20 May 2005

A tangled web

Hmmm... here's a cool-looking tool, though I'm not sure how useful it really is.

It's called "LivePlasma." You enter the name of a band or artist, and get a "web" of other artists somehow similar to, or linked to, the one you entered.

The interface looks great, but I wish it supplied more info. Searching for Brian Eno gives you a HUGE web of artists... but with no clue how they're related. One of the entries closest to Eno is Johnny Cash... how are THEY connected?

There's the kernel of a cool idea here, though.


Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

AH. Your pentultimate line basically gave me all sorts of question marks on my head too, so I looked it up. Apparently Cash guested on an U2 album that was produced by Eno, and that song popped up on a couple of Cash best-ofs, I guess. So that solves that question!

But yeah -- it is kinda cool. I kind of like the interface, but I wish there were a way to minimize the search bar (and it seems to be off-centered in my browser, but that might just be Firefox). But yeah -- it'd be cool if they had a thing where you could mouse-over a path and it'd tell you how they were connected (side project, produced by, collaborated with, sounds like). Still, though, it's fun to play with!

4:57 PM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

Oh, MAN am I embarrassed! That U2 song that Cash sings on (I think it's called "The Wanderer") is one of my favorite U2 songs ever. I should have figured out the Eno connection there. D'oh!

Yeah, the search window is kind of inconvenient, isn't it? Like you said, I wish it could be minimized, but then they wouldn't be able to display their Amazon links (with referrer codes embedded, no doubt!).

5:35 PM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

I found out you can actually move it around, which is useful, since there's usually an area that doesn't have any dots, so that works out. It seems to be sort of iffy working-wise, though (for some reason, it wouldn't actually let me release the sidebar), but that could just be because I've got like 50 tabs open.

6:16 PM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

Aha! You just have to wait for the little arrows to appear around it the search window.. I actually managed to completely remove it from the screen.

I am disappointed that its map for "Marilyn Manson" didn't have Alice Cooper anywhere in sight. Apparently cultural/inspiration type links don't show up in this model.

I'm also disappointed that it choked on both "Roky Erickson" and "The Residents". (It threw me to a "close" match in both cases, both of them some actress I'd never heard of.) Like I said, it's the kernel of a cool idea... and it's still fun to play with in the meantime.

10:51 PM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

Yeah -- I remember when I tried They Might Be Giants, it sort of gave a bunch of random bands (in addition to expected ones like Mono Puff or John Linnell), which makes me think it was sort of "The bands on the Internet that say they sound a lot like TMBG but really don't" kind of thing. Still, though, it is kinda fun to mess around with.

11:16 PM, May 20, 2005  
Anonymous timv said...

As I recall, the precursor to liveplasma was musicplasma which recommended other musicians you would like based on how others answered the question: name five of your favorite musicians. My bet says they took that database and gave it a new UI.

8:53 AM, May 21, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

You know, that vaguely rings a bell... I think I remember that site. You're probably on to something.

3:23 PM, May 21, 2005  

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