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January 31st, 2008 · 4 Comments

Remember how I wrote a while back that, upon unwrapping my iPhone, I fantasized about a scenario where bars or parties would create playlists on the fly by wirelessly polling the playlists of the people in each room and streaming the songs everyone was likely to enjoy? Well, UCLA computer scientist Kevin Eustice has already built the system. I’ve got an interview with Eustice over at Techdirt—which, if I do say so myself, is full of interesting ideas.

Meanwhile, at Ars Technica, I consider how Malcom Gladwell’s popular theory of “influentials” from The Tipping Point gets it wrong—and why it’s so popular anyway.

Tags: Self Promotion



4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Greg N. // Feb 1, 2008 at 9:08 am

    I ask this in all seriousness because, like McCain and economics, my primitive mind can’t understand “techmology” (that’s two cultural references, plus a politics reference in a single sentence; where’s my Reason offer?).

    Does a gadget like this give an “average” of all the wi-fi connected MP3 players? And if so, is there any danger that, despite taking songs from everyone, the playlist that emerges actually doesn’t satisfy anyone?

    The danger of a jukebox is that it gets bullied by someone with bad taste (however, since people tend to go places that feature music that’s at least minimally agreeable, that danger is probably overstated). But since there’s no guarantee that the people around you have better taste than the jukebox owner (again, I’d guess the people who go to the same bars have relatively similar tastes, but probably no better than the jukebox to listener average), then there’s a danger that the average will have the same effect as the jukebox, with one further danger: it never stops. At least with a jukebox, the playlist ends, and you get the chance to influence the music for a while.

    Is that possible with this technology?

    Sorry if any of these questions are covered in the interview…

  • 2 Julian Sanchez // Feb 1, 2008 at 11:43 am

    It’s all in the interview.

  • 3 Greg N. // Feb 1, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    From the interview: “I’ve probably simulated several million parties in the last year looking at how different voting algorithms affect the satisfaction of the party goers. That means looking at overall satisfaction, but also the distribution of the satisfaction, how fairly satisfaction is distributed.”

    Did he say how he did this?

  • 4 Jon H // Feb 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    I still want the ability to have the iPod/iTunes pick a random artist or album, then play 2 or 3 random songs from that artist or album, then pick another random artist or album, etc.

    ‘Cause sometimes when I hear one song I want to hear more similar stuff, but not too much more.

    The randomness control in itunes is frustrating because it can lead to too many similar songs or outright repeats, and with other music interspersed, which disrupts the, for lack of a better term, ‘groove’.