Trust the DJ

Philips has some new MP3 players with a feature called "Like Music". This is a smart shuffle of sorts that will pick the next track based on the current one you are listening to. Apparently it bases these selections on tempo, instruments included, and the like.

This is interesting stuff. The art of being a DJ (dance and hip hop) is not only technical bits of being able to beat match and use consistent levels. It's also about choosing like songs and stringing them together to form a vibe. At the same time, good or bad, it's about keeping the latest tracks in your mixes.

I've always thought that the hardest part of all of that is keeping up on what's new and knowing the music well enough to be able to drop it in a set. Computers could certainly help with this right? They can tell me things like style of music, BPM, even the key of the music. Certainly this could all be meta-data that is hand assigned to files, but Philips is going a step farther and attempting some of the heavy lifting in software. How cool would it be to be able to mix an hour of music that you've never heard before? The tracks would be pre-selected by the software as close enough and then it would be up to you to make it sound good.

What if it even did the mixing and left you out completely?
Certainly this could never replace a real DJ could it? What if it could? What if it started by playing the songs in between singers at the local Karaoke bar? What if it was good enough for the middle school parties at the bowling alley and the roller skating arena? What if it became the sound of the hip restuarants and martini bars?

I'm sure it's all coming, but until then, this tech sounds great for keeping my Kilowatts & Vanek away from my Tidy Tracks.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I had a feeling you would pick up on this topic. Seemed like an interesting idea to me too. I would really like to see them open up their software algorithm to additional tweaking and customizing. Sounds like an open source project to me if there ever was one.
Engadget redeems itself slightly for all the ridiculous USB device stuff of late with this one.