The Musical Avatar: a visualization of musical preferences by means of audio content description

Haro, Martín; Xambó, Anna; Fuhrmann, Ferdinand; Bogdanov, Dmitry; Gómez, Emilia and Herrera, Perfecto (2010). The Musical Avatar: a visualization of musical preferences by means of audio content description. In: 5th Audio Mostly Conference, 15-17 Sep 2010, Piteå, Sweden.



The music we like (i.e. our musical preferences) encodes and communicates key information about ourselves. Depicting such preferences in a condensed and easily understandable way is very appealing, especially considering the current trends in social network communication. In this paper we propose a method to automatically generate, given a provided set of preferred music tracks, an iconic representation of a user's musical preferences - the Musical Avatar. Starting from the raw audio signal we first compute over 60 low-level audio features. Then, by applying pattern recognition methods, we infer a set of semantic descriptors for each track in the collection. Next, we summarize these track-level semantic descriptors, obtaining a user profile. Finally, we map this collection-wise description to the visual domain by creating a humanoid cartoony character that represents the user's musical preferences. We performed a proof-of-concept evaluation of the proposed method on 11 subjects with promising results. The analysis of the users' evaluations shows a clear preference for avatars generated by the proposed semantic descriptors over avatars derived from neutral or randomly generated values. We also found a general agreement on the representativeness of the users' musical preferences via the proposed visualization strategy.

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