Musical Soulmates (the new Neighbours)

    • claudiob sa...
    • Användare
    • 1 okt 2008, 16:13


    I don't know which criterion you are using to order the soulmates when you show them on screen, but I think that difference between one soulmate and the next one should be a key factor.
    In fact, a get a whole screen of soulmates with whom I have the same six shared artists… so if I really love these six artists, these soulmates all are perfect, while if I don't quite like these six artists, these soulmates all are bad.
    You could try to present soulmates with different combinations of shared artists, so I would immediately get an idea about that user.

    Here is an example: I both listen to (and like) Spanish Indie Rock and Italian Indie Rock. Some soulmates have shared artists in the first group, some in the second group… but if I were to see a user with shared artists in both groups (some Spanish and some Italian rock artists)… that would definitely be a soulmate.

    Compliments anyway.

  • So lonely...

    This feature makes me feel lonely. Apparently I have only 27 musical soulmates, of which none live in my country, the Netherlands. Weird that I often meet the same people at concerts...

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 10 okt 2008, 18:41

    Re:Friends as Neighbours

    gamboviol said:
    Many thanks for the comments, we really appreciate your feedback on this one because one of the big challenges for this service is to keep everyone happy - the more different views we have the better chance we have of doing this.

    It's interesting to hear that you have friends popping up as your new neighbours, because friends are'nt taken into account in the calculation. This could be a sign that we are actually doing something right - so it's also interesting to hear that (so far) you don't like it :)

    ps it's a public holiday here this weekend, and for once it's not raining, so you probably won't see any more replies from us until Tuesday, but please keep the feedback coming!

    Hmm, but I had one former friend o' mine (Warrior-Soul) always appearing as my top soulmate. And does this sentence also go in account for the old neighbours? As my top friend (when it comes to the similarity of the taste --> 95%) is in my neighbour-list:
    Chaos668 is the user I'm talking about.

    BTW: How often are the soulmates refreshed?

    • squonk57 sa...
    • Användare
    • 18 okt 2008, 02:13
    @wmterhaar -
    27 is a lot ... apparently I have only 5.

    I looked for a "next page"-button, but there wasn't any :-(

    • jaysuten sa...
    • Användare
    • 18 okt 2008, 12:42
    It's great that it'll be kept up to date in real time, because tastes and preferences can change so dramatically in no time at all.

    I have a question though:
    When this is implemented, will the compatibility scores be fixed too? (I.E. will long-since-deleted artists still show up as music in common, etc) I've found people who I have at least 30 bands in common with who are ranked as "SUPER LOW" in terms of compatibility. Kind of annoying because it's right at the top of the page and sets the expectation for everything.

    The musical soulmates are really neat, though, great work with it.

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 24 okt 2008, 02:16
    In short, I liked it, liked it a lot.
    Hard to decide between the current algorithm and this new approach, both unveil a different kind of result but both great.

    I was surprised and amused, among my results were a girl from my country which I only know from stumbling across on concerts(I mean, nevermind... =]).
    We have a very similar taste for music in essence and might have a big intersection on our set of bands, but afaik we scrobble each of them on radically different proportions. =]

  • If we could further refine how it finds people we could turn it into a dating service :) I mean tell it I want a female soulmate of a certain age range and throw in the possibility of them speaking English and walah... musical hookup service.

    Ok musical hookup service aside I am glad that you are looking into the metrics. I have another account and just started this account in September because I was bored with hearing the same artists all the time on neighbour radio.

    I seriously find new artists and entire new genre's on this site every couple weeks and my old profile just knew that I liked certain artists and played the crap out of them.

    I just want a button that says "new artist radio" that uses some kind of metrics like you are using for this soulmate system and uses it JUST to play me artists that are not in my library.

    This week I am into dark cabaret. Last week I was into Swedish music. The week before I had to listen to singer-songwriters, and scissor sisters radio. Just before that I heard there was a 2008 Less Than Jake album as well as The Living End had an album I hadn't heard so I was listening to punk. I discover guitar-virtuoso tag and now that's what I am listening to.

    Thing is I am not relying on to tell me about good music. I mean I didn't know that I would be listening to any of the above tags before my radio played me a song by some artist that I had never heard of and then I got into that tag or genre on it.

    I seem to be posting much later than others. Hope this forum post is still being read by the staff...

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 16 nov 2008, 11:49
    thesmartass said:
    If we could further refine how it finds people we could turn it into a dating service :) I mean tell it I want a female soulmate of a certain age range and throw in the possibility of them speaking English and walah... musical hookup service.

    You mean something like this:


  • You mean something like this:

    That's great !! :) Hooray for advanced options !

  • MUSICAL :Soulmates

    I'm new to and this is my first look at the playground, and I'm impressed
    I just discovered AYO. and find her wonderful an that people all over the world Love her music as I do and probably even more, I wondered if others around the world felt what i fill when I listen to her this.This I'd think would make us soul mates of a sort. Thanks now maybe I'll find out .

  • Musical Soulmates

    I reaaallly like this feature.. It should be on the official page.. not just the playground.. This is genius! I lo lo loove it!

    • Nethiros sa...
    • Användare
    • 26 nov 2008, 20:51
    pretty cool idea, and i'm really looking forward to it. maybe you should be able to see soulmates for different periods of time, like charts (iE Weekly, Last Month, Last 3 months, Overall). i guess that'll minimize the complications...

    • mygotep sa...
    • Användare
    • 13 dec 2008, 22:12
    could there be an option to simply see which users on have the most artists in common with you? (with some adjustable threshold of minimum plays per artist)

    • basnobua sa...
    • Användare
    • 13 apr 2009, 13:00
    still up and working? or am I w/o any soulmates?

  • I'm also happy to see that still keeps the neighbour function in mind.
    It was also one of my favourite. It's an important part which made to what it is. Because of my neighbours I got so many new people to know - and of course new bands.
    I used past tense on propose - because since the neighbours are "hidden" (no longer on profile page) I forget that they still exist :/
    And I'm sure that many new members even don't KNOW that there are neighbours.

    So PLEASE put them back to our profile pages.

    Another fancy option would be the ability to ban neighbours (f.e. without images...),maybe to keep it functional with a limit to a maximum of 5 bannable neighbours.

  • It says it doesn't have any neighbors for me!


    • fbvianna sa...
    • Användare
    • 2 maj 2009, 16:43
    Why I never have any neighbours? :(

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 2 maj 2009, 19:37
    Hmm, strange. The only thing I can say to you is that with the default settings, it gives you the same people as the one in your normal neighbours-list.

    • fbvianna sa...
    • Användare
    • 3 maj 2009, 06:32
    Really strange... because I did not change any configuration and I never have any any "neighbours" there. Seems like a bug....

    • fbvianna sa...
    • Användare
    • 20 maj 2009, 12:51
    Anybody from Staff can help here?

    It´s hard to not have soulmates..... hehe

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 23 maj 2009, 11:17
    I think it is not a bug. From what I've heard they merged the Musical Soulmates system with the neighbours system in the actual site and since then the Musical Soulmates feature has stopped working on playground. Saddly when they marged it with Neighbours they didn't implement the options to search Neighbours by age, gender, country, and artists. It really is a pitty because that was the best part of the Musical Soulmates system.

    I really wish they would bring it back :(

  • algorithms n that


    Firstly a broad-outline algorithm that has been in my head for some time , since before I saw this and that I'm sure would be too costly for you to use but I thought I'd mention it.

    It relies on a cheap "distance between artists" measure.

    That is for comparing two users A and B:

    ALib is A's library BLib is B's library, the rest should be obvious

    (*) for each artist in A.library = ALib.artist.plays * BLib.total_plays
    (*) for each artist in B.library = BLib.artist.plays * ALib.total_plays

    when we pair two artists, artist_a in Alib and artist_b in BLib we do
    (*) transaction_credit = min (, )
    (*) total_distance += transaction_credit * distance(artist_a, artist_b)
    (*) -= transaction_credit
    (*) -= transaction_credit

    The idea is to iteratively perform these artist pairings until the two libraries run out of "credit" so that we come up with a total_distance between the libraries, which could then be normalised - divided by (ALib.total_plays*BLib.total_plays).

    The ideal would be to find the absolute minimum total_distance achievable by such a process. This is far from practical. The main goals then would be for the algorithm to be reasonably consistent and symmetric or close to symmetric (distance(A,B) ~= distance(B,A)).

    As I say totally impractical but I thought I'd share.


    Another thing that I have thought would be cool is to use mapping artists to a 2D space reflecting similarity (perhaps mapping to higher dimensions initially then making sensible projection for specific uses) though it wouldn't reflect the full richness of the "geometry of musical similarity" could allow for some cool interactions. For example free-hand drawing a loop around an area in order to create a radio-station or find users with matching taste.

    If you really wanted to get funky you could create an algorithm that discovered the topology/geometry of musical similarity.


    Back to the point of this thread. Personally I think the more of my library is taken into account the better, even if that means somehow aggregating artists that have less plays. I explore lots of different music and I have a very large library relative to my number of plays (2,400 artists from 8753 plays) and the long tail of my library is as important or more important than the top artists. Hence my musings over a "total distance" algorithm.

  • oh and..

    on the algorithm thing.

    (a) I perhaps should have said add up total_error += Err(distance(artist_a, artist_b) )

    The point of having Err and distance separate measures is that distance could be something that is more easily searched/optimised (such as a Euclidian distance where artists have been mapped to some space) and then Err provides extra flexibility. For example {Err(x) = 0 if (x=0) else = x^2 + 5} provides an extra bonus for identical artists.

    Come to think of it sum of similarity might make more sense...

    (b) This could be inverted to find the total_similarity if that seems more appropriate

  • symmetry

    Oh... of course it is easy enough to make

    distance(artist_a, artist_b) = distance(artist_b, artist_a)

    the challenge is for the algorithm to produce

    total_error(user_A, user_B) = total_error(user_B, user_A)

    • snyde1 sa...
    • Abonnent
    • 18 jun 2009, 04:04
    You could use the algorithm in this script. The total length of each library is calculated as the square root of the sum of the squares for the playcounts of all artists, then a particular artist's value is the square root of (the product of the playcounts in the two libraries divided by the product of the lengths of the two libraries).

    The distance between the libraries would then one be minus the square root of the sum of the squares of all artists' values. If the two libraries are identical, the distance would be zero, if no artists were shared, the distance is one.

    However, this does not take into account "similar artists" so it wouldn't be particularly good for the neighbours measure.

    Improve your view of - add some User Scripts.
    Did I hear that right? Mondegreens - for the misheard word. Like Odds? Can't get better than Even Odds!

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
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