Can a software program pick the next pop-music star?
Eric Barker stashed this in Tech
This is how we end up with "Call Me Maybe" and "Oppa Gangnam Style" ...
Vonnegut would probably be terrified by Christopher Steiner's provocative "Automate This," a book about our growing reliance on algorithms. By encoding knowledge about the world into simple rules that computers can follow, algorithms produce faster decisions. A gadget like a player piano seems trivial in comparison with Music Xray, a trendy company that uses algorithms to rate new songs based on their "hit-appeal" by isolating their patterns of melody, beat, tempo and fullness of sound and comparing those with earlier hits. If the rating is too low, record companies—the bulk of Music Xray's clientele—probably shouldn't bother with the artist.
It's nice to know we'll always have subcultures (punk, indie, whatever's not pop music.)
It's also good to see that popular music is not dominated by Americans.
"Call Me Maybe" is very Canadian, One Direction is quite British, "Somebody I Used to Know" is quite European, and "Oppa Gangnam Style" is over-the-top Korean.
Music is a melting pot.