Context-aware music

‘Lifetrak: music in tune with your life’ (by Reddy and Mascia) sounds interesting in relation to other context-aware music and sound systems such as Bluetuna (by Arianna Bassoli and Stefan Baumann), Sonic City (by Lalya Gaye), The Compass (Atau Tanaka, Guillaume Valadon, Christophe Berger) that have been presented at the Mobile Music Workshop over the last years.

Reddy, S. & Mascia, J. (2006). Lifetrak: music in tune with your life. Paper presented at the HCM ’06: Proceedings of the 1st ACM international workshop on Human-centered multimedia, Santa Barbara, California, USA.


Advances in sensing technology and wider availability of network services is beckoning the use of context-awareness in ubiquitous computing applications. One region in which these technologies can play a major role is in the area of entertainment. Particularly, context-awareness can be used to provide higher quality interaction between humans and the media they are interacting with. We propose a music player, Lifetrak, that is in tune with a person’s life by using a context-sensitive music engine to drive what music is played. This context engine is influenced by (i) the location of the user, (ii) the time of operation, (iii) the velocity of the user, and (iv) urban environment information such as traffic, weather, and sound modalities. Furthermore, we adjust the context engine by implementing a learning model that is based on user feedback on whether a certain song is appropriate for a particular context. Also, we introduce the idea of a context equalizer that adjusts how much a certain sensing modality affects what song is chosen. Since the music player will be implemented on a mobile device, there is a strong focus on creating a user interface that can be manipulated by users on the go. The goal of Lifetrak is to liberate a user from having to consciously specify the music that they want to play. Instead, Lifetrak intends to create a music experience for the user that is in rhythm with themselves and the space they reside in.


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