12 June 2009

Herzbot: A prototype music recommender

Herzbot music recommender logo
Herzbot is a music recommender application on Facebook. This is the prototype:

Find Herzbot on Facebook.

The prototype uses a combination of collaborative filtering and a novel way to model social context I thought up to make music recommendations to you.

How does it work?

Herzbot constructs a profile for you and other Herzbot users. These profiles are then compared to give you recommendations from similar profiles. This is how ordinary collaborative filtering recommendations work. Herzbot also asks you for a few elite friends, which is your social context. This makes Herzbot unique. Your profile is constructed as follows:

  • You give Herzbot the name of one of your favourite artists and it gets a list of similar artists that you rate on a scale of 0 to 100%. Herzbot uses the Echo Nest API to get similar bands.

  • Then, you pick your elite friends who you think have more influence on your music taste than your ordinary Facebook contacts. Herzbot then constructs a profile for you. This is the only information Herzbot uses (user names and your band preferences and ratings that you dictate). I'm not browsing your profiles or spying on you or spamming email addresses. I'm not Santa Clause, although I would like to know where all the bad girls live.

  • Finally, when those friends also add the application, you get to see what they like and exactly how much. You also get recommendations straight from their listening profiles (that's the social context modelling part) or ordinary plain vanilla with a bit of flake recommendations (that's the collaborative filtering part, however your elite contacts still count a little bit more than ordinary Facebook users when it comes to making recommendations to you).

Can you listen to free music?

Yes! If you want to explore the recommended bands, you can find them on iLike with a link straight from Herzbot. iLike has quite an extensive database and you don't need to sign up to listen to streaming audio, which is why I chose iLike over Last.fm and the others where you need to join.

You can listen to your recommendations, listen to the top bands your friends like or listen to the entire profile of your elite friends. It is about exploring new music, after all.

Keep in touch

If you are on Facebook and you'd like to try it out, feel free to add it:

Add Herzbot, the socially conscious Facebook music recommender.

UPDATE: The questionnaire is now up and running. If you added Herzbot, please take the questionnaire (that's a survey for the Yanks):

The Herzbot Survey on Survey Monkey.

You are also welcome to join the developer's group and give me feedback:

Join the Herzbot developer's group.

If you add it, please check back daily over the course of the next two weeks. I will add a questionnaire, which I need to make my hairbrain scheme seem more plausible to academia. I would greatly appreciate your feedback! The other reason is that your recommendations will improve as your elite friends join and as more people join Herzbot.


Maddie said...

Hmm an interesting idea, not sure if I'd use it though as I already use Last.fm and quite like it. May give it a go though before totally dismissing it.

Garg the Unzola said...

Thanks for the comment!

The idea is not to make a replacement for Last.fm. Spotify is already a great replacement for Last.fm. This is merely a prototype to test a new way of getting music recommendations.

Music recommendations are bonus features with Last.fm, Spotify and iLike. The main feature of those sites is sharing your playlist with others. They make fairly reliable recommendations because they have a large database of users and artists, so they can fill in the gaps between similar profiles (ie they rely on collaborative filtering).

My facebook app is more modest and only aims to find ways to make recommendations without a large database of users and to model your social context. From my perspective, it works very well because I found new bands with only my elite friends added. From your perspective, it might not work this well. This is why I greatly appreciate any users I can get at this stage. I want it to work across the board and not just for me.

Jeanette said...

I think it is a great idea!!! Give it a shot :)

Google sucks piles I'm moving to Steemit

Short and sweet, Google isn't allowing me to post ads on my blogs here on blogspot any longer. Not that I provide my angry nerd rants fo...