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Thursday, February 02, 2006

that's funny...

almost through the iTunes marathon, running about 6 weeks late now

and I just realised - the first letter of song titles is not distributed uniformly randomly across the alphabet, it is apparently a function of the artist (I'm ignoring the trivial non-randomness of first letters of words).
Different artists tend to have song titles that bunch up in the alphabet. At least that is my anecdotal impression.

This needs quantification... I worry I will now be sample size limited. Maybe iTunes Shop search will aid me here.

Update: sparse sub-sampling supports the conjecture weakly.

I looked at 3 artists with medium sized offerings; Dixie Chicks, Björk and Violent Femmes.
Looked at fraction of songs (eliminating duplicates) with first letter in title starting at "S" or later..

Dixie Chicks: 9/32 ~ 28%
Björk: 22/79 ~ 28%
Violent Femmes: 14/85 ~ 16% !!!

Intriguing.
Clearly it now time to pause and come up with muplicity of hypotheses as to what the cause of this is.

Obvious conjectures present themselves, but I think we need to look for subtle causalities, not trivial and politically incorrect generalisations.
Then we need predictions, and vastly more data, including actual authors of the songs since a small percentage are covers.

Quibbling about statistical significance and french fish will be ignored. This could be of cosmic importance!

6 Comments:

Anonymous jfaberuiuc said...

It's no end of amusement looking at an iTunes library of songs in alphabetical order. I've got the following self-contradictory run:

Everything Goes to Hell (Tom Waits)
Everything is Cool (Reel Big Fish)
Everything Right is Wrong Again (They Might Be Giants)
Everything Shines (The Push Stars)
Everything Sucks (Reel Big Fish)

As a corollary, according to RBF, cool things suck. Who knew?

2:45 PM  
Blogger Steinn said...

Hm, my library has "Everyday..." and "Everywhere"
but no song title beginning with "Everything..."

I do have

Nothing Compares 2 U (Sinead O'Connor)
Nothing To Hold Me (Jesus Jones)

Which if I parse correctly means everything incomparable (2 U) holds me...

4:10 PM  
Blogger John said...

Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)--Quinton Tarver
Everybody Wants to Rule the World--Tears for Fears
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love--The Blues Brothers
Everybody Hurts--REM

Youthful exuberance turns to ambition, but ambition is lonely and leads to pain. Pride goeth before the fall.

Depressing. My iTunes is too self-righteous...

9:05 PM  
Anonymous jfaberuiuc said...

For a political statement, how about
All Together now, All you fascists, All you need is love.

(Beatles, Guthrie/Bragg/Wilco, Beatles)

2:39 PM  
Blogger Steinn said...

Doesn't work for me:

All Along the Wathctower - U2 (!?)
All American Girl - Melissa Etheridge
All Around the World - Paul Simon
All at Once - Bonnie Raitt
All I wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
All I want - Cure
All I want - Lightning Seeds
All I want is You - U2
All the way to heaven - Melissa Etheridge
All things dull and ugly - Monty Python
All you fascists (bound to lose) - Billy Bragg

- more personal than political...

Hm, no song beginning with "Only"

but I get

No Business - Bonnie Raitt
No Compassion - Talking Heads
No Feelings - Sex Pistols
No Meaning No - Chuck D
No More Heroes - Stranglers
No One Said It Would Be Easy -Sheryl Crow
No Pride - Green Day
No Puede Ser - 3 Tenors
No Son of Mine - Genesis
No Strange Delight - Roxy Music
No Woman No Cry - Marley

Hm...

So, do we have enough snippets no for someone to do a concordance and reconstruct the Library?

3:02 PM  
Anonymous jfaberuiuc said...

I remember having some other good ones too, under "I'm ..." or "I'll...", but my iPod just ran out of battery power. Mighty indeed is the iPod, but mightier still the power cord for the iPod, sitting at home being babysat by the cat.

3:54 PM  

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