The other day, I was imagining an mp3 player of sorts, something that would allow the user to manipulate a variety of data about a virtual listener to generate playlists reflecting their age, location, and time. It’s basically the reverse of something like LastFM– instead of running into people and discovering them through their music, users of this program (which I’m calling “Malty”) would discover the music through virtual persons of their own design.
I decided that it would be a fun project to create a couple mock-ups of Malty– not only do I have no coding experience to create a program, but such an idea seems rather far-fetched anyways! Still, it’s been fun… something like software fanfic, if you think about it. Stephen King’s “Word Processor of the Gods” might fit the genre, too.
To create the mock-ups, I imported various screen caps into Photoshop, mostly of Photoshop and EAC preference windows. A little bit of cutting and pasting work, and voila! I present Malty 1.0, fanfic for the most extreme version of vaporware ever. Feel free to register your copy of Malty by leaving a comment!
PLEASE BE SURE TO VIEW THESE MOCK-UPS IN FULL SIZE!!
As you can see, Malty allows users to select the age and gender of the virtual listener. A “race weighting” feature allows users to generate playlists for virtual listeners ranging from extremely sheltered to cosmopolitan in outlook. The “religion shaping” tool can add realistic flourishes, using Malty’s patent-pending Pezee-Myers algorithm. The “odd formats” option introduces otherwise out-of-date formats into the mix; for example, a teen in the 1980’s could theoretically select from 78 RPM recordings.
Where Malty 1.0 is particularly exceptional, however, is in the pioneering field of realistic external sound generation. As no music is experienced in a vacuum, users can toggle the external sound playback function to generate lifelike incidental noises heard alongside the standard playback feature. Virtual listener profiles created within city environments will produce typical urban sounds appropriate to their day, all heard through the lens of your listener’s selected environment. Registered users can also import everyday sounds using the HarS plugin.
Social support is a given. Malty is iTunes-enabled, with auto-downloading of any playback recordings to user-defined libraries, or share playback lists across LastFM. Integrated Skypecasting allows virtual listeners to host “listening parties,” with 100% virtual listener control available– your virtual listener will interact with other created listeners worldwide, with temporal and cultural mashups providing hours of entertainment.
The time settings section allows Malty users to precisely select the time and duration of the playback span. Dates spanning approximately 4,000 years are available, however, years preceding the known history of recorded music will generate modern reproductions of historical and hypothetical music– e.g, Bach played by the New York Philharmonic, or interpolations of how a Hurrian hymn may have sounded.
Venue compensation lets Malty weight playback selections to account for listener profiles exposed to popular music via live settings; such as concert halls, discoteques, vaudeville, dive bars, or even coffee shops. A wide variety of settings are being developed by users everyday, utilizing Malty’s open-source code and venue-generator tool. The “parent” button can be toggled on and off during playback to simulate mom or dad returning home– try it during playback involving explicit lyrics!
Various playback methods are also included, with appropriate historical players available within the listener profile. Finally, users can browse the “situation library” to accurately frame the playback list– the same listener profile will generate different possible lists based on this information. Choose nearly any situation from cross-country roadtrip to quiet basement flat, pre-suicide to post-coital!
Future versions of Malty will allow situation “gradients,” for example, moving from over time from “drunken spree” into “slumber party.” Millions of combinations!