August 8th, 2007


some cool links

Debunking myths about the Third World (along with really cool data visualizations!) and a more general survey of current data visualization techniques. Some of it is really beautiful!

A lot of it just looks like a lot of color and noise to my eye, but The Shape of Song is my current favorite. It takes a deceptively simple concept--connect repeated musical passages--and it provides a really cool way to see how the music is structured. I love the comparison of the mathematical symmetry of Bach vs. the asymmetrical pattern of Madonna's pop music. You can upload your own favorite song as a MIDI file and this tool will visualize it for you. MIDI files can store multiple tracks, say, one for each instrument in a score, and this will visualize them separately or together. It's always easy to see which track has the bass line: utter insanity-provoking repetition for the entire score! :)

It also happens to be the only good use for a MIDI file that I've ever encountered. Those things should never EVER actually be played. I'm glad that they're not so common on people's webpages anymore. Speaking of which, going to a webpage and getting a soundtrack has definitely got to be one of my pet peeves. I can (maybe) see it on one of those e-card websites, but otherwise, ixnay on the music-playing webpages.

In other news, jcobleigh and I are going hiking on Pack Monadnock this weekend!
  • Current Music
    Walk With Me - Morris Robinson