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OFAI-TR-2004-01 ( 265kB PDF file)

Islands of Music - Analysis, Organization, and Visualization of Music Archives

Elias Pampalk

This report summarizes the master's thesis: Islands of Music: Analysis, Organization, and Visualization of Music Archives, which I submitted to the Vienna University of Technology on December 11th, 2001. I wrote it at the Department of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, supervised by Dr. Andreas Rauber, and assessed by Prof. Dr. Dieter Merkl. Islands of Music are a graphical user interface to music collections based on a metaphor of geographic maps. The thesis deals with the challanges involved in the automatic creation of such interfaces given only raw music data (e.g. MP3s) without any further information such as to which genres the piece of music belong. Themain challenge is to teach machines how to listen to music, i.e., how to calculate the perceived similarity of two pieces of music. Using a neural network algorithm, namely the self-organizing map, the music collection is organized and using a novel visualization technique the map of islands is created. Furthermore, methods to automatically find descriptions for the mountains and hills are demonstrated.

Citation: Journal of the Austrian Society for Artificial Intelligence (ÖGAI), Vol. 22, No. 4, pp 20-23, 2003.