Saturday, January 8, 2011

If You're In Search Of New Music, You Need To Check This Out

I present to you....gnod

For those of you who are in desperate need for some new artists to check out, this site is for you.  It'll be obvious to those of you who visit this site that it's not going to win any awards for innovative web design, but the functionality that this site sets out to accomplish is pretty impressive.  If you truly are in need of some new artists to check out or are just plain curious, read my walkthrough of gnod after the break.

So what exactly is gnod you ask?  Besides being a flat out annoying word to say, gnod is a rather impressive a.i. project by some fellow from Hamburg, Germany named Marek Gibney.  His project is essentially a self adapting system that will learn about your interests within the realm  of your favorite music, books, and movies.  Based on what you list as your favorite artist (for instance), it will throw out other artists that are related and that you would most likely enjoy.  This is exactly like any other site for music that has a "Suggested Artists" or "If You Like This, You'll Enjoy That" kind of functionality.  However, gnod doesn't just give you three or four other options that you would mostly guess anyways.  Gnod will give you a whole map full of options.  Like Gibney states on gnod's home page, "You might call it a search-engine to find things you don't know about." 
Let's hope good ole Gibney isn't also working on these guys as a side project.

But now let's get down to it's process.  I'll provide screenshots so you can really see how it works.  

  To start, gnod will ask you what three of your favorite bands are.  Not that it matters, but I just named three big mainstream bands (Trivium, Killswitch Engage, All That Remains) that most people would recognize just for the hell of it.  Then I hit continue.

Oh hey look!  I'd say The Human Abstract is fairly related (and a band I definitely would like btw).  You can continue on and on forever by clicking on one of the three options ("I like it!" "I don't like it!" or "I don't know it!") it has at the bottom.  However, the real fun is when you click on the option that I have circled in red above, "on the map."  So let's check it out.

Now we have quite a few more options to say the least!  I apologize for not making the names readable but I just wanted to show you how many other bands pop up when you go to the map.  Since The Human Abstract was the active band we had when we clicked on "on the map," it's placed at the center of the screen and all the other bands rotate around it in a circular fashion.  If you see a band you like, then you can click on that band and then that band will move to the center and gnod will recalculate other bands that are similar.  It's a pretty cool system if you ask me.  It also seems like a really reliable way to find new material. 

Here's the link to the site, enjoy: Gnod


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