Who to follow at Strata 2012
(This is an update of a post I wrote last year with all-new 2012 data. There are 90% more tweeters this year, and only 12% of tweeters were also at Strata 2011). Strata is an O’Reilly-run conference for people who analyze and visualize Big Data; if you are reading this, you probably already know that. I was curious as to who I should follow on Twitter here, and recalled that the Attendee...
Hurricane name hotness
With all the publicity surrounding Hurricane Irene, I began to wonder how hurricanes are named. Mostly, I wondered if there would be a Hurricane Jason. Vanity. But it turns out there won’t be. I’m not the only person to wonder. After figuring out that there are no hurricane names that start with ‘U’, I found that the rules are simple. Since 1953, hurricanes were given...
'W' Considered Harmful
Not the magazine and not even the former president. But the letter ‘W’ itself. The letter ‘W’, 23rd in the English alphabet, is unique in two ways: it is the only letter whose name is more than one syllable, and also the only letter whose name doesn’t include the sound it makes. The fact that ‘W’ takes 3 syllables to say bothers me....
Who to follow at Strata 2011
Strata is an O’Reilly-run conference for people who analyze and visualize Big Data; if you are reading this, you probably already know that. I was curious as to who I should follow on Twitter here, and recalled that the Attendee Directory asked people to fill in their Twitter usernames. What better way to find people who are actually here? (Obviously you can search #strataconf or look...
Danceability and Energy: Introducing Echo Nest...
Tristan and I have been working hard to add a new kind of information to the Echo Nest’s audio APIs. We’re calling these things attributes, and they are quantities that are calculated with data from our track analysis. Our attributes depend on ground truth data generated by The Echo Nest’s awesome Data QA Team, a passionate group of musicians and music lovers that includes...
Songbird's first music visualizer: SongbirdVis
For Music Hack Day San Francisco, I teamed up with Steven Lloyd to integrate a music visualizer into Songbird. As far as I know, this is the first music visualization for Songbird. Since we didn’t have access to the raw audio through Songbird, we used The Echo Nest’s analysis data, which gives high-level, musically meaningful information to display. SongbirdVis represents pitch,...
Earworm and Capsule
Over the past month, Tristan and I have been hard at work adding some new features to The Echo Nest Remix API, which is now at version 1.3. Here’s what’s new: cloud.py - functionality to search for analyzed tracks to remix. No need to have your own audio. pydirac - a new, great-sounding time-stretcher, which is stereo, and sample accurate. It’s a Python wrapper around a C...
Streamgraphs are cool. They’re great at displaying trends in data over time, similar to a stacked graph, but much prettier. The first one I saw was Lee Byron’s Last.fm listening history graphic, a beautiful poster showing trends in the music he had listened to over the course of two years. The New York Times used an interactive streamgraph (created by Matthew Bloch and Shawn...