Blog Post 1 by Lihua: Serendipity

Serendipity is a project created by artist Kyle McDonald and a Spotify team. The project records two people who start to play the same song within a tenth of a second of each other and shows the location of the two people and the name of the song on a map.

A cached version of the tracks recorded over one hour of one day is available on Spotify. You can see the song name and the two locations pop up while the map zooms in or out. The song will play for a few seconds until the next serendipitous moment occurs. You can click on the play button at the top-left corner on the webpage to stop jumping to another moment and keep listening to the song.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 11.02.14 AM

This is an experimental multimedia project that explores how we can use technology to show content in the way we never had before, not just a simple combination of audio and visual elements. The project was built with the Spotify Web API, d3.js, and Storm. It relies heavily on coding to gather and display data.

The design looks clean and modern. It’s easy to understand and easy to use with a play button and a mute button. The webpage also offers share buttons for Facebook and Twitter. The Serendipity display webpage looks simple, but with all the elements of a multimedia project: text, visual elements, motion, sound, interactivity and social sharing function.

The project doesn’t look quite practical at the moment, but at least it’s an interesting new experience for Internet users. It shows the trend of combining technology and art together, and it visualize how we’re more connected in today’s world.

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2 thoughts on “Blog Post 1 by Lihua: Serendipity

  1. This project looks very interesting and I be it’ll probably transform into a site where people meet and interact with individuals who have similar music taste as them. I really like the color scheme that the website uses because it uses bright colors to attract viewers to the content. I think this might be an interesting tool to utilize for journalists interested in music related stories as well.

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  2. This project complied with the basic philosophy of Spotify that if you don’t know what music to play, just open Spotify and let it tell you. I love that the idea of this project strengthens the way how Spotify works and it is a good brand promotion. In terms of the design, I like the simplified map with clear-cut edges. This black-white map is simple enough to make readers concentrate on the names of songs, and clear enough to highlight the geographical information.
    However, just as Lihua said, there are more space for this experimental projects to be more practical.
    Firstly, before reading Lihua’s introduction, it really took me some time to absorb what was going on when opening the website. The songs changed every one second with the map rotating. It was a bit confusing at the very beginning. When I got the point, I realized that it’s really smart.
    Secondly, as the songs change so fast, users can’t listen to the music inside this project until open the song in Spotify by clicking the name of songs and singers. But I failed to catch the exact one I wanted to listen to for many times because it moved so fast.
    Thirdly, I think it’s necessary to show more data analysis from this project. It powerfully visualizes that two strangers in different regions or even countries are playing the same music in the same second, but is it possible to put more summaries of the trends? For example, which music styles or players do people like in different regions and countries?
    This project is a great visualization of big data. Anyway, I really appreciate this idea and the practice.

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