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Framework for visualising music mood using visual texture

Husain, Adzira (2020) Framework for visualising music mood using visual texture. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Modernised online music libraries and services provide effortless access to unlimited music collections. When contending with other competitors, online music developers have to devise interesting, fun, and easy‐to‐use interaction methods for their users to browse for music.

The conventional way of browsing a music collection is by going through a text list of songs by song title or artist name. This method may not be sufficient to maintain an overview of the music collection. Users will end up searching for the same artist that they are familiar with, and will not be able to discover other new and interesting songs that are available in the music collection.

There are many ways of browsing songs in an online music library. In the field of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), various types of visual variables such as colour, position, size, and shape have been investigated when representing music data. Texture is also one of the visual variables. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no research focusing explicitly on texture.

Mood of music is one of the essential cues used for music exploration. It is also commonly used in music recommendation research as tags to describe music. A listener would select a song depending on his/her feeling or mood at a particular moment, regardless of the song’s genre or other preferences.

In this thesis, we are interested in creating a new method of browsing music in the mood category. We developed a framework for visualising music mood using visual texture. This framework is specifically designed to choose the best design elements in designing visual texture, which can represent a specific music mood that can be understood by the user.

In order to determine how well people can interact with visual texture to browse through songs in the music library, usability testing was conducted. In usability testing, the ISO 9241‐11 standard that consists of three elements – effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction was employed.

Two outcomes were gathered from this usability testing. First, the feedback on the suitability of visual texture that represented each of the music moods was iii gathered. Secondly, by measuring the effectiveness, efficiency, ease of use, and satisfaction, the usability of the music collection from the sample website was tested. Besides, the scores for ease of use and satisfaction for the first time were also compared to long time use.

From the usability testing, it was found that the design elements that were chosen for the visual texture to represent the moods ‐ angry, sad, happy, and calm were suitable. The average task times for all moods were acceptable, and these results indicate that browsing music using a visual texture is efficient. The completion and success rates for all moods were acceptable, and these findings point out that browsing music using the visual texture is effective.

This research revealed that visual texture is an associative visual variable and can be used to represent music mood in a music collection application or website. By using this method of browsing music, users can explore songs by the mood in the online music library, rather than search for songs by song title or artist name.

Overall, the main outcome of this research is the development of the Framework for Visualising Music Mood Using Visual Texture. Positively, the framework will help online music developers invent a new and interesting method to browse for music.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Information Technology, Mathematics and Statistics
Supervisor(s): Shiratuddin, Fairuz and Wong, Kevin
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