Tuesday 29 Jul
 
 
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OKG Newsletter


Topic: Pandora

Internet, meet Clio

Streaming music may never be the same

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.

by Stephen Carradini 03.25.2011 3 years ago
at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Music Video Monday: Music makes strange bedfellows

Three rap, two rock, two local, three not

Let’s just take a minute and realize that OKC’s professional sports team is one of only four left still playing in the National Basketball Association.

Yeah. This is awesome. Way to go, Thunder. Way to go, OKC.

Also, it’s Music Video Monday.

Rapper Jabee reps the Thunder, which only makes me more excited for Game 4 tonight. Also getting a shout-out: the biblical man Enoch. Didn’t see that one comin’:



Bizarre patrons of music are becoming increasingly common (National Geographic has a record label?!), but Lipton Iced Tea and Pandora teaming up for a video series that features artist interviews is still a little bit of a head-scratcher. Still, this three-part interview with Stillwater’s Taddy Porter is pretty sweet.

While we’re on the subject of strange patrons, here’s a performance clip of NYC rapper Theophilus London kickin’ it at Cannes. The site and the preview ads are in French, which only contributes to the enjoyment. There are several incredibly surreal moments due to his audience, but the most hilarious is at 2:00:

Veuillez installer Flash Player pour lire la vidéo

Kitten’s “Chinatown” manipulates footage (slower, faster, forward, reverse) in a fascinating, mesmerizing way. It’s absurd that the lead singer is 16:



This “Where’s Waldo” of all-star comedians from the minds of The Beastie Boys is sidesplitting:

by Stephen Carradini 05.23.2011 3 years ago
at 11:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 
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The future is Clio

Like Pandora, but infinitely more awesome

Ever since I met the founders of Clio at South by Southwest, I’ve been eagerly anticipating their product’s impact on the music scene. Their idea automates and expands the Pandora music-matching process, making music discovery both more agile and more far-reaching. Their goal is every piece of music ever written, at your fingertips. I am so behind this idea.

Since SXSW, they’ve been making strides. Their first partner, music production library APM, was announced today. Filmmakers will be able to find music for their scores much easier, thanks to Clio’s advanced matching system, which takes into account everything from tempo, instrumentation and melody to seemingly intangible elements like “the groove.”

Greg Wilder and Alison Conard (the idea people behind Clio) are meeting with bigwigs of the consumer-facing music discovery products soon, hopefully bringing their technology to the masses, albeit invisibly. If Clio works properly, no one really knows it’s there – listeners just somehow feel that the service they’re using today is a ton better than it was yesterday at figuring out what they actually want to listen to.

I was sent some exclusive demos of the product that have me pretty stoked. The first demo used APM’s music catalog; while it was really cool to hear rock seamlessly morph into bossa nova in just a few short steps, it was mainly a geek-out thing. I’m that guy who makes sure the beginning and endings of songs fade into each other on mixes, so matching internal rhythm to internal rhythm through genre is immensely appealing to me. The software recognizes so much information that you can make almost perfect-transition mixes, in addition to mixes that don’t change moods one single inch.

The second set of demos was even more revealing, as it was a set of clips made by Clio that showed various popular songs being discovered via other pop songs. The set that started with Green Day’s “When I Come Around” wasn’t eye-popping on the surface (how hard is it to match up Blink-182 and Green Day?), but have you ever noticed how closely the guitar tone of “Always” resembles “When I Come Around”? Or of “Short Brown Hair” by Everclear? Then it’s straight into “Favours for Favours” by The Futureheads, which I probably wouldn’t have included in this list, but fits in perfectly, sound-wise and rhythm-wise.

That’s the great thing about Clio: It doesn’t care about demographics. Sure, Blink and Green Day sound similar and are in the same scene. But Futureheads are in a completely different scene, but sound similar. A teenage pop-punker could get turned on to indie rock via this list and connections across time and “scene.”

Other playlists do the same for other genres, but here’s the skinny: Clio works. Once a major player or two representing true independents (Bandcamp? Please please please please?) is funneled into Clio, there’s literally nothing stopping U2 fans from hearing your music if your band sounds like U2. That is a major boon for independent bands and music lovers.

Stay tuned for more info from the Clio guys; it will be big stuff. Clio will change the way people discover music, and you may not even know that it’s doing so.

by Stephen Carradini 07.15.2011 3 years ago
at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 
 
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