Want To Create A Truly Eclectic Playlist? Boil The Frog!

Posted January 15

It can be difficult to create a playlist that’s both diverse and cohesive — eclectic without being jarring. For those of you out there willing to undertake the task, however, there’s Boil The Frog.

Boil The Frog is a nifty little Web app from Paul Lamere — winner of our Best Music Hack award — that allows you to plug in two artists and create a seamless playlist of tunes that take you from one extreme to another. The name is based on the proverb that if you place a frog in tepid water and slowly, slowly start to boil the water, the frog won’t notice he’s being cooked and will stay in the pot (yum, we know). In the same way, the app takes you from one band to another without startling the listener.

For example, enter in “Justin Bieber” and “Metallica” and you’ll get a playlist of 17 songs that take you from Avril Lavinge to Staind to Godsmack. The app uses Rdio’s API, so anyone with an account will be able to listen to songs in full. Users can also “Bypass” tunes they don’t like, and those songs will be replaced with new, appropriate jams.

Like many of Lamere’s apps, Boil The Frog is built using music intelligence platform The Echo Nest (Lamere is the director of the developer platform). Similar bands are located using the Echo Nest artist similarity algorithm, and songs are chosen based on artist popularity — IE, if you choose two popular artists, similar bands will also be popular; if you choose two unknowns, similar bands will be equally obtuse.

Which bands would you like to see boiled?

Image courtesy of Flickr, cheetah100