Posts Tagged Visualisations

Updated Spotify Discovery View with Audio Preview– Big Data in Action

Spotify the online music streaming service has updated their client discovery page, with a Pinterest-like scrolling magazine view with an audio preview function built-in.




The click and hold Preview action as shown above, makes easy to sample a recommendation and discover more artists and their music, with the slick UI and making it simple and straight forward to move through the recommendations. 

Behind the scenes it shows that Spotify are paying attention to the usage profile of their users, and displaying recommendations and suggestions based on tunes played and playlist content.  While an individual users’ play history and playlist settings may be quite small digitally.  As Spotify has millions of subscribers to the service, cumulatively this must equate to a significant data-set and require Big Data hosting and analytics services behind that to drive recommendations and observe other trends within their user base.

For further information on the Spotify’s analytics set-up see this blog post from Spotify Labs

Analytics at Spotify

Some quotes from that post:

At the heart of Spotify lives a massive and growing data-set. Most data is user-centric and allows us to provide music recommendations, choose the next song you hear on radio and many other things.  We do our best to base every decision, programmatic and managerial, on data and this extends into the culture.

Most of our recurring data is added to our analytics pipeline by a set of daemons that constantly parse the syslog on production machines looking for messages we have defined along with the associated data for each message. Matching data is compressed and periodically synced to HDFS.  Typically data is available in our Data Warehouse and Dashboards within 24 hours, but in some cases data is available within a few hours or even instantly through tools like Storm.

So there you go, Spotify bring music, culture and Big Data together.  I for one appreciate this useful combination.

Have a look at Spotify through their looping video here.

Do you use Spotify, what do you like about it?

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Improved and Integrated Biographical Visualization services

I wrote about how had introduced an integrated infographic service for CVs in this post.

Vizify offer a more comprehensive service which integrates and surfaces data from multiple content services. (Facebook, Foursquare, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, WordPress etc.)

Which produces a more dynamic and holistic biography of an individual, here’s a link to mine.


Apart from regularly polling your services feeds for updates to keep an up to date representation of your digital profile | expression, they have also introduced a set of Vizcards (digital comments | business cards)


I certainly like the simplicity of the Vizify service and the overview function it provides.  While Linkedin is a great service for professional networking, it can feel busy or noisy with corporate profiles, and discussion groups etc.  In comparison Vizify provide focus on the individual and space to present for each facet or feature in the biography which is refreshing and seems to me to produce a more nuanced and holistic summary of that individual.

Do you use an infographic based biographical summary service?

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Music Streaming Service Competition

My musical playback history Feb 2011- Feb 2012

An Infographic of my musical playback history Feb 2011- Feb 2012 from lastgraph 

I only recently wrote about the recent apps integration within the Spotify client (link).


So it was with interest I learnt of the new music service from The Lounge.


The Lounge is a full music streaming service with a large on-demand music album catalogue,  play back from commercial and public broadcast services and audio hardware integration with Pure Radio devices.

The fact The Lounge has a several artists that are absent from Spotify (e.g. Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Pink Floyd) and the direct hardware support, make it a very interesting proposal.

The subscription for the full service – support of streaming your playlists etc. to devices and playing music on-demand is available for a reasonable £4.99/month*. (*only in available in the UK

So it does make good competition for Spotify at least in the UK.

Will I move service?

No, not at present. I am not ready to move across.  Why?

Well primarily because of the application and social integration that is present in Spotify, I know some people have baulked at the requirement to have a Facebook account to use Spotify. (link)

    • However, that integration with Facebook is a feature I enjoy and appreciate. 
    • Also the integration with is also very important, the ability to scrobble and build my play list into is important from a personal viewpoint of tracking my own journey through music.

Finally the effort of curation and assembling playlists all over again, is a barrier too far.   Not inconsiderably effort has gone into their assembly and now they’re created in Spotify, they are shareable and subcribable.  To lose that library of musical taste and disconnect from the sphere of musical sharing is not something I can not stomach. 

The Infographic from lastgraph (at the top of the post) is a great example of the app and service I benefit from the extensibility from Spotify and – the “limitations” in catalogue are bearable for service amenities such as these.

I don’t have any playback devices for Spotify apart from the PC | Laptop but there are audio device options (e.g. Logitech) which I have put on that “wish list”. Smile

So what do you think?  Is the The Lounge  for you?

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Visualize your CV with is a simple and straight forward Info graphics service to visually represent your career experience and achievements.

The real beauty is in the connectivity to the professional network LinkedIn, so that existing career information (already published in LinkedIn), can be imported into to form the basis to building your own career visualization.

This is small portion of what mine looks like: (click links to see in full)


It’s still a “beta” service, and some of the themes or palettes may not appeal to everyone, but it is a great starting point for delivering  a configurable career visualisation service.

It’s certainly something to try out and see what you can come up with.

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1 Comment a superb processional twitter visualization

From Evernote: a superb processional twitter visualization

@tombsy (& others) pointed my way to this :- is a twitter follower visualization that produces a procession of your followers or a keyword/trend/meme.
These are a couple of screen shots of my followers doing their parading bit!

It’s certainly one the most fun and uplifting visualization of social media I’ve seen in a while!
My recommendation for a coffee break visualization for sure.

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