Musicream is a new music playback interface that lets a user unexpectedly come across various musical pieces similar to those liked by the user. With most previous ``query-by-example'' interfaces used for similarity-based searching, for the same query and music collection a user will always receive the same list of musical pieces ranked by their similarity and opportunities to encounter unfamiliar musical pieces in the collection are limited. Musicream facilitates active, flexible, and unexpected encounters with musical pieces by providing four functions: the music-disc streaming function which creates a flow of many musical-piece entities (discs) from a (huge) music collection, the similarity-based sticking function which allows a user to easily pick out and listen to similar pieces from the flow, the meta-playlist function which can generate a playlist of playlists (ordered lists of pieces) while editing them with a high degree of freedom, and the time-machine function which automatically records all Musicream activities and allows a user to visit and retrieve a past state as if using a time machine. In our experiments, these functions were used seamlessly to achieve active and creative querying and browsing of music collections, confirming the effectiveness of Musicream.
Music-disc streaming function: Active and unexpected encounters with interesting musical pieces.
Similarity-based sticking function: Controllable and flexible ``query-by-example'' similarity search.
Meta-playlist function: Advanced playlist editing with a high degree of freedom.
Time-machine function: Intuitive browsing and perfect recalling of past music listening activities.
Musicream screen snapshot with the auto-playback switch on: Enabling the auto-playback switch and letting the playback bar fall into the switch activates auto-playback.
Musicream screen snapshot of the time-machine function: The time-travel sliders consist of a rewind slider (left) for travel back into time in units of seconds relative to the present and a date/time slider (right) for specifying particular dates and times to return to. The results of playback history search and past similarity search are displayed when a disc is clicked.
This research utilized the RWC Music Database, a copyright-cleared music database that is available to researchers as a common foundation for research.