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Online: TuneGlue


Do you listen to the same kinds of songs every day? Is your playlist frequently on repeat? Have you had the same music library for months, or maybe even years? Are you craving for fresh and new music to listen to?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be experiencing musical drought. It’s a disorder caused by the prolonged absence of new tunes in your hard drive, also the period of abnormally low number of song imports to your music library.

If at this point, you think you’re undergoing musical drought, relax. We have just the right medication for you. It’s called TuneGlue.

TuneGlue makes discovering new music easier. It’s an interactive music mapping web app that recommends new artists related to the first artist searched for. If you’d like to chance upon new music in a visually appealing and interactive way, TuneGlue allows you to explore the relationships between musical acts in a unique, connection-based web.

Here’s how it works. First, navigate to  Audiomap.TuneGlue.net and then you’ll find an essentially blank page. To start building a web, type in your artist of choice in the search field near the upper right corner of the page. For instance, search for The Cure and a tiny, black circle—called a node—will appear on your screen. Clicking on the node will bring up a set of options: Expand, Releases, Lock Pos, and Delete. If you don’t like the node to move, simply click Lock Pos, and if you want it gone, click Delete.

To see artists associated with this node, click Expand. This will spring out other nodes, which are all related to the artist they’re attached to through a line. By expanding the nodes, you can generate connections between artists based on listening patterns. From here, you can select another artist and repeat the steps to further explore. The Cure, for example, links to New Order, which in turn links to Joy Division, Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop. The nodal connections are endless. It only stops when you do.

TuneGlue has been around for a period of time now. The developers from Onyro.com began working on it back in 2006 and after that, the site materialized in the Internet, though rather insignificantly. If you’re wondering where TuneGlue fetches all its data from, they’re  Last.fm and Amazon.com. TuneGlue delves into the Last.fm database and explores the relationships among musical acts. It also gets information from Amazon.com so that a user can proceed and buy select items.

The exploratory features of TuneGlue are admirable, but not without a few snags here and there. For one, you can’t listen to the artists’ music straightaway as you track them down. You also can’t save or export your map. TuneGlue, however, gives you the alternative to click on the Releases option on each node, which will direct you to Amazon.com to hear sample music from the artist or, should you decide, to purchase the album.And if you want a copy of your large and detailed map? You can always make do with a simple screenshot—at least for now.

Go ahead and visit the TuneGlue website. Try it with some of your favorite music. You won’t believe how fast it can sort out your musical drought.

First published in Gadgets Magazine, October 2013

Words by Janelle M. Bustilla