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OFAI-TR-2003-23 ( 765kB PDF file)

Exploring Music Collections by Browsing Different Views

Elias Pampalk, Simon Dixon, Gerhard Widmer

The availability of large music collections calls for ways to efficiently access and explore them. We present a new approach which combines descriptors derived from audio analysis with meta-information to create different views of a collection. Such views can have a focus on timbre, rhythm, artist, style or other aspects of music. For each view the pieces of music are organized on a map in such a way that similar pieces are located close to each other. The maps are visualized using an Islands of Music metaphor where islands represent groups of similar pieces. The maps are linked to each other using a new technique to align self-organizing maps. The user is able to browse the collection and explore different aspects by gradually changing focus from one view to another. We demonstrate our approach on a small collection using a meta-information-based view and two views generated from audio analysis, namely, beat periodicity as an aspect of rhythm and spectral information as an aspect of timbre.

Citation: Pampalk E., Dixon S., Widmer G.: Exploring Music Collections by Browsing Different Views. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR 2003), Baltimore MD, October 2003, pp 201-208.