Here's an hour long teaser of the datadump I'll be unloading on this blog in the next few weeks. Listeners of my radio show know I've been obsessed with Hugo Keesing's Chartsweep of every #1 hit for too long now. After I made an homage to his work with a sweep of every #1 easy listening hit, I really saw the need in our society to have every large database of music cutup into tiny, bite sized pieces, but realized I didn't have the time to do it. So now that unix has turned 42 (happy b-day, big guy!!), I wrote a little patch using SoX to grab the hook from every mp3 in a folder and stich em together.
While pretty much everybody can identify and appreciate the hook from any individual song (it's the one part you remember of that song you hadn't heard in years!), definining the hook concretely is a tricky problem. It's usually the title of the song, but not always. It's usually at the beginning or end of the chorus, but not always. So when I wanted to teach a computer to grab the hook of a song I had to ask the deep question, what is the hookiness of these hooks?
With no real answer, my cheapskate workaround is that the hook of the song is almost always simply the LOUDEST part of the song. Super easy to teach a computer to do that, since an mp3 is nothing but a list of how loud sound is at a given time.
Yes, it's true, in this Darwinian yelling match that births the concept of a "hit song", there's no room for saving the hook for a quiet, subtle moment in the song. I'd go so far to say that any song that DOESN'T put the hook at the loudest part of the song is possibly communist. So even though these chartsweeps aren't nearly as pristine as Hugo Keesings, but they do get the point across pretty well. And as an added bonus, this program weeds out those songs that are immoral and unamerican.
I'll be posting a decade of chartsweeps every...eh, week or so, in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!