beaTunes News

Monday, November 27, 2017

Enjoy EDM? Want a beaTunes license?

TLDR: Please help me by tapping along to some EDM tracks on this site.

Part of developing beaTunes is actively participating in the MIR research community. This includes working with scientific datasets for training, testing and benchmarking of algorithms. One of these datasets is the GiantSteps Tempo dataset, created by Knees et al. It contains excerpts of electronic dance music (EDM) annotated with a beats per minute (BPM) value.

GiantSteps Tempo is currently one of the very few EDM datasets that are freely available. But unfortunately it has never been properly verified. This means some reference values may be wrong or ambiguous. I'd like to change that.

Verifying the BPM value for a given song is pretty simple: Just tap along and record the taps. Unfortunately, there are some caveats:

  1. Perception: Tempo is not perceived the same by everybody. Some people may say a given song has 70 BPM, others may say it's 140 BPM.
  2. Tempo Changes: Sections of an excerpt are clearly slow, while other sections of the same excerpt are fast.
  3. Size: There are 664 tracks in the dataset.

What does this mean for a thorough verification?

Science Needs Your Help

In essence, multiple annotations for multiple sections for each track are needed. Assuming we need 5 annotations per section and divide each track into 7 sections, we require 664 x 5 x 7 = 23,240 datapoints. I'm happy to tap along to a couple of hundred songs, but tapping to ten thousands of tracks is an impossible task. Left aside the fact that it would only provide a single point of view and therefore not address the perception issue at all.

Why am I telling you this? Because obviously I need your help. While tapping 23,240 samples is very hard for a single human being without going insane, it's actually relatively easy for a large group. If a couple of hundred people tapped just 100 songs each, the task could be solved in about an hour. Plus the collected data would cover many different ways to perceive tempo.

Earn a beaTunes License

So please help me out! To make it worth your time, I'm more than happy to throw in some beaTunes licenses. To be exact:

Anybody who taps 110 songs and does so well (submissions are checked) gets a free beaTunes 5 license.

To start tapping, please visit this site. Even if you tap just a couple of songs, your submission is much appreciated! And be assured, results will eventually be published.

Thanks so much!

P.S.: If you don't feel like tapping yourself or simply hate EDM—perhaps you know someone who'd enjoy this little task. Please share this.


This offer will end on 1/31/2018.

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