Posted:September 29, 2014

Pulse: Pure v Mixed Seeds on Pandora

AI3 Pulse

For years now I have been a huge fan of Pandora (sorry, not apparently available to all across the world due to digital rights issues). Even though Pandora’s Music Genome was not set up as a W3C-compliant ontology, in its use and application it is effectively one. What Pandora shows is that feature selection and characterization trumps language and data structure format.

Given that, I have also been a Web scientist as to how I select and promote music to meet my musical interests.

Thus, based on my own totally unscientific study, here are a few things I’ve found worth passing on. It would be bold to call them secrets; they are really more just observations:

  • When a new “seed” artist is chosen, the attributes of that artist (up to 450 different attributes from beat to genre to dominant instruments) set the pure characteristics of that channel
  • As similar songs play that meet this profile, when you vote them “up” or “down” you are effectively adding or deleting options for these 450 attributes in your profile criteria
  • Thus, continuous expressions of preference as a channel plays acts to “dilute” the purity of the initial seed; these preference expressions lead to a “mixed” seed
  • The more that choices are preferred, the more the signal of your original selection gets diluted.

The net result is that I now no longer vote any of my songs on any channel as up or down. Rather, I look to the purest “seeds” that capture my mode or genre preference. If my initial selection does not provide this purity, I delete it, and try to find a better true seed.

This approach has led to some awesome channels for me, that I can then combine together, depending on mood, into mixed shuffle play with randomized channel selection. I no longer vote any song up or down; I rather look for more telling seeds.

As a couple of examples, here is a channel of less-well known 60’s goldies and a jazz guitar channel that are pure, single-seed channels, that, at least for me, provide hours of consistent music in that genre. Roll your own! Markup

Pulse: Pure v Mixed Seeds on Pandora




A purer signal provides a more focused experience on Pandora

see above


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