The Echo Nest BPM Explorer

Launch the application with Java Webstart

Man or Machine?

This is an application that helps you find out whether a human or a machine is setting the tempo for your favorite music. To do this, this application generates a click plot that shows the deviations in tempo from the average over the course of a song. Songs that don't stray too far from the average are likely to be using a click track or a drum machine to set the beat. For instance, compare the click plot for Nirvana's Smells like Teen Spirit (shown above) to Britney Spears' One more time. .

The click plot for Britney shows a rather flat line indicating that she uses a machine to set the tempo, while Nirvana's plot wanders around, indicating that their is probably a human in charge.

This application was inspired by the blog post In search of the click track that explored the steadiness of tempo for various contemporary artists.

How do you use this application?

How does it work?

This application uses the Echo Nest track analysis web service to analyze a track for detailed tempo and beat information. This application collects the analysis and then generates the plot.

Where's the code?

The BPM Explorer code has been released as open source - as part of the echo-nest-demos project hosted at google-code. Feel free to browse the code for the BPM Explorer.

Copyright © 2009 - The Echo Nest
Send questions or comments to Paul@echonest.com