Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spotify + Echo Nest = Echofi yourself


Wired.com reports on an independent developer's use of the Spotify and Echo Nest APIs to create "Echofi" Pandora-like auto-generated playlist for Spotify. 
Some quick and raw thoughts that come to mind:

  1. Cudos to developer Andy Smith for stitching these two APIs together!
  2. Back in 2009 Spotify and Echo Nest announced collaboration on Spotify's playlist and music discovery functions, and even showed a prototype of this ( http://the.echonest.com/company/press-release/10/). This was way before Spotify hit the US. I'm not sure if they already launched anything public yet, but I would not be surprised if they are cooking something very similar to Echofi. If so, it will probably be baked into Spotify in a much more integrated manner. 
  3. Yet more respect to Andy Smith for actually doing something public and working before an official thing is launched. And respect to the two companies for exposing the API that enables apps like this. Lets just hope the app isn't found to be violating some "terms of service" and will be shut down. Open API = Innovation. 
  4. Pandora - Be afraid, be very afraid. This type of service was one of the key things I was missing in Spotify. Combining auto playlists with the ability to also play any specific song that comes to mind makes for a really powerful service, and Pandora's radio-station-like model of operation just can't compete with that.
  5. I really like Echo Nest, and not just because it was founded by two Media Lab alums. I really like them because they released the public "Million Song Dataset", and which even made it to as a public dataset on Amazon web services. I played with it a bit during the Boston Hack/Reduce Event in June and its really neat.
  6. This app could be a great opportunity to compare two competing approaches: Pandora's manually generated "music genome" vs. Echo Nest's algorithmic machine approach to understanding music and generating its feature space. 
Which leads me to my homework for you the reader: 
Pick a song, any song, and use it to seed a Pandora station and an Echofi playlist, see how they compare, and tell us what you think!






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