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I have 10 million
   songs in my
     pocket.

    Now what?

Paul Lamere
ACM Recommender Systems 2012   Photo (CC) by Jason Rogers
The challenge of music recommendation
A recommendation that no human would make



   If you like Britney Spears ...




  You might like the Report on
      Pre-War Intelligence
The challenge of music recommendation
WTF - Why the Freakomendations?




          Why do we see such bad
          music recommendations?

              Music is Special*


                                  *of course every domain is special
The challenge of music recommendation
Why do we see such bad music recommendations?




        Understanding the domain is
         critical to the success of a
                recommender
The challenge of music recommendation
Why do we see such bad music recommendations?




       10 things to consider when
      building a music recommender
#1 - Very large item space
10 things to consider when building a music recommender
#2 - Very low cost per item
10 things to consider when building a music recommender
#2 - Very low cost per item
10 things to consider when building a music recommender
#3 - Low consumption time
10 things to consider when building a music recommender




       The average song length is around 4 minutes


                   E Book Reader:      24 books a year
                   Music subscriber:   25 songs a day



Pew Internet Project.
#4 - Highly Interactive
10 things to consider when building a music recommender


     A typical music recommender ...




    ... in 1999, but not anymore
#4 - Highly Interactive
10 things to consider when building a music recommender


                                   Today’s recommender



                                     Recommendations are
                                         integrated into
                                    the listening experience
#4 - Highly Interactive
10 things to consider when building a music recommender


                                   Today’s recommender


                                    Minimal explicit feedback
#4 - Highly Interactive
10 things to consider when building a music recommender


                                   Today’s recommender
                                   Much Implicit Feedback
                                      - Playing
                                      - Skipping
                                      - Repeating
                                      - Adjusting the volume
                                      - Sharing with friends
                                      - Adding to a playlist
                                      - Repeating the song
                                      - Inspecting song info
#5 - Very high per-item reuse
10 things to consider when building a music recommender

               songs[“as time goes by”].playcount += 1
#6 - Large personal collections
10 things to consider when building a music recommender
Personal Music Discovery Challenge
There’s a long tail in my iPod

                                          Listener Study

                                    Listeners         5,000

                                  Average Songs
                                                      3,500
                                    Per User

                                 Percent of songs
                                                      65%
                                 never listened to
#7 - Consumed in sequences
10 things to consider when building a music recommender



 A good playlist is a balance of:

     • Coherence
     • Familiarity
     • Discovery
     • Variety
     • Surprise
   ... in a pleasing order
#8 - Highly contextual usage
10 things to consider when building a music recommender
#9 - Highly passionate users
10 things to consider when building a music recommender
Let’s pause for a quiz


                            Why is this formula troublesome for
                           music recommendation and discovery?




(ΔMī¹=αΣDi[n][ΣFij[n-1]+Fexti[[n̄¹]])
Let’s pause for a quiz


                            Why is this formula troublesome for
                           music recommendation and discovery?




             Because it is the name of a
             song by Aphex Twin



(ΔMī¹=αΣDi[n][ΣFij[n-1]+Fexti[[n̄¹]])
#10 - OMG Metadata
10 things to consider when building a music recommender


  The The
  Duran Duran Duran
  !!!
  †††
  ///▲▲▲
  ▼□■□■□■
  Various Artists
#10 - OMG Metadata
10 things to consider when building a music recommender
Music Taste is Irrational
The challenge




           Music               Music
           I Like             You Like
                     Music
                     I Used
                    To Like



                                Get this t-shirt at dieselsweeties.com
I have 10 million
   songs in my
     pocket.

     Now what?

Paul Lamere
 Paul@echonest.com
 MusicMachinery.com
 @plamere

                      Photo (CC) by Jason Rogers

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I've got 10 million songs in my pocket. Now what?

  • 1. I have 10 million songs in my pocket. Now what? Paul Lamere ACM Recommender Systems 2012 Photo (CC) by Jason Rogers
  • 2. The challenge of music recommendation A recommendation that no human would make If you like Britney Spears ... You might like the Report on Pre-War Intelligence
  • 3. The challenge of music recommendation WTF - Why the Freakomendations? Why do we see such bad music recommendations? Music is Special* *of course every domain is special
  • 4. The challenge of music recommendation Why do we see such bad music recommendations? Understanding the domain is critical to the success of a recommender
  • 5. The challenge of music recommendation Why do we see such bad music recommendations? 10 things to consider when building a music recommender
  • 6. #1 - Very large item space 10 things to consider when building a music recommender
  • 7. #2 - Very low cost per item 10 things to consider when building a music recommender
  • 8. #2 - Very low cost per item 10 things to consider when building a music recommender
  • 9. #3 - Low consumption time 10 things to consider when building a music recommender The average song length is around 4 minutes E Book Reader: 24 books a year Music subscriber: 25 songs a day Pew Internet Project.
  • 10. #4 - Highly Interactive 10 things to consider when building a music recommender A typical music recommender ... ... in 1999, but not anymore
  • 11. #4 - Highly Interactive 10 things to consider when building a music recommender Today’s recommender Recommendations are integrated into the listening experience
  • 12. #4 - Highly Interactive 10 things to consider when building a music recommender Today’s recommender Minimal explicit feedback
  • 13. #4 - Highly Interactive 10 things to consider when building a music recommender Today’s recommender Much Implicit Feedback - Playing - Skipping - Repeating - Adjusting the volume - Sharing with friends - Adding to a playlist - Repeating the song - Inspecting song info
  • 14. #5 - Very high per-item reuse 10 things to consider when building a music recommender songs[“as time goes by”].playcount += 1
  • 15. #6 - Large personal collections 10 things to consider when building a music recommender
  • 16. Personal Music Discovery Challenge There’s a long tail in my iPod Listener Study Listeners 5,000 Average Songs 3,500 Per User Percent of songs 65% never listened to
  • 17. #7 - Consumed in sequences 10 things to consider when building a music recommender A good playlist is a balance of: • Coherence • Familiarity • Discovery • Variety • Surprise ... in a pleasing order
  • 18. #8 - Highly contextual usage 10 things to consider when building a music recommender
  • 19. #9 - Highly passionate users 10 things to consider when building a music recommender
  • 20. Let’s pause for a quiz Why is this formula troublesome for music recommendation and discovery? (ΔMī¹=αΣDi[n][ΣFij[n-1]+Fexti[[n̄¹]])
  • 21. Let’s pause for a quiz Why is this formula troublesome for music recommendation and discovery? Because it is the name of a song by Aphex Twin (ΔMī¹=αΣDi[n][ΣFij[n-1]+Fexti[[n̄¹]])
  • 22. #10 - OMG Metadata 10 things to consider when building a music recommender The The Duran Duran Duran !!! ††† ///▲▲▲ ▼□■□■□■ Various Artists
  • 23. #10 - OMG Metadata 10 things to consider when building a music recommender
  • 24. Music Taste is Irrational The challenge Music Music I Like You Like Music I Used To Like Get this t-shirt at dieselsweeties.com
  • 25. I have 10 million songs in my pocket. Now what? Paul Lamere Paul@echonest.com MusicMachinery.com @plamere Photo (CC) by Jason Rogers