Abstracts

ICMPC

Aug 2016 - San Francisco, USA

Poster: "Leaky features": Influence of the main on the many

“Leaky Features”: Influence of the Main on the Many

Michael Barone, Matthew Woolhouse

Background

The digitization and streaming of music online has resulted in unprecedented access high-quality music-information and user-consumption data. In particular, publicly available resources such as the Echo Nest have analyzed, and extracted audio features for millions of songs.

Aim

We investigate whether preferences for audio features in a listener’s main genre are expressed in the other genres they download, a phenomenon we refer to as “leaky features”. For example, do people who prefer Metal listen to faster and louder Classical or Country music (Metal typically has a higher tempo than many other genres)?

Methods

A music-consumption database, consisting of over 1.3 billion downloads onto mobile phones from 2007-14, is used to explore 10 audio features, grouped into 3 categories: rhythmic (danceability, tempo, duration), environmental (liveness, acousticness, instrumentalness), and psychological (valence, energy, speechiness, loudness). The study was made possible with a data-sharing and cooperation agreement between McMaster University and MixRadio, a global digital music streaming service. Audio features for 7 million songs were collected using the Echo Nest API, and linked to the MixRadio database.

Results

We found audio features specific to users’ main genres “leaked” into other downloaded genres. Audio features that tend to be more exaggerated in one genre, such as the “speechiness” in Rap music, typically demonstrate more leakiness than genres without this characteristic, such as Classical. “Energy” and “valence” features were also particularly significant.

Conclusions

These results show that audio feature extraction algorithms are useful for examining which aspects of a music influence our preference for new music, findings that have implications for music-recommendation systems. Additionally, our research demonstrates a unique approach to conducting psychological research exploring the extent to which musical features remain tied to specific genres.

Poster. Musical eclecticism in terms of the human development index

Musical Eclecticism in Terms of the Human Development Index

Michael Barone, Matthew Woolhouse,

Background

Recent sociological research suggests a link between levels of education and musical eclecticism. Our research uses the components of the Human Development Index (HDI) to explore the relationship between music consumption, and human economic development in various countries across the world. Given its scale—the HDI represents the quality of life in a country with a single number—our research uses large-scale meta-analyses of multiple countries rather than individual case studies.

Aim

We build upon previous research exploring how music consumption is intimately connected to our working lives (Woolhouse & Bansal, 2013). We examine if the 3 component statistics that comprise the HDI correlate with country-level genre-download preferences.

Methods

A music-consumption database, consisting of over 1.3 billion downloads onto mobile phones from 2007-14, is used to explore the relationship between the HDI and patterns of music listening. The study was made possible with a data-sharing and cooperation agreement between McMaster University and MixRadio, a digital music streaming service. The general method, employed primarily for its statistical simplicity, is to correlate genre-dispersion patterns with HDI components, including education, life expectancy, and income.

Results

Significant correlations are reported between components of the HDI and genre eclecticism: Countries with higher income and education values tend to download more diverse genres, and are more eclectic in their genre preferences. Other measures related to the HDI, such as the Inequality-Adjusted HDI, demonstrate similar significant correlations.

Conclusions

Levels of human economic development, as represented in the HDI, appear to influence the degree to which people are willing to explore diverse musical genres. Cultural eclecticism, or “omnivorousness”, is arguably a function of access to consumption-based leisure, a life quality afforded to individuals living in countries higher on the HDI spectrum.

SMPC

Aug ?? - ??

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