I don't have a good example of the project any longer, but I took a few snapshots during the development process. My test page allowed you to upload a logo and have the page dynamically change to match the new logo. The link above is a gallery of a few of my tests.
Sometimes it did a pretty good job. Other times the results were a little more 'meh.'
The original code was pretty hacked together in PHP and a little client side JS, though I've been considering resurrecting it as a ruby gem.
There was a bug in the code in one of these examples. The 5th image or so is of a tornado with a bright orange background. The code failed to select the orange as an interesting color to use. The result still looks fine but I would have liked for it to have sampled that bit as well. It's been long enough that I can't recall what the exact problem was.
Here's the process I did without pasting my embarrassingly hacky code:
* Accepted image from user
* Quantized the image down to 6 main colors (I forget how I arrived at this figure.)
* Slapped it on a canvas
* Generated a color histogram
* Converted RGB to HSB
* Did a border check of the image to determine the background color. Extended the border based on most common background
color if needed.
* Looked at the saturation of the colors to determine what might be interesting to use. Picked a primary and secondary color from that.
* From there I converted each of the color to YIQ to determine contrast levels to determine if I needed lighter or darker colors for the text.
* Generated some "accent" colors by modifying lightness levels of some of the primary and secondary colors.
From there I pretty much had the things I needed to make something theme-like.
Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed reading over the code. You also reminded me that I need to ditch my crappy JS tempting library that I wrote and switch to moustache.
iTunes 11 makes a big deal about cover art - their UI is nearly exclusively dependent on it. I don't like thumbnails.
When I look at my music, I want a big sortable list. I don't want a bunch of random (alphabetized) tiles that don't tell me much. Also - electronic music of today is largely post-album. It doesn't make sense to organize a bunch of remixes by different DJ by album cover.
The previous version of iTunes had a hybrid view that had a sorted list with a small thumbnail to the left. It was useful because the thumbnails would scroll nicely with the text.
But no longer as far as I can tell.
The whole idea of curating my own collection, through either piracy or purchasing, seems outmoded to me. It's expensive even when it's free. Pirating music, at least at scale, is time consuming. iTunes is ridiculously expensive. My music collection would cost me $20k if I bought it and it feels woefully inadequate when I try find something to listen to.
I just recently backed up my music collection and deleted it from my HD. I've signed up for Spotify Premium and am so far pleased.
$10 is very fair (a bit high, but fair). The quality is consistent, I can save songs and playlists to my devices (feels like buying) and create radio stations that are functionally superior to Pandora (skipping, etc) but algorithmically inferior (try getting it to play Louis Armstrong style music and see how long it takes to play modern music, for me it's two tracks regardless of downvotes).
Music discovery is just as important as curation, and Spotify scratches both itches. The iOS apps are buggy but so far it's working. I'm happy to leave iTunes behind. That said, I really loved SmartPlaylists. SmartPlaylists + Accurate Genres + Ratings = Powerful, Granular Track Syncing. It's just too time consuming, and now hard to manage with new emphasis on cover art.
Personally I put Spotify at the same tier as piracy. I mean that not in terms of morals or ethics but in regards to the viability of the industry. If you want to copy all music ever recorded that's fine, go for it. We're almost all guilty to some extent. If however you'd like to see new music created in the future then you owe it to yourself to compensate the artists you enjoy.
The most dangerous thing about Spotify is that people genuinely believe listening to a few ads an hour or paying a mere $10/month is enough to support the industry they love.
I know that if I had talent I could create and distribute an album on my laptop and distribute it globally. We used to pay record labels for this. Now we pay them to stand in the way of artists and their fans.
Regardless, musicians don't really make money from people listening to their music and never really have - unless you're talking about A-listers, but since we're talking about starving artists we're probably not talking about Metallica and Katy Perry.
Musicians make money from playing live - even all electronic musicians like Deadmau5. Most electronic musicians give their music away on Soundcloud and then tour to make money.
This is the future of the industry. The problem is it just doesn't leave a lot of room for record labels. This is something that no one will miss...
I see this sentiment repeated often. I don't buy it. It seems like a better way to put it is that if musicians are going to make money at all, then it must come from live performance. It certainly won't come from recordings, because more and more consumers don't want to pay for recordings, regardless of the practices of major labels, who have always been irrelevant to the majority of practicing musicians anyway.
I have only anecdotal data to back myself up with, but of the independent musicians I know, most of them lose money or make trivial earnings from live performance. They do it because they find it rewarding, to be sure, but they're not doing it for money. And touring is usually mutually exclusive with a sustainable day job.
Yet, somehow, there have been professional musicians for likely thousands of years.
Record companies solved the distribution problem. The Internet proved them obsolete and for the next few years they'll continue their death rattle until they blossom into something that looks like Spotify (which is replacing radio as well), or someone else will fill their shoes (as Spotify is doing today).
And then no one will care about programs designed to put lipstick on my 80gb mp3 pig as iTunes does... Unless they roll out their own all you can eat service :)
>Remember - music existed before money. Selling recorded performances is relatively new
?? Before money, artists still needed food and shelter...
> Yet, somehow, there have been professional musicians for likely thousands of years.
But does anyone really want to go back to the patronage system?
Nobody is demanding anything of artists; it's artists (well, mostly labels, but also some artists) that are demanding monopolies from society.
Thomas Jefferson's proposal for the Amendment that granted copyright and patents was:
Art. 9. Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions
in literature and their own inventions in the arts for a term
not exceeding — years but for no longer term and no other purpose.
Monopolies, though in certain cases useful, ought to be granted with caution,
and guarded with strictness against abuse. The Constitution of the United
States has limited them to two cases--the authors of books, and of useful
Why should musicians be any different?
I am not sure this system ever existed, and I would be sad if it did. People have been writing music as their 'day job' since the 16th Century - the difference was their salaries were being paid by patrons rather than the general public.
A system where musicians have to spend 8 hours a day on a 'day job' rather than spending time improving their craft, composing, and playing doesn't sound like a very good system to me.
Last month I drop almost 40$ on a digital music compilation from an artist I like. He was selling it directly from his Facebook. It's not the first time and it wont be the last. He's selling some vinyls right now and just released the test presses on eBay. I don't even know if this guy has a record label or not, but he tours and probably edits all by himself.
I don't think playing live will be the only way musicians can make money (and a lot of them make dimes playing live as the promoters -usually the labels!- take all the money too).
You don't need to drop 10K month on studio anymore, you only need some equipment (that can be rented) and a computer to edit your music. Even some big bands are doing it this way nowadays.
It might be good advice economically, but IMHO it is also a tendency worth fighting, because it is so obviously unfair and limiting. What about artists (or genres!) that suck at giving live concerts? How do I vote with my wallet if I have no time for concerts - but listen to music all day?
Bizarrely, soundtracks seem to have come to my rescue (for some genres) - where artists receive a one-time payment to make solid music, but then slap it onto iTunes where I can throw in a few extra $$$.
Buy t-shirts, etc
Plus if you're just taking stock shirt and putting your bands name on them then you're little better than a pan handler begging for money. People are only buying your outrageously priced shirts to keep you playing music. Why can't we just pay artists for their contribution to society instead of "pretend buying" their overpriced t-shirts?
...which people will then rip and upload (just like the music itself)? That sounds like a very circular model.
I have backed exactly one kickstarter project (I think $50) and it was more email friction than all my iTunes purchases combined (maybe $1000?).
Not just that, though. They also do promotion. How am I going to find out about your album?
Do you really decide what bands you like from ads and the radio?
And Spotify is better than piracy for record labels. (i) Spotify provides useful data for labels (at least those that have an ownership stake in Spotify), (ii) the revenue, in aggregate, is not insignificant and certainly better than revenue from piracy (again this benefits the labels with ownership stakes), and (iii) gives them a measure of messaging control.
Essentially, Spotify is marketing channel for major labels.
I have a 120GB music library in iTunes. And most of it was ripped from CD's. I'm not happy about iTunes 11 due to Cover Flow an DJ being dropped (I liked both) and - I don't know, maybe I'll give Spotify another go.
For two months I was looking for 8 CD box set of 'The Budapest String Quartet Plays Beethoven' to be available anywhere as a download. I had to resort to buying the box set, ripping it and fixing the tags myself. I paid far less than I would have but I paid it back in hours of getting everything right.
Agreed that it's a step away from the top level submission however.
It's not really only albums that gains from album art, singles with remixes would still have a cover which I vastly prefer myself as compared to a blank square.
Still it's a critique of iTunes as such, while the submission is related to generating color themes from an image algorithmically.
Plus: There is the artist view. I don’t see the emphasis on album covers. The artist view is just as (if not more) competent and it’s not at all based around the album cover.
The biggest flaw for me is that they got rid of the composer view, which makes quickly finding classical music vastly more difficult. Stupid, annoying omission.
The author was showing off something he made because he was really inspired by the new iTunes, which for me was the nail in the coffin in regards to my previous methods for listening to and curating music.
If its not interesting or offensive there's a downvotenbutton right there :)
In terms of your issue with iTunes cover art, didn't they announce some thing where you pay a flat fee and is basically matches all of your illegal music with legal one when iCloud was introduced (I never tried it just remember the keynote vaguely)
However, you can have iTunes download album art (even for albums you've imported and haven't bought through iTunes) for free. You can just select every song in your library and the right-click and choose "Get Album Artwork" or something like that. It works decently for music you have somewhat accurately tagged (at least a correct artist and album name). Again, this fails for a lot of electronic music though.
Yeah, see the guy he replied to. He's referring to Spotify Premium.
It also fails for classical music. But since I ripped CD's I just scanned in the cover and added the art. Trust me, it was time consuming. But there is hope, iTunes has added much more classical/opera recently. So changes are, if I had to do this all over - a lot of the art would be available from iTunes.
I would have no problem paying double that each month for Spotify, and upwards of 3-5 times that if it had a music catalogue and organisation structure similar to iTunes. Granted, I value music more than many people, but $10 is what a cheap lunch costs, for unlimited music on demand.
Listen to songs, rate, put in playlists
Sync to devices (this it solved)
For those of us who disagree with this idea, it is important call out instances that seem to minimize the significance of this. By remaining silent, we help encourage behavior we disagree with.
Opinions differ. Strategies for reforming copyright differ. But I think the issue is important enough that people who think it's OK to ignore copyrights en masse should be explicit about their beliefs. Is your opinion that:
1. Copyrights are bogus. I should be able to copy anything I get my hands on.
2. Copyrights are good if they benefit licenses such as the GPL. Copyrights are bad if they benefit big record companies.
3. Copyrights should apply to books. Copyrights should not apply to music or software.
My opinion is that there are many aspects of current copyright laws that I would like to see changed, but that generally current laws should be followed unless they rise to a level of evilness that calls for civil disobedience, a principled and public decision to disobey the law in an attempt to get the law changed. I also think that the benefit of the doubt should be given to the author of a creative work as to their wishes for the copying of the product of their work. Personal convenience or being a cheapskate are not, I believe, sufficient reasons to fail to pay for the copyrighted materials that you have obtained.
When I buy a $15 kindle ebook that is from a publishing house vs a $2 kindle ebook that is self published, I have a sense that the artist in both instances gets a similar amount of money - that is to say, the publishing house is what is making that book expensive.
Same with music. The cost of production and distribution is close to zero, with a hobbyist grade audio set up and a laptop one could produce an album the same as anyone else and with decades old P2P software distribute it for free to the globe.
So when artists sell their art for a fair price - $2/3 for an ebook, $4/5 for an album, I'll buy it. When prices go beyond that its usually because a big distributor is involved and I don't mind just pirating the content.
Same with TV. I pay for Netflix and Hulu and I go to theaters. If you withhold your content from those services, or it doesn't warrant a $40 theatre experience, I just pirate it. Also, sometimes I want to watch some TV shows on the go, so I'll pirate something available via Hulu and store it on a device for later consumption.
So really it has nothing to do with copyright, just that I feel that their pricing is out of control and piracy has been made mainstream and easy enough that I don't mind piracy to fill in the gaps to the services I subscribe to.
Also if you disagree with the price, just don't buy it. It doesn't give you the moral justification to pirate it, at least admit that.
I presume that if you feel able to opt-out of that law that you wouldn't mind if I opted out of laws designed to protect your interests if I find them inconvenient.
I wonder where people like you draw the line at such behavior. Why is music any different than TV Shows? Or Movies? Or eBooks? Would you feel comfortable "pirating" all those as well? Hell, why not go all the way and pirate software as well - presumably that has no protection from your urges to accumulate.
I often wonder, under what moral authority, other than "It was really easy and I wasn't caught and/or punished for doing it" people feel comfortable "pirating" other people's intellectual property.
A lot of people do all these things- I thought that was relatively well known. Not that I am condoning it, but if we're talking about drawing the line... it's very far away from where you're discussing it. I suspect it lies somewhere near "is a real physical item".
I find that most HN contributors are well-off, don't make too many movies/songs and contribute under their real name. Put those facts together and you can easily get a hivemind reaction of "piracy is extremely evil with zero justification ever for anyone".
1. "I wasn't going to buy it anyway so the author isn't losing a sale"
2. Zero incremental cost!
3. "If I like it I'll eventually maybe buy it" (if only I could use that defense after stealing a Porsche)
4. Paul Graham's oddball (in my opinion at least) "stealing the smells" re-imagining of property.
I think whether HN is pro piracy depends very much on which comment thread you look at: If "DRM" is part of the title, the mood will be very different from "Show HN: My New Book", in my experience...
Look at the size of the original iPod. It would cost tens of thousands of dollars to fill one of those up with legal music. How many iPods have been sold?
The music industry has been dealing with institutional piracy since the Internet became mainstream.
 http://www.dagensmedia.se/nyheter/tv/article3586732.ece (swedish)
I would guess that's because me, a good deal of my friends, both online and in real life, and a number of acquaintances (YMMV) consider "intellectual property" to be a rather unintuitive (and by extension, stupid, not deserving of respect, and many other similar terms) concept.
No respect, no "moral authority" required.
The actions of industry lobbies which are acting, ostensibly, at the behest of its members, are not serving to increase that respect. An institution which society at large does not respect is doomed to fail.
See also speed limit laws on any major highway in the USA. Sure there's a law, but it's enforced haphazardly, most people have no respect for it as a law, (indeed, studies would suggest people drive at a comfortable speed for them regardless of what the sign says), and we're a better society for it.
You could make the same argument for piracy, given the use of sampling in the music business, to the revelation that pirates actually buy more media than non pirates, and quite possibly others I could think up were I not fresh out of bed.
Interesting perspective but personally that doesn't work for me. I am not hung up on owning a physical item like a record or CD but I am hung up on having a space where these records I love all live together. There are no un-inivted outsiders. Every record in the collection has a story. Collecting them together and presenting them in a beautiful way is exactly what I want. I do use other services for music discovery but anything new I find doesn't touch my library until it has proven itself to be worthy to sit next to my favorites. I'm very weary of digital overload these days. For the first time in many years I've actually gone through my library and started to remove records I don't actually love. I'm making the choice to segment my musical world into what I consider to be the essentials and to everything else that I may like but don't really care much about. If they could be nicely combined into one platform that would work for me too but the first time I couldn't find one of my favorite records on Spotify I realized it would never be an iTunes replacement for me. (also going forward it's not clear all existing music available on any of these services will always be there. That's very troubling to me)
With a Spotify-like service I doubt you'll miss them, tho.
If I have the time this afternoon, I'll port it over to iOS, too. Or, if someone feels inclined to do so, I welcome pull requests :)
Edit: and I transferred the repo over to Panic. I'm maintaining a fork so the link above doesn't go dead.
Edit: I meant pictures of the existing Apple implementation to see what they were on about. I see the pictures of their algorithm but it makes no sense to talk about the comparison when there's nothing to compare to
Sometimes it works well, other times it really doesn't. But it's an interesting idea- and certainly not a new one (though Apple has certainly done it better)
You can see an example here: http://daringfireball.net/misc/2012/12/itunes-11-expanded-vi...
The text, background and highlight colors are based on on the album artwork.
As someone without iTunes, what does iTunes do now?
Something similar could be done in a browser with http://lokeshdhakar.com/projects/color-thief/.
I don't think it has a _lot_ of playlist support, but if you already have the m3u files it'll load them just fine.
I prefer foobar2000 on Windows for a pure, unadulterated, customizable music player, but Songbird is the best player I've found on OS X. It is fast, plays music, and has a plugin for last.fm, which is everything I require.
Additionally, the New Tab page in Chrome has exhibited this (inferred from favicon) for as long as I can remember.