Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Jewish Music

Typed in the query 'jewish music' in youtube to see what it came up with. Here's the first hit:

Its a tradtional Yemenite music, and really rather interesting. Enjoy. Also found nagila hava

Monday, 29 June 2009

Monday Blues Cure

Here's a bit of Eddie Reader, one of my favourite artists:

Search for 'Eddie Reader', 5th hit down.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Music Search

Downloaded Spotify on my work machine ages ago, but only just got to installing it on my mac at home. This works extremely well with the Bowie/Berlin query set, which I can't show because you have to log in, but it has all the tracks, and its really quite an impressive service. Searches on the set provide not just the album, but also extra tracks e.g. covers. Only problem is that my version of little snitch keeps popping up with messages, and if you don't accept the connection, the track won't play! An independent review of the service is provided by David Toube.

Medieval Image Retrieval

University of Cambridge provide access to a set of Medieval images, and provide commentaries on them. Basic search is - very basic.

You can choose in advanced search:
1. Media: type of painting used oil, tempura, gold and medium such as paper book.
2. Cycle: don't know what this is.
3. date: 11th to 16th Century
4: Title: of painting, any word or exact phrase.
5. Keyword: search restricted set of keywords e.g. Christ in Majesty, Evangelists, Majesty
6. Image number (if you know it).

Doesn't seem to be a full text search on the commentaries unfortunately.

Thesaurus Search

Thsrs finds short words from longer versions. Heres the list I got for 'establishment':


If you ask why, you'll hopefully find the answer here.

Video Search

Corbis Motion is a website that provides access to various types of video including royalty free videos. The database contains short clips of people doing things, heres one for a search on football I did. Clicking on a video loads a new tab (or age) provides information on the clip e.g. length, frame set, what camera the video was shot on etc . Mousing over a clip plays it, which is unique.

Local Search

UpMyStreet is a local search facility, based on postcodes, and provides the same kind of information you can find in the yellow pages. With UpMyStreet you type in the postcode and information in your area is then provided e.g. here's one for near where I work. You can then browse the categories. With Yellow pages you can either browse the categories available, or search on the postcode refining by categories and/or company name. Searches bring up a map with companies locations. Quite an interesting difference in the strategies: is it better to provide a more focused set of information at the outset or more functionality in search with access a big list of categories?

Music Search Techniques classified

Here, by Donald Bell. It lists a number of internet Radio stations such as Pandora and Slacker which cannot be played in the U.K. It also contains some links to subscription services which I will not evaluate, such as Napster. Various blogs are mentioned including HypeMachine, Mog and Pitchfork. Other systems mentioned in the article will be evaluated later.

Music Search

Gracenote is a service based on CD meta-data which has been made into a business. More details from wikipedia, and relevant info on CDDB, based on this format. Hmm. not sure about this! Here's my attempt searching this system with the bowie/berlin query set.

I did loads of initial searches and got identical results for the Bowie queries, before I realized that I could refine the query to 'album' or 'track' - it seems to automatically assume you're looking for artist. I therefore did all the searches again, this time on with the 'album' tag chosen labeled 'Retry' above. Retries are with the album name only. Results were a lot better doing this. Clicking on the albums allows the user to buy the track (from itunes) or view the song lyrics. Otherwise a pretty basic service, with no audio options I could fine.

Music Search

Been a while since I've looked a music search engines, so I thought I'd better have a look at a few more. Here a system called 'Audiobaba', with searches using the bowie/berlin query set.

Impressions. It didn't like my queries above, and returned nothing for three queries before I gave up. I then tried just the name which came up with a list of albums songs and films to which Bowie was associated with. Links to queries I tried are presented above. It only plays samples of the songs currently. Without the ability to refine the query in another way (e.g. by artist), the service is rather limited. Searching on just one element made the queries rather ambigious sometimes (e.g. see heroes query above). There is a way to refine the query by choosing 'mainstream', 'normal' and 'independents' which is only available once you have done a search. I'm not sure of the distinction between 'mainstream' and 'normal' (these terms are not explained on the website), but I assume that the scheme is partly based on label type ('independents').

If you can get a query to work, the results then become very interesting. The service is billed as a recommender search engine, and clicking on a hit from a search brings up a list of similar songs based on the analysis of the audio, according to the FAQ.

March of the Librarians

David Attenborough as applied to librarians, their general behavior mating habits etc...

What a hoot! (h/t: Lyn Robinson).

Image Search by colour and example

Idee is a company that provides image search software, and they have a number of products including TinEye, which is a firefox plugin to provide query by example search for images. They provide a number of examples on various data sets (Alamy and flickr):

1. Search by colour on Alamy or flickr sets.
2. Visual search by example using an image from the Alamy set.
3. Visual search by example, using an uploaded image, either directly or using a URL on the Alamy set.

This is rather fun, enjoy! They have a blog.

Related: Hermitage museum provides similar search on their art collection, by colour and by layout, which are both great fun to use! Both provide demo's. This particular system is based on IBM's QBIC system.

(h/t: David Thompson)

Monday, 22 June 2009

200 not out!

As this is my 200th post for the Unix Spiders blog, I though I'd post something grand and sweeping. But first - what was the process of choosing it. Well - the stig has been revealed (continuing on from the motor racing theme of my last post), and in one of the videos I saw on the BBC web site, a song from the film 'The Road to Perdition' was played as Michael Schumacher removed the helmet to show himself thus.

I wanted to find the track on youtube, the only bit of evidence I had was the film name itself, and some idea that it was the theme for the film. The latter piece of evidence turned out to be incorrect, however just having the film name did allow me to find the piece of music I was looking for eventually - The Road to Chicago, by Thomas Newman. An interesting unknown item search in music IR, with partial information. Here is this piece:

Le Man 24 Hour Race 2009

Been rather interested in the classic race for a while now, so as their is no coverage to terrestrial TV, I though I'd check out youtube to find a short video of how it went. Couldn't really find this, but I did find this short video which I really enjoyed:

The anticipation is wonderful, there is little sound at the begining, with a slowly growing growl which turns into a roar as 55 cars wiz by! I love it! Oh, and here's the start:

plus the finish (be a long time looking at this post if I had video for the full 24 hours!):

I really must go one day!

Monday Blues Cure

Saw Telstar on Saturday, A bio of Joe Meek. Here's the title track by The Tornados:

Some famous musicians were associated with Joe Meek early in their careers including: Chas Hodges, Ritchie Blackmore and Mitch Mitchell.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Monday Blues Cure

More cassetteboy:

They have a Blog. More.

I do wonder how they got some of the words, though.

Monday, 8 June 2009