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HABU
A new app curates mood-based music playlists
by Evan Orensten
on 13 January 2012
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A mammoth music library should inspire pride, not anxiety. The problem is, how do you begin to sort through tens of thousands of tracks? Shuffle functions are too dumbed down, and there's no time to create a custom playlist for every occasion.

Enter HABU, the mood-based music app that auto-generates playlists from your library based on how you feel, designed by Gravity Mobile leveraging music mapping from Gracenote. The emotional interface is all about intelligent entertainment, filtering information to enhance the user experience. "HABU was created for people who'd rather spend their time discovering new music than creating custom playlists," says Jeff Benson, director of product management for Gravity Mobile. "With the average customer listening to 17 to 19 hours of music per week, we saw the need to design and develop a music app that could surface highly targeted playlists and music recommendations."

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HABU comes with an intuitive "mood map," a circular visualizer that groups songs based in their position on two axes. Songs are plotted between "positive" and "dark" on the y-axis and "calm" and "energetic" on the x-axis based on their classification by Gracenote, which takes a range of variables into consideration when assigning them a specific emotional tag. The results get placed into 25 mood groups with 100 individual moods. That way, your gloomy, energized, yearning and upbeat personas are never without a constant stream of music. The intensity of a mood's plot signifies the quantity of content for that mood, and users can share their maps with friends over Facebook.

The app uses Gracenote's "sonic attribute technology" to create mood profiles for more than 30 million tracks. This allows HABU to generate tailored playlists at the touch of a finger, empowering the user to browse even the most prolific music collections. Reading user tastes, HABU finds similar tracks and lets you preview songs before downloading them. According to Benson, the app "is set up to interface with a customer's own content as much as it is to discover new content via song recommendation and mood-based discovery."

HABU is currently available in the Android Market for 99 cents; the iPad app is set to drop this Spring.

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