Drop it like a computer program told you that it was 80% hot

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The BBC's reporting that recording giants like Sony BMG have started using computer programs rather than their ears to determine whether they have a hit song on their hands.  More specifically, they're using a complex new program called Platinum New Music Intelligence to determine what songs to put their marketing money behind. The program, developed by Mike McCready of Platinum Blue, analyzes songs in mathematical terms, breaking music "down into 30 or so component parts including rhythm, melody, harmony, beat, cadence, timbre, pitch, and gives each a number." Regardless of genre, the company believes chart toppers seem to fit the same pattern. Of course, the program has musicians flustered. Electronic musician Moby is all over it, while singer-songwriters (like James Blount's writing partner Amanda Ghost) are appalled and worried that music is going to sound more and more the same.

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June 19, 2006 - 6:07am
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