Build stuff if you’re annoyed
A few years ago, sitting in my office at DERI, I was playing with data and content-discovery systems. Getting data, extracting meaning, filtering noise, and adding a pinch of social features was part of my daily routine. I was generally doing it with a pair of headphones on my head, but was often disappointed by the online music discovery experience. I love reading record inner sleeves, magazines, etc so that I can filter out the noise when it’s time to listen to music, but I was missing that uunlimited music discovery experience online. In addition, I was frustrated by the limits of collaborative-filtering solutions as well as the opacity of existing music recommendation systems.
The years went by and now the situation is more complex. With millions of tracks available online, whether you decide to stream them on YouTube or pay a monthly subscription to Deezer or Spotify, you still need to filter out the noise. Also if you’re an artist, chances are that you’ll end-up in the long-tail of these catalogues. The market has grown from a handful of music-discovery apps, and while some satisfy my needs, in addition to editorially-curated ones, I’m still frustrated by the overall experience.
Open Data for unlimited music discovery
Our goal with seevl has always been to solve this problem. We wanted bring a powerful and unlimited music discovery experience to music lovers while giving artists get more exposure and plays. As a geek (a music and data one – but let’s focus on the data here) I wanted to tackle this approach in a very specific way: thanks to Open and Structured Data and Web Standards. After years of experimenting, building and writing about data-driven solutions, from Distributed Social Networks to Knowledge Representation Standards, and seeing the adoption of the Semantic Web vision through advances like RDFa, Freebase or Facebook OpenGraph I was confident that this combination had a strong role to play in content-discovery on the Web – and in our case, music:
- Open – because I believe in the power of crowds where anyone can contribute to data-assets and make those assets openly available for others to use.
- Structured – because algorithms are still smarter at understanding data-points rather than raw text, in spite of recent advances in AI.
And that’s what we’ve been building since we’ve decided to spin-out from the University as an independent company and commit full-time to a product and a vision that matters to us.
From working closely with OpenLink we are now capable of quickly make sense of our 80M data-points: about our users, their tastes, who they listen to, the labels those artists have been signed to and much more. This big graph of data gives us the ability to implement and test several techniques for recommending, discovering and searching for content thanks to the unlimited paths that exist in these growing data-points. Want to find artists in a label you love? Check! Want to find other people with similar tastes? Check! Want to know which other genres you should listen to? Check! And so on, and so on. All this is integrated in a beautiful and intuitive UX. We’ve put lots of thought into it, so check-out this blog in the next few weeks for more in-depth technical posts about the overall platform.
Unlimited music discovery with seevl.fm
In a few days (October 29th) we will be releasing our brand new seevl.fm! We redesigned the old seevl with an immersive UI and UX to give you an unlimited music discovery experience. Replacing our previous browser extension version and our first Deezer app, seevl has become seevl.fm (a standalone and responsive Web-app), and the Deezer app got a full update. Whichever platform you use for your online music habits seevl gives you a unified music discovery experience.
I’m very happy with what we’ve accomplished as a team during the last 6 months – in addition of working with awesome clients and partners as a company as a whole. We’re having fun building and talking about seevl, and we see great potential in it. Next week is just the first part of our new adventure. So if you love music as much as we do and if you care about the Web, check out seevl.fm. It’s free and unlimited music discovery at you fingertips! So you can save your cash to buy or stream music from artists that you love.