Spotify – The Enlightened Music Data Despot

In the age of ubiquitous cloud computing, the rise of streaming services feels like old news. Of course we love streaming! For consumers, prices are lowers, libraries bigger, and services suddenly bespoke. What could be better?

While services like Facebook have received the brunt-end of public outrage for their use of consumer data, Spotify has managed to stay under-the-radar despite its aggressive data collection practices – which are commonplace across the “app” industry.

How has Spotify managed this? By giving users just enough value for their data in return. Features like custom playlists, API tools, and social/UI features shift public perception of Spotify from a looming corporate data farmer to an enlightened data despot.

Yet upon further inspection, I believe Spotify could be doing more for both its common consumers/users and less-common developers and amateur artists folk like me.

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Data & Publics: Invisible Crowds

Classmate Michael Blum and I have developed a project proposal for a public intervention project that utilizes data art/visualization called ‘Invisible Crowds’.

Invisible Crowds aims to raise awareness of the sheer volume and diversity of  invisible waves that are constantly bouncing around public spaces.

For this proposal we developed the above presentation and a more detailed writing below.

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The Color of Music

Building upon my artist lyrics analyzer project, I made a small web app that searches artist lyrics for the colors that they mention in their songs.

You can try it yourself here.

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Waveform Mashup – A Self Portrait with Data

I created a digital self portrait in the form of a ‘waveform mashup’.

The waveform mashup is a visual abstraction of waveform data from my ‘Top Songs of 2017’ as defined by Spotify.

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Sunrise, Sunset

Above is a little illustration that depicts the sunrise and sunset times (listed on the y-axis) of two locations in the world for each day in the year (spread across the x-axis).

See the code and web version here (press the play button – not optimized for mobile).

In this current case it is the 2016 sunrises and sunsets from Eastern Standard Time (EST) – aka New York –  and Central European Time (namely Switzerland & France).

At many stages in my life, for different reasons, I have found myself doing a mental calculation to imagine this time difference, and specifically when our normal waking hours overlap.

These days, both a friend and my girlfriend’s father are stationed in Switzerland.

This illustration is designed to show that our days share a lot of the same sunlight – especially in the summer. So even if we are far away, we can often look up at the same thing in the sky. ?

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