Thumbs-Down Songs on Pandora with Your Mind

[Steven] likes music. Like many of us, he uses Pandora to enjoy the familiar and to discover new music. Now, Pandora means well, but she gets it wrong sometimes. [Steven] has had a Mindwave Mobile EEG headset lying around for a while and decided to put it to good use. With the aid of a Raspberry Pi and a bluetooth module, he built a brainwave-controlled Pandora track advancing system.

The idea is to recognize that you dislike a song based on your brainwaves. The Mindwave gives data for many different brainwaves as well as approximating your attention and meditation levels. Since [Steven] isn’t well-versed in brainwavery, he used Bayesian estimation to generate two multivariate Gaussian models. One represents good music, and the other represents bad music. The resulting algorithm is about 70% accurate, so [Steven]‘s Python script waits for four “bad music” estimations in a row before advancing the track.

[Steven] streams Pandora through pianobar and has a modified version of the control-pianobar script in his GitHub repo His script will also alert you if the headset isn’t getting good skin contact, a variable that the Mindwave reports on a scale of 0 to 200.

Stick around for a demo of [Steven] controlling Pandora with his mind. If you don’t have an EEG headset, you can still control Pandora with a Pi, pianobar, and some nice clicky buttons.

Comments

  1. The future is NOW. This is totally amazing and what a great idea.

  2. Evan says:

    Holy crap that’s cool.

  3. smoketester says:

    NICE! One suggestion. Incorporate headphones into the Mindwave headset. As EEG headset technology becomes more refined, perhaps one day we will be able to buy smart audio headsets that manage our music preferences based on our environment and mood.

  4. andarb says:

    The trouble I see is that there are certain stations I like to keep separate. I don’t want my Garth Brooks mixed with my Basshunter. I like both, but different moods call for different music. I’ve spent months getting my Pandora stations right.

    Nevertheless it is a very intriguing idea.

    • Z00111111 says:

      One day, with enough sensitivity and calibration, it would know which mood you’re in and only play what you feel like hearing before you’re even aware. One day.

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    I already thumbs down Pandora in my mind which is why I don’t run it.

    • Whatnot says:

      Well connect it to your TV’s mute and as soon as it detects annoyance about a commercial, zap the sound goes off.
      There are many ways to use this stuff is what I’m saying.

  6. pcf11 says:

    I hear Pandora’s box has crabs…

  7. rdmilligan says:

    Wow, would be interested to know how refined this is i.e. input beyond 50/50 Yes/No. If only Yes/No gives accuracy for now, then guess could stack the questions together to provide more refined answers.

  8. kamathln says:

    Is it possible to build something low profile ? the Mindwave EEG device looks like google glass and would be confused by traffic police. It would be nice to use something similar to warn you if your mind is too tired to drive, automatically select songs in the car depending on your mood, attention, etc. What else ? Mind-control the rear view mirrors?

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