Music Explorer FX is a visual tool for discovering new music. Start with your favorite artist and take a musical journey based on recommendations provided by the Echo Nest. Up to six recommendations will be given for each artist so no two journeys will be the same. As you take your journey you can listen to music from the artist, view images of the artist, and follow links to view videos, reviews, news, and blogs. At any point you can automatically tweet your journey if you discover a path that you particularly enjoy.
Music Explorer FX was awarded first place in the 2009 JavaFX Coding Challenge.
Click on an image for the larger version.
There are known issues running on Macbooks or older iMacs, and so these platforms are not supported at this time -- but hey, give it a shot anyway, you never know, right?
The application requires 128MB of RAM to run. It's minimum supported resolution is 1300x900 (which barely accommodates 15" Macbook Pros). Recommended resolution is 1300x1000 or greater.
Have a question? Perhaps its among the frequently asked.
(Instructions on using the application, including an explanation of the features, can be found here).
After the application finishes starting up, you'll be presented with a search box. Enter the name of a musical artist in the search box and press the search button (or press the "Enter" key). Entering the name of an artist that you are already familiar with is a good start. You'll be presented with a list of artists matching your search. Click on the artist that most closely matches your intention and you'll be brought to the explorer screen.
In the explorer screen, the currently selected artist (the artist in the middle of the screen) is surrounded by up to six artists that sound similar to the current artist. You can click on any of these recommendations to promote that artist to the middle and in turn, generate recommendations for the newly selected artist. The old artist travels to the lower part of the screen and becomes part of the history. This process of selecting new artists while remembering the path it took to get there is your musical journey. At any point you can click on an artist in the history to make them the current artist again.
A row of buttons will appear below the current artist.
The "info" button will display aggregated information about the current artist from around the internet, including reviews, videos, artist links (such as iTunes, Amazon, etc.), news, and blogs. Clicking on any item in any of these sections will open the link in a browser window.
The "image gallery" button will attempt to find photos of the artist from Flickr and display them two at a time.
If the application is in either "info" or "image gallery" mode, it will display the "find similar" button, which will return the application to "similar" mode with the six artist recommendations.
The top (cyan) gauge on the artist boxes is a "familiarity" rating, which is a measure of how well-known an artist is in the wider world. The lower (magenta) gauge is a measure of "hotness", which is a sort of popularity metric.
If any music is found for the current artist you can click on the artist's image to "flip" it around and view the track listing. Click on the "+" or ">" buttons to add the artist to the end, or front of the playlist, respectively.
There are three buttons to the right of the history on the lower right. The search button will return you to the initial search screen. The question mark icon ("?") will display a help section summarizing the information in this document. The icon in the lower right will put the application in full screen mode. Once in full screen mode you can click the button again to re-enter windowed mode.
If you have a Twitter account, you can press the "Twitter" button (the "singing bird" icon) and tweet your musical journey.
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