Startup Savage Beast Technologies' Music Genome Project, launched Monday, is a database of up to 250,000 songs, analysed by musicians across 180 musical, lyrical and compositional characteristics.
SavageBeast is also offering Music Hunter, which matches songs customers know to songs from the Music Genome Project database that they might also be interested in, and Profiler, a personalisation engine that makes recommendations based on a customer's tastes.
The technology is, in theory, designed to help music sites introduce customers to artists they might not be familiar with, thereby increasing sales of lesser-known artists.
"The record industry is backing us," said Savage Beast chief executive Jon Kraft, noting that executives from Capitol Records and Priority Records as well as the Indie Music Forum and rock musician Steve Miller are on Savage Beast's advisory board.
Savage Beast officials said pricing varies depending on the customer site. Officials said they may also charge upfront fees for licensing, enrollment and song library analysis.
Savage Beast is not alone in attempting to offer music fans a personalised experience. Earlier this month, UK music group Chrysalis launched an online radio station called Puremix, which promises to provide users with personalised multi-channel radio. Its software monitors a listener's musical taste and preferences, and uses that information to decide which songs he or she will like to hear.
Capital Radio also plans to launch a personalised Internet radio station before the end of 2000.
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