get things tidied up.

For those of you who don’t know, my dissertation this year has been based around the creation of an application which will create audio playlists based on your current mood and the songs that you’ve previously listened to whilst you were in that mood. The whole thing is based around a client/server relationship, with the client keeping track of what you’ve been playing in your media player (in my case iTunes, hence the “Using the iTunes COM Interface with Java and Swing” article) before sending the information on to the server. The server then stores this play information in a great big database, ready to pull it out again when the client asks it to create a playlist.

The software works, too - you can tell the client that you’re feeling happy and any music you then play will be remembered as stuff that you played when you were happy. If at a later date you ask for a happy playlist, the server will look at the list of songs that you’ve played when you were happy, and create a playlist of songs which are similar to those. Currently it finds “similar” songs using the ID3 tags associated with your songs (also stored in the database). This isn’t the best solution in the world by any stretch of the imagination. So, what I’m coding up now is a way to fingerprint the feel of a song based on the frequencies contained within it. This should make finding “similar” songs easier, quicker and more reliable. The only downside is that if it takes 20 seconds to fingerprint each song initially (which is entirely feasible, since it’s taking 10 seconds to decode a 4 minute mp3 to PCM audio), then it will take somewhere in the region of seven days non-stop fingerprinting to fingerprint all my music. Ho hum - better get cracking!

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about wwm is a resource for web developers created by Neil Crosby, a web developer who lives and works in London, England. More about the site.

Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.