beaTunes News

Thursday, May 19, 2011

beaTunes 3 Early Access 5

beaTunes2 logoSo, how are you feeling? Really.. what mood are you in? And what music would you like to hear? - These are elementary questions when it comes to playlist building, mix tape creation and DJing. I certainly can't answer the question, but I can tell you that beaTunes 3 will help you a little more, finding the right music for your mood.

Unfortunately, that does not mean automatic mood labeling... yet. Even though MIR researchers are getting better at predicting the mood of a song based on its audio signal alone (e.g. with miremotion from MIRToolbox), the feature isn't quite ready for prime time yet. What's needed most is reliable reference data, i.e. data that says: many people agree, song X is so and so intense and to this degree emotionally positive or negative.

A scale, that many researchers measure emotions with, is the valence/arousal scale (going back to Russell's A circumplex model of affect). Valence represents the positiveness of the associated emotion, while arousal indicates how intense it is. Anger, for example is obviously an intense emotion and also clearly negative. Contrary to that, serenity is very low on the arousal scale and undoubtedly a positive emotion.

What does this have to do with beaTunes?

Starting with version 3, beaTunes will let you manually tag songs with a mood or emotion. You can do this either in the main table view, using a little drop down list with a couple of pre-defined moods, or use the new Mood tab in the Get Info dialog.

The colored square lets you pick an emotion, just like you'd pick a color: Red for negative and intense, green for positive and intense, and blue for low intensity/arousal. The UI will also give you feedback with numeric and descriptive values.

Once you have assigned moods to a number of songs, you can take advantage of your categorization using the corresponding mood rule for building matchlists. But even if you don't tag all your songs, tagging some of them will help me with building an automatic mood tagger. The data will be communicated to the database server (this can be turned off in the general preferences), building up reference data, which eventually will help me to create said automatic tagger.

Well, at least that's the plan :-)

As always, there is some more info in the NOTES.txt file.

Alright, here's the obligatory warning: Before downloading and installing this, please make sure you understand what Early Access means:

  • Absolutely no warranty for whatever
  • Features may or may not work, appear, and disappear
  • It may not be possible to migrate data to future or previous versions (even though I make a reasonable effort)
  • This version will cease to function 2 weeks after its release
  • You cannot buy this version

And here are the download links:

Important

This EA version changes beaTunes' internal database layout quite a bit, which takes a while. Do not interrupt this process, even if it takes very long! beaTunes 2.x will not be able to use the database anymore, after you ran beaTunes 3.0. If you intend to try 3.0 and then go back to 2.x, make sure you back up the database before you try 3.0 (depending on your OS it's in ~/Library/Application Support/beaTunes/Database, C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\tagtraum industries\beaTunes\database or C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\tagtraum industries\beaTunes\database)! You also might want to check out this article about exporting beaTunes data.

Please provide feedback!

Thanks.

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