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New Music Concepts 2019

Playlist Shuffling given User-Defined Constraints on Song Sequencing

Part of the New Music Concepts book series (NMC volume 6)
ISBN: 978-88-944350-0-9

Author(s): Sterling Ramroach, Patrick Hosein

Abstract: We consider the problem of track sequencing for a given music playlist. We assume that a user chooses a set of desirable songs to form a playlist as would be done in applications such as iTunes or Google Play Music. However, instead of using the typical random shuffle feature, we introduce what we call a smartshuffle option in which the user specifies various constraints that must be satisfied when determining the playback sequence. These constraints are based on several attributes of the songs. If the user does not provide any constraints, all attributes are considered equal. The general computational problem is the Travelling Salesman Problem in Euclidean space. We consider the following approaches: hierarchical clustering (Ward's variance minimization), nearest neighbor, and an approximation approach (Christofides' 3/2-approximation). We then compare performances based on a defined performance metric. We also perform subjective evaluation to ensure that the proposed model enhances the listening experience of a user.

Keywords: Playlist shuffling, Music sequencing, Optimization, Data Analytics