In our Introduction to New Media classes at the University of Amsterdam we’ve been deconstructing two music recommendation systems: Mog.com and Last.fm. We focussed on the similarity and difference in the characteristics and the underlying algorithms and of the systems.
Last.fm was by far the most favorite website and application amongs the students because of the user-friendly and easy-to-use interface. It is also my favorite application but for a different reason. The Last.fm API has enabled a great amount of beautiful Last.fm related tools and visualizations.
Now Last.fm built a filter that will provide you with a “personalized index of bands you should see” at SXSW 2008 (via Mashable). SXSW is a major festival and conference in Austin, Texas that showcases 1600 bands and movies and web apps and more. So how do you find your way in program booklet containing 1600 bands? After joining the SXSW Music group Last.fm provides you with a simple field to insert your Last.fm user name and will generate a personalized list based on your Last.fm profile with recommended artists. containing.
The list is divided into two parts, the ‘Don’t miss’ artists and the ‘You might also enjoy artists.’ The ‘Don’t miss’ artists are directly derived from my profile which means that I am already familiar with these bands and already saw half of these bands live on stage. Not very exciting. The ‘You might also enjoy artists’ part of the list is based on the ‘similar to <insert artist from your playlist>’ principle and produces more interesting results as it includes some unknown artists. It seems that SXSW is focused on discovering new music so it would be great if you could indicate whether or not you’ve already seen this artist live and refresh the list.
But kudos to Last.fm for building a filtering script for a big music festival. It would be great if you could copy-paste any festival program into a Last.fm related app that would recommend which bands to see.
Last.fm also made a tag game which is “so meta it hurts” and also refers to all the odd tags being used on Last.fm. Print the tag sheets, sticker some objects, tag your tag image with ‘tagsxsw’ (are you still following me?) and upload them on Flickr. How fun is that? There are no images tagged with ‘tagsxsw’ yet so I’m off printing!