Tag Archives: engineering

Spotify’s Tastebuds tool will enhance your social music discovery

The new function aimed at Spotify will allow us to slightly broaden our musical tastes. All thanks to our friends from the platform.

New Spotify’s feature logo
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/18/spotify-tastebuds/

 

How music sharing options look like now?

Thinking about what Spotify can offer today, we can mention social media integration. It is a popular feature that enables users to connect their Spotify accounts to their Facebook and Twitter profiles. That lets them access their friends’ favorite music and playlists and share their choices with others as well. Individuals can create, share, and edit playlists with other listeners. If users want recommendations, they can integrate their system with Last.fm, an application that provides music recommendations based on listening history. However, this is an external application that does not belong to Spotify. You can also view a Friend Activity ticker of songs your Facebook friends are currently listening to on the desktop app. You can search for specific users and follow them or view playlists they’ve made public too. Spotify doesn’t promote user search much anyway.

 

Why Spotify need a change?

Sharing playlists on Spotify is not a problem, but when it comes to speeding up the entire algorithm, things get complicated quickly. If we listen to music in a random way, it is known that Spotify will not start sending us recommendations based on it. If that were the case, playlists created using algorithms would not suit certain user’s tastes. Social sharing has never been the main priority for Spotify. The Activity Feed, which shows what your friends are currently listening to, is limited to the desktop version of Spotify. The in-app messenger for sharing music was nixed in favor of letting users share songs on social media or on their Instagram Stories. Apparently, that was a mistake as far as we know that Tastebuds is coming.

Tastebuds feature on Spotify
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/18/spotify-tastebuds/

 

But what will Tastebuds really give us?

As the information on the site is telling: Tastebuds will let your friends discover music that you trust. This description appears in the tab that has not yet been launched, but the developers have already sewn it in the application – in the left column, next to the Home Page, Browse and Radio. The prototype feature was discovered in the web version of Spotify by reverse engineering sorceress Jane Manchun Wong. She gave some more details on how it works. By tapping on the pen icon, users can view information about what their friends have been playing most. Then, they can easily listen along or add songs to their own library.

Tastebuds feature discovered in the web version of Spotify thanks to reverse engineering
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/18/spotify-tastebuds/

Spotify Tastebuds code
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/18/spotify-tastebuds/

 

It remains to wait for deployment

When will the new feature come into effect? There is no official information about it. A Spotify spokesperson confirms that they are always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share with the audience. For now, anyone can access a non-functioning landing page for the feature at https://open.spotify.com/tastebuds. Tastebuds could be a rebranded version of the Friends Weekly playlist that was discovered in May 2019. Whatever it may be, the test could be a sign of more social listening features to come.

Social is a huge but under-tapped opportunity for Spotify. Social recommendations could get users listening to Spotify for longer. While competitors like Apple Music or YouTube might offer similar music catalogs, users won’t stray from Spotify if they become addicted to social discovery through Tastebuds.

Do you think Tastebuds is just what Spotify needs? Maybe something else would make the application more user-friendly? Share your opinion.

 

References:

[1] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/spotify#section-overview

[2] https://rms.pl/aktualnosci/sprzet/3239-spotify-tastebuds

[3] https://www.spidersweb.pl/2019/12/spotify-tasetbuds-czego-sluchaja-znajomi.html

[4] https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/18/21028474/spotify-tastebuds-playlist-friends-music-discovery-social-sharing-feature

[5] https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/18/spotify-tastebuds/

[6] https://www.engadget.com/2019/12/19/spotify-social-music-discovery-tastebuds/

[7] https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/9/17337182/spotify-testing-new-friends-weekly-playlist

Tagged , , , , , , ,

RIVIAN – THE ULTIMATE VEHICLE?

Last week, on the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, we could witness a birth of a new player in the electric cars’ game – Rivian.

To start with, I’ll explain what is hiding under this rather modern name. Rivian’s owner describes his products (because they already launched two, not one) as “The world’s first Electric Adventure Vehicles”. As it turned out, they’ve been working on their project for the last seven years in their headquaters in California (obviously), developing their product with the smallest details and avoiding mistakes previously made by competitors.

So, they made two models – a seven-seat SUV called R1S and R1T, which is a five-seat pick-up. Both of them are based on Rivian’s invention named ‘skateboard’ platform (sounds cool, doesn’t it?), which basically means that parts like the battery, suspension or drive units are placed below the height of each wheel. Not only does it provide much more passenger space, but also a low centre of gravity, which might make the difference in the car that weights 2.6-tonnes.

Potential buyers can opt for three battery sizes: 180kWh (400 mile range) and 135kWh (300 mile range) and a 105kWh battery (230 mile range). Rivian also promises that their products’ interiors are provided with the best quality materials, such as actual wood on the dashboard.

Right, but it all sounds like we’ve already heard that story about a complete revolution in the electric cars industry, best materials, biggest batteries and even bigger numbers attached. Rivian’s owner, RJ Scaringe claims  that he “started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn’t already have.” So, what is so special about this brand?

First of all, their cars are provided with kind of artificial intelligence of the new level. While driving the Rivian, an algorithm constantly analyze your driving style and learn how to better optimize its charge. Welcome to the future!

 

As the Electric Adventure Vehicles, they are expected to provide you some load space, right? Well, in the R1T, there’s 330-litres under the hood (because there’s no engine inside), a 350-litre space in the R1T’s so called ‘gear tunnel’, and a 200-litre bin beneath the rear bed floor.

 

Moreover, both models are equipped with tools like cameras, lidar, radar, ultrasonic and GPS, which allow for ‘Level 3’ autonomy. What does it exactly mean? In Level 3 cars, you’re still needed as a driver, but you are able to transfer safety-critical functions to the vehicle, depending on traffic and other conditions, so they are really close to producing fully autonomous cars with a highest Level 5 autonomy.

And the last but not least – speed. These things are TREMENDOUSLY quick. Both are claimed to reach 60mph in 3 seconds. In a car of this weight, these numbers are far more than impressive.

 

You can already order both of Rivian’s models. The pick-up is expected to be delivered in 2020, and the SUV no earlier than a year after.

So, what do you think about the whole project, apart from the these cars’ names which you probably associate more with a Star Wars’ characters rather than cars? Will Rivian find its niche or make a huge loss? Let me know below!

 

References:

https://www.topgear.com

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/02/autonomous-driving-levels-0-5-implications/

 

 

 

Tagged , , ,

The Hemp Fiber of Tomorrow.

Hemp is one of the most environmentally friendly plants from all perspectives: growing, processing etc. Hemp is capable of creating over 25,000 products.

So why doesn’t everyone have hemp products in their lives? When you do not include the common things such as the perception of the cannabis plant globally according to “public opinion”. It really comes down to price. When you compare the price per kilo of cotton versus hemp the reason is obvious.

Cotton is much easier to harvest and process into usable fiber for the productions of fabrics. Hemp on the other hand uses more complicated techniques to harvest the bast fiber and still it is not as flexible as cotton, because of that though certain products can be made better with hemp and other still can be made with hemp and cotton blends.

So if we consider the main barrier of cannabis (hemp) products being accepted broadly once again how do we lower the cost of the fiber production? There has not been any real breakthroughs and innovations of the retting, degumming and other processes used to process hemp in a long time. This is set to change with a new company that has been developing a new product for quite some time. This company is called Canfiber Inc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iqo2KtWDqAk

The main idea of this machine is to strip the fiber from the stalk as the stalks are cut from the ground. This will give out more long fiber and that is crucial for creating good fabrics. This would also allow farmers to sell the hurds in longer sections and this would create much better hempcrete. This machine will clearly make hemp more competitive with cotton once the product gets off the ground officially.

Tagged , , , , ,