Research Study Reveals Music Recommendation Algorithms are Partial to Male Artists

A group of sound and computing experts performed a study of music streaming apps, which revealed that results generated by algorithms were not always fair. The study which was conducted in 2020, was presented in March 2021 at the Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval held in Canberra ACT Australia. It presented evidence that most digital, AI supported music recommenders are partial to male artists.

According to study authors Xavier Serra, Andres Ferraro and Christine Bauer, 400 million people subscribed to one music streaming app in 2020. The technology used a recommendation algorithm that is inclined to pick and recommend music of male artists over female female artists. They said that such partiality also exists in music streaming services, where only a handful of female superstars have taken prominence among the most popular artists in the music industry.

Although the researchers acknowledge that the problem takes roots from beyond the industry, the algorithms of online music platforms known as recommenders can also have an influential role. Their testing of the algorithms revealed that on the average, the first six recommended tracks are those of male artists. Songs of female musicians are queued by the 7th or 8th song.

In conjunction, the research group analyzed the listening behaviour of about 330,000 users for the past nine years, from which they were able to extract data that users had listened to only 25% of female artists rated as popular.

About the Study Authors

The sound and computing experts who conducted the research study include Professor Xavier Serra of Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) Barcelona, who delves into research in the field of Sound and Music Computing. He is also the founder of UPF’s Music Technology Group.

Andres Ferraro is a UPF PhD student and doing research work at the university’s Department of Information and Communication Technologies Audio Signal Processing Lab.

Christine Bauer Christine Bauer is an assistant professor at the Human-Centred Computing group at the Department of Information and Computing Sciences at Netherland’s Utrecht University

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How harmful headphones are to your ears

 

Podcasts, music and phone calls to go: Through headphones, our ears are exposed to permanent sonication. What damage this can do and how to avoid it.

Shoes on, jacket too, headphones in – with sound in their ears, many people leave the house. Especially for commuters, headphones are an integral part of the morning and evening routine. And the loud outside noises keep you caught breaking the recommended maximum volume.

This is where the problem begins: According to the German Association for Ophthalmologists, a volume above 85 decibels is critical for the ears. This is about as noisy as a busy road, a vacuum cleaner or a lawnmower. “With headphones, this limit is exceeded very quickly,” warns Prof. Laszig, Director of the ENT Clinic Freiburg. Some devices have therefore installed a volume control that displays critical areas in color. “You should take the db information seriously and stick to them,” the ENT specialist recommends.

Permanent noise can cause permanent damage

To understand the load of headphones, you need to know how the hearing works. When the sound hits the ear, it is directed as an impulse wave via the eardrum and ear knuckles to the hearing snail. There, small hair cells convert the sound wave into bioelectric impulses, which are transmitted to the brain as hearing information. “If the sound pressure on the hair cell is too high, she stops her work,” Laszig explains. And the fewer hair cells work, the less arrives in the brain.

If you sound your hearing for 40 hours a week sound pressure levels of 80-85 decibels, this can result in hearing impairments or ear noises (tinnitus), warns the German Professional Association of Ophthalmologists. For this reason, for example, noise workers have to have a hearing test carried out after 12 hours in order to avoid a so-called permanent threshold loss, in which the hair cells no longer regenerate.

Headphones tempt you to increase the volume

Unlike other sources of noise, headphones have a special pitfall: their volume is adjustable. And unfortunately, over time, our ear wants to hear louder sounds – whether we like it or not. Because it adapts to the volume. “The longer we hear a certain level, the quieter it sounds to us,” explains Prof. Laszig. As a result, we unconsciously make the headphones louder and louder to maintain the listening experience.

This effect is the same for all headphones. However, you can trick your ears a little: with so-called noise-cancelling headphones. They shield outside noise, so a lower volume is enough to understand the noise from the headphones. “This reduces the risk of turning up completely,” says Laszig. Typically, over-ear headphones shield better than in-ear headphones. The most effective shielding is provided by noise-cancelling headphones. “But they also don’t protect against increasing the volume over time,” says Prof. Laszig.

Developing an awareness of volume

The bottom line is that headphones alone can’t do so much damage. It only becomes critical when the ears are exposed to many other sources of noise, such as traffic, machinery or rooms with many people and cannot recover. “Noise in everyday life is often underestimated,” says Laszig.

That is why the German Association of Ophthalmologists is trying to sensitize more people to their own sense of volume and has even developed its own noise app for this purpose. Because: At the end of the day, it counts whether the ear can regenerate from the sonication. And if that’s the case, you don’t have to worry. If you have an app idea you want to be developed, head to app developers london.

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April 19, 2021

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Tips When Starting an Online Music Store

Whether music or business is one of the things you love the most, you can get the best of both worlds in one business enterprise: a music shop. There are several kinds of music stores, from CD retailers to music stations that market instruments. Beginning a music shop takes more than some cash and a storefront; it also needs a thorough understanding of the music industry in general and particular expertise in the area of music that your business practices.

Knowledgeable Employees

It’s a music shop, which implies that your clients think the people that work in it understand a little thing about music. Look for prospective employees in district music learners from an area school or university (or even high schoolers mature enough to do this kind of job), members of regional bands or some place an ad in your local newspaper named section for music lovers. While you might send a standard interview to make sure they have the customer experience chops to work in your shop, throw in a musical twist by asking them who their most loved musicians are in various genres.

Also, make sure to use internet marketing like Tekie.com when establishing your website.

Diversity

Unless you are marketing to a particular genre, it is essential that your store highlight a great deal of musical variety. For instance, if you are thinking of starting an instrument store, stock inventory with an array of devices, not just one or two kinds. Invest in accessories to go with the tools to make sure that artists can get everything they require from your store. If yours is a CD or record shop, your inventory should possess several kinds of musicians.

Get Involved In Community Events

From the source of your company, participate in music-themed events in your area. If you are building your store as a music store and dream of the customers seeing your store as “the professionals” for whatever your inventory is, then the great way to do is by making yourself involved into the community. Strive to be a negotiator at music contests, give away T-shirts decorated with your store’s logo or give away gift cards for local music competition champions.

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April 10, 2021