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The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Byrds … And Big Data?

3 September, 2015

The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Byrds … And Big Data?

A friend of mine told me, long before the advent of smartphones and music apps, that he prefers radio to listening to a CD or an album. He says that radio has an element of surprise. You could be listening to Pink Floyd one minute followed by a never before heard virtuoso performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

I love new music apps like Songza and Rdio that help me discover new music and artists I might never have found on my own. When thinking about how such apps work, I wondered if there was a method to the madness. No one (not even the NSA) could know all my musical proclivities and get most of the selections right as they stream on my various devices.

Furthermore, how could anyone ever figure this out for a number of my friends with musical tastes that range from the sublime to the ridiculous? Now, what if this were scaled out the entire world? Either Big Brother is watching us or there is something else quite intelligent, ingenious, and evolving, at play. Fortunately, it is the latter and it is big data analytics.

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