Life as a new media student

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the MPM32 – David category.


These are visualizations of what I’m aiming for with my final project for Production with David.

an overall view of my 50 top listened to artists in the past 3 months

an overall view of my 50 top listened to artists in the past 3 months

you can click on one of my artists to see recommended artists and how they relate

you can click on one of my artists to see recommended artists and how they relate

click on a recommended artist to see even more recommenations and relations through a connecting web

click on a recommended artist to see even more recommendations and relations through a connecting web


Research Blog Numéro Deux

For my second and final research blog I decided I would look at network visualizations on the topic of music, as I would probably find more inspiration for my final project. While digging through I found the Last.FM Taste-o-graph:, which was awesome because I am also using the API for my project.

This application uses the API and SpringGraph Flex; an Adobe Flex 2.0 which links items together that share a certain component through lines and data can be outputed in XML or Actionscript.  The Tasteograph essential shows a user’s ‘web’ of most listened to artists, those using the application can choose other users through a screen name search and hopefully have them link up to the first user shown. The application will then link which artists the chosen users have in common, the artist’s are displayed through small avatar-esque pictures which have applied to them surrounding the user’s screen name.  Thin lines are then used to form any sort of connection in the information shown.  The viewer can use their mouse’s scroll button to either zoom in or out on the application screen.

Aesthetically this application isn’t very appealing to me, I would have liked to seen something more abstract to represent the artists and taste similarities between users, but generally speaking it visualizes a very concise message.  I found that once more then three users are added to the Tasteograph the application becomes cluttered and you really have to search to spot the muscial connections between the users, perhaps this could have been fixed by allowing the user to click on two screen names and have those two expand while the others fade more into the background for a more up-front and clean analysis.  Overall though the applications works, it’s fun to see which musical artists you and your friends have in common through a simple visual network, although does provide its users with a musical compatability meter…images are always the best way to display information for us ‘visual learners’.

Final Project Proposal – Data Visualization

For my final project in David’s production class I have chosen a subject I’m quite fond of and that is close to my heart – music! Listening to music is one of my favorite past-times, I never grow tired of finding new artists or going to concerts. I guess you could also say I’m quite the collector of music…erm bit torrents. In terms of data collection for this project I will be using my account. is a music community website where users can download a plug-in for their music player and “scrobble” – transfer music to the website’s database. After music is scrobbled the data will appear on the users profile, this allows for a detailed page of the users music taste and listening habits. I’ve had my account for closing in on two years now so I feel it is a reliable source for my project.  My inspiration for this project came from another data visualization that utilizes called “Extra Stats”. After downloading this application you can type your username into it and from there it will collect you musical information and create a colourful sort of waveform…thing where each colourful blob represents an artist. You can change the colour palette, zoom in or out, display albums/tags/tracks, show more/less items etc etc. Extra Stats was based on another visualization by Lee Byron.

Extra Stats displaying my music listening for the past couple of months.

I will be using processing for my project. At this point I don’t really know where I’m going aesthetically yet, but with processing I can hopefully create a beautiful interactive piece. I won’t be using all of the musical artists I have scrobbled onto my profile, I think it would make things easier just to visualize artists I have listened to in the past 3 months.  I still consider myself fairly ‘green’ with processing, but I would really like to use even more information provides to me by creating a network between the artists I have listened to and the artists recommends for me to listen to.  Once the project is finished I hope those who view it can come to a conclusion of the type of person I am based on the music I listen to, feel compelled to listen to my favorite artists, or explore my music listening habits chronologically in a visual environment.

Here’s my profile, feel free to stalk me through music:

Net Art

After viewing many different examples of Net Art (webart, web-art, internet beautification etc etc.) in David’s class on Friday Sept 26th we were asked to find our own examples of Net Art and share it through our blog. I personally have a vast number of resources that I check on a daily basis linking me to all types of art…well because I’m an art student and clearly love art. Through my explorations and Internet savvy I have found a wonderful example of Net Art to share with David and the rest of MPM32.

News Map is an application created to visually represent the Google News roll. Ironically it also highlights the bias in today’s news media, top stories are show in a bigger box then others, these headlining stories can at times be seen as ‘superfical’ news. This application appealed to me because it is much easier to read and sort through, probably as I am a visual learner, than Google News. The navigation is also much easier to control, allowing its user to categorize by different countries and type of news (business, sports, entertainment etc). News Map allows its user to view news from different countries at the same, displaying the diversities in important news and also once again the medium’s biases.  The older the news the darker the box it will appear in, without reading you can automatically know that a story headlined over an hour ago. You can also look through archived stories in the past week by navigating through a simple calendar in the application window. News Map relates to the examples shown in David’s class because it is a visual representation of information, News corporation networks and correlations between countries and news stories. It is an aesthetically pleasing application, much like the examples shown, and although it contains a lot of text the navigation still remains effortless. News Map is a great example of the usability of Net Art and that art can convey a clear and simple message while still providing information.

Credits and resources for News Map can be found in ‘About’ on the top left-hand corner of the application.