It is immensely interesting that the music we listen to, the movies we watch, and all the video lectures we crawl through – all of these media files are “static”, they don’t adapt to make my experience anything better…all these files remain as they are (unless they somehow get corrupted in memory, which rarely happens now, if ever).
We do have adaptive systems like Pandora that *try* to play what we want to hear, but as clearly explained in the thesis I was reading (will link later) – music recommendation systems need to be fixed so that they can pay more attention to the acoustic content rather than genre tags that might not be as useful.
Abstract all of ^^^ into one box and make it float in front of you, perhaps a little to the right. Now, lets think about another, related problem: robotic musicians. Professor Weinberg and Mason Bretan, and their team are doing some very cool work on robots that can be accompanying musicians. Imagine picking up your guitar and turning on a little robotic drummer for a midnight jam (with headphones and HRIRs, of course!)
These robotic musicians are taking cues from you and improvising how they play – very dynamic – abstract this into another box and make it bob besides the box we made earlier. So, on one side, we have adaptive lists of songs – getting formed and reformed through our cues, like a thumbs up or a thumbs down. On the other side, we have a Shimon, paying close attention to our MIDI inputs (oh DSP community – give us a transcriber, please! Use IBM’s SyNAPSE if you please!) and nodding along with us. Do you see where this is headed? Towards Shimi, of course!
But not just the Shimi that plays music, no. Honestly, I don’t even care about the hardware side of making a robot work, not yet. Think about adaptive music files – that change a little, just like a band performing live, or a slightly different guitar solo, or a DJ’s remix – all popping out of an awesome music player. We can always go and listen to songs as they were made, but every once in a while, we could have our music player think a little bit, maybe in a random fashion, or maybe like a musician that we admire (and model with trees), and do something to the music.
Besides, you could always plug in your guitar (wirelessly – transceivers and ADCs!), or do some hand waving (kinect!) to join in and jam along with your music player, perhaps on top of, or as an extension to, a song you were listening to. Or as Ken Robinson would say, “Why not.”
In any case, you always go into the HRIR mode and take a nice nap besides LoTR soundtracks. Maybe I should stop attempting to merge everything that I would like to working on. We’ll see.