Sunday 20 Apr
 
 
CD reviews

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
 

Internet, meet Clio


Streaming music may never be the same

By Stephen Carradini March 25th, 2011

While I was in Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest, I was able to talk with Greg Wilder and Alison Conard of Orpheus Media Research. They are touting a service with an April launch called Clio that they feel will revolutionize music listening (its predecessor, Myna, is live now). It’s a computer program that listens to music and categorizes it by its qualities. Doesn’t sound that cool? Wait for it.

Ever heard of the Music Genome Project?

It’s the thing that powers Pandora: dozens and dozens of people sitting around, listening to music, and categorizing it by approximately 400 unique qualities. Each song in MGP can take up to 20 minutes to be organized. Because of this laborious process, Pandora has only about 800,000 tunes in its catalog.

Clio automates the process.
 
“The analysis time that the computer takes to actually listen to a piece of music is around one to two seconds,” said Wilder, founder and chief science officer.

A three-to-five minute pop track takes literally the length of a snap to process. This means it categorizes tens of millions of tracks at a time.

Repeat: tens of millions of tracks at a time.

Um, wow.

What does this mean? Well, they want to partner with existing services and use Clio to power everything. And by everything, I mean any way that people find music: iTunes Genius, Rhapsody, Amazon, MOG, Pandora and Last.fm are all entities who could benefit from this.

The company is already working in television and movie music, as the screen often demands a song with a very specific mood. If the music director of a production company has a track with the right mood in mind, he or she can plug it into Clio, which will match it to other songs that sound like it in the Vanacore music library, a current partner of Clio. The program then produces a playlist of tracks that sound similar and are available for use.

But Clio’s library isn’t going to only hold production music, or even major-label music. Clio was started by two indie musicians, and they want to help out independent artists. They have plans to partner with companies like ReverbNation and Bandcamp to make large quantities of indie music accessible to Clio, too. That means when the music director puts in one tune he likes — say, a number from post-rock instrumental act Maserati — it will spit out an entire suggested soundtrack — perhaps something by Explosions in the Sky, something by The Non (pictured).  

“That will help independent artists stand right next to established artists based on the quality of their music,” Wilder said.

People who haven’t played a single show could be queued up over U2, as long as their contribution sounds more like the chosen starting song than “Where the Streets Have No Name.” When Clio powers your listening portal of choice, you’ll easily be able to find new things you actually want to hear.

With the processing power that Clio has (remember: tens of millions of songs at a time), it is not an overstatement when the founders compare their endeavor to a musical Google. Clio has the ability to categorize almost every piece of music ever written and make it streamable to you.

Again, wow.

Streaming music may never be the same.

___

While you’re here, grab these MP3s:

“Lower Away (Unplugged)” — Sunshine Factory. Surprisingly mellow and graceful piano piece.
“Big Sick” — Big Pauper. I guess you don’t need guitars for druggy psych anymore.
“How Does It Feel to Be in Love?” — The Bynars. Probably something like this power-pop gleefest.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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