June 30, 2014

The infinite jukebox

The infinite jukebox seems simple enough, but the results can be fascinating if the right song is chosen.

The site takes any song you upload or that you choose from their already uploaded list, analyzes it to find all the beats in the song, matches those beats with other beats in the song, and plays the song on a near-infinite loop, jumping from identical beat to identical beat in entirely different places within the song.

That means that "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson sometimes plays through jumping from five seconds in to a minute and a half, plays for ten seconds, then jumps back nearly to the beginning to continue the process. Not every jump happens, but every possible jump is marked by a connection within the visual representation of the song. Here, for example is "Billie Jean"...

Each connection across the circle shows a possible jump when one part of the song sounds identical to another part. The highlighted green link is the moment that was playing when I took the screecapture, and the highlighted arc is a jump not taken. Right now, "Billie Jean" has been playing for seven and a half minutes on my computer and has played through 585 beats, two other interesting bits of data on the track.

It's a blast to play around with, but check out the already uploaded tracks. Most any song you would want to try has been thrown on their servers already.

What songs did you find that worked the best?

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