Projects > Flytrap


Venus Flytrap is a radio DJ that knows people's music tastes and can automatically construct a sound track that tries to please everyone in the room.

The system works by paying attention to what music you listen to on your computer. It automatically captures tracks off of the CDs and MP3s you play, and it uploads them to its server. It looks at how often you listen to a track, when you listen to it, and what you usually play afterward, to try and characterize your individual taste in music.

Lab members have radio ID badges that let the system know when they are nearby. Using the preference information it has gathered from watching its users, and knowledge of how genres of music interrelate, how artists have influenced each other, and what kinds of transitions between songs people tend to make, it finds a compromise and chooses a song. The system not only tries to satisfy the tastes of people in the room, but it makes a playlist that fits its own notion of what should come next.

Once it has chosen a song, music is automatically broadcast over the network and played on the closest machine.

See this video for a look at Flytrap in action: Quicktime Stream (4 MB) or Quicktime File (87 MB).

Project Papers

  • Flytrap: Intelligent Group Music Recommendation