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2002-04-06 13:55:18 ]


From the I200 listserv, where a discussion of XM radio ensued.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2002 13:52:04 -0500
From: Chris Dent <cjdent@indiana.edu>
To: Information Representation forum
Subject: Re: [I200] : XM Radio

On Sat, 6 Apr 2002, Jayna Riechers wrote:

> -------------------
> David brought up a good point, why bother with a satelite radio, the
> monthly fees, and the medium to listen to it, when you can just
> download songs onto the computer and burn a cd?? it is alot easier to
> do that than going through the process of setting up and paying for XM
> radio.

To hear new stuff you don't know about but might like?

I think the preference matching engines that are popular these
days incur some costs. An example is the netflix.com
recommendation system: I rate some movies, creating a profile, my
profile is compared with other people. If there's a close match,
things they like I'm likely to like too, so they tell me about

If all I do is pay attention to those recommendations, I'm never
going to see any movies that broaden my horizon. In fact, there's
a chance that my horizon will get increasingly narrow as I focus
more and more on movies that fit the my "type".

If all the music I'm hearing is stuff that I've selected with
purpose from my mp3s, there's a high chance I'm not getting much
diversity in my music diet. I'll grow stale, boring and mediocre.

I think people need that little injection of randomness to keep
themselves alive. Exposure to new unexpected stuff keeps things

One thing I think would be cool is a way to say to the
recommendation engines, "Show me stuff that someone completely
unlike me enjoys."

Of course, this argument is somewhat moot, because as I
understand it XM radio is very genre heavy: all Pop all the time,
or all angry male teenager all the time, or all Zeppelin etc.

Don't get trapped in your demographic, bust out.
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