Month: March 2023

Part 1A: Cataloging My Music

Well, that was fun! Just finished capturing all my vinyl recordings using the dictate functionality in Microsoft Word; what could be better on a cloudy, windy day in the Motor City? This is merely the first step in capturing all the music I have accumulated over the last 25-30 years; unfortunately some old albums from my youth are long gone 🙁

I’m following this template for turning the recordings into a dataset I can use for analysis and visualization:

  • Step 1: Capture the recordings using the dictate functionality in MS Word
  • Step 2: Copy & Paste the data into MS Excel for initial editing & saving as a .csv file
  • Step 3: Use Exploratory for data wrangling – capitalizing names and titles, correcting misspellings, and adding additional information (sub-genres, release dates?, etc.)
  • Step 4: Visualize the data using Flourish and other tools

Along the way I’ll blog on this site about what I’m finding, starting right now. First thing to note is the unintentionally hilarious fails using voice recognition, especially when there are foreign (i.e.- non-English) names for artists and titles. Having said that, I’m estimating a solid 90% success rate when the names are not too challenging.

Here’s a view of the workload for today – more than 130 albums:

130+ albums to capture using voice recognition

I’ll start with some examples where the voice rec did a perfect job of capturing my dictation. Note that I didn’t expect it to properly capitalize items; that’s an easy fix I can implement in Exploratory. Here are 3 good examples:

  • Jimmy Smith, hobo flats, verve, jazz, vinyl
  • Sonny Rollins, on impulse, impulse, jazz, vinyl
  • Traffic, the low spark of high heeled boys, island records, rock, vinyl

The format here is the artist (individual or group), the album title, the record label, the genre (simplified for now), and the format (vinyl or CD). In each of these cases, voice rec worked great, and even capitalized the artist names. The only work for me will be to capitalize the album name and the record labels.

Now let’s look at 3 examples where voice rec almost got us there:

  • yusef Latif, Angel eyes, arista, jazz, vinyl
  • milked Jackson, and the Thelonious Monk quintet, blue note, jazz, vinyl
  • sunny fortune, awakening, A&M records, jazz, vinyl

A bit of trouble with names here – we should have Yusef Lateef, Milt Jackson, and Sonny Fortune; close but no cigar.

Then we get to the unintentionally humorous interpretations, especially with non-English names:

  • Karl Bohm and the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor becomes the hilarious Carl bomb concert varina gun Finder stats upper and core 🙂 The voice rec was clearly attempting to use recognizable English words to comprehend the name
  • Another attempt at Yusef Lateef missed the mark – he became usef life chief 🙂
  • Karl Munchinger evolved to Carl moon chinger 🙂
  • Kiril Kondrashin became Curol congressmen 🙂
  • My absolute favorite is the translation of the admittedly challenging Symphonie-Orchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks to Symphony or caster they buy a Russian round funks 🙂 🙂 🙂

Warts and all, this approach saves me many hours of time and effort that I can devote to the analysis and visualization portions of this exercise. I need to repeat this next with my CD collection (another day), where there are perhaps > 250 titles versus the 130+ LPs.

That’s it for now – thanks for reading!

Getz, Parker, Henderson Networks Updated

I’ve added three more jazz artist networks following the same template I used for the initial group I added earlier in the week.

Each of these network graphs show the connections between an artist, his releases, and the songs on each release. The graphs are easy to zoom, pan, and click, with an information panel opening on the left side of the screen. Enjoy!

Shorter, Coltrane, Gordon Networks deployed

After a weekend trying multiple approaches at incorporating images of jazz musicians as backgrounds to their network graphs, I finally hit on a good solution – create icon-like images that display in the upper left corner of the graph background. This allows the network to be easily viewed on multiple devices ranging from phones to widescreen monitors, without interfering with any of the network elements.

Here’s the solution, as shown for the Dexter Gordon network:

Dexter Gordon musical network

Nice and tidy, with an icon-like image created in Powerpoint; the outer circle around the image is colored to match the artist node at the center of the graph for a consistent visual appearance. Even when the sidebar is shown and the graph is zoomed in, this approach works well:

Dexter Gordon musical network zoomed

Note that the musician image is combined with the background color and the circle shape in Powerpoint, and is then saved as a picture we can use in our CSS file for the network. Here’s a look at the styling elements for this graph:

#carte {    
    position: absolute;  
    background-image: url('../img/Gordon_20230306.png');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: cover;
    left: 0px;
    width: 100%;
    height: 100%;

We ensure that the background image is set to cover the entire screen by using the background-size attribute and setting it to ‘cover’. This enables the background to adjust to larger screen sizes seamlessly – no awkward edges to be seen!

From my perspective, this approach solves two issues in a very nice way:

  • First, it provides a consistent look & feel to the networks, regardless of which artist we select
  • Second, it is very production-friendly; I can use the same background and circle while adding in a new artist picture. This provides a very efficient solution for creating future graph networks

I’ll be adding more permanent links to all of these networks, but for now, here are the initial three:

Thats’ it for now – have fun with the networks and thanks for reading!