I received an email from Gary Robinson this morning. Yeah, that Gary Robinson. The CTO of Emergent Music LLC. Those guys who make Goombah. I’m going places, baby.
Gary seems like a really cool guy and he provided some insight into how Goombah works.
The fact is that a collaborative filtering system like this one depends on having a lot of users to work well, and we’re only just starting to publicize ourselves.
The key is to have “Matching Members” that actually match your tastes. The algorithm we use to find matching members is, I believe, great. But if the people aren’t there to be found, that poses a limitation.
There are opportunities to tune the application for better performance when there aren’t many users yet.
I’d be very interested in knowing how you can tune a collaborative filter with a minimal number of users. That seems difficult at best. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to replying to Gary’s email yet (although I have promised myself to do so tonight) so this is a discussion for another day.
But you’re not here to read about all the fantastic email that lands in my inbox. You’re here for the latest Goombah results. So let’s get started.
It is possible to blacklist artists you don’t like. For example, on Day 2 I noted that I didn’t care for The Jesus Lizard. Today, as I glanced over the next recommendations, they were listed twice. Just like last time. So, I’m blacklisting these guys. I’m tired of seeing the lizard, Jesus or no. With those 2 tracks removed, it’s time to get busy with it. Here are the next 5 recommendations.
Bunky - Chuy (Amazon) This band is reminiscent of No Doubt back when they were nobodies. In a just and decent world, these guys would be stars and nobody would know No Doubt. This one took a bit to grow on me, but I can see this staying in random rotation. Goombah: 1, Pessimism: 0.
Uzeda - Steam, Rain & Other Stuff (Amazon) This song starts strong, takes its damned sweet time approaching anything interesting and then quickly runs away from it. I think I wrote this song one time. It sucked. Goombah: 1, Pessimism: 1.
Soul Proxy - Solitaire (eMusic) Wow, another Nickelback wannabe. That must be a huge market. These guys are good though. The harmonies are nice and the hooks are just catchy enough. I doubt I’d buy the CD but I wouldn’t skip the song too often either. Goombah: 2, Pessimism: 1.
Hayseed Dixie - Holiday (Amazon) This is an audiobook, at least that’s what the genre says. Oh wait. This is a bluegrass cover of Green Day’s Holiday. Sweet! It’s weak bluegrass, but decent enough. This is a definite keeper. Goombah: 3, Pessimism: 1.
Daniel Cartier - What’s It Gonna Be? (Amazon) I had the most insightful review of this song written out. It was, in all likelihood, the best critique I’ve ever written and I doubt I’ll ever come close to that level of brilliance again. Then my head slammed into the keyboard as I was pushed into the sleep of the dead by the sheer pretentiousness and boredom that is this song. The review was lost and all that remained was this piece of taint. I’d rather scrub public toilets than sit through this again. This is a humongous turd. Goombah: 3, Pessimism: 2.
These five songs didn’t tilt the scales either way. Goombah is holding steady at 60%, which is better than I expected. However, looking over the next 5 songs … it’s tough to tell how the week will end out. Oh well. It’s free, right?
Running Totals Goombah: 15 (60%) Pessimism: 10 (40%)