's map of album covers


With our 'Favourite albums of 2014' vote that just started today, the team and our readers will be looking at a lot of album covers over the course of the next few weeks! Djent and progressive metal album covers are pretty interesting: there are lots of recurring patterns and similarities. This gave us an idea.

We decided to construct a map of the album covers on the site. There are just under 3000 releases in our database right now. We used 2500 of those and analysed their covers by looking at the colour palette and the actual content of the images. By balancing these two aspects, we clustered the album covers and placed them into a 50x50 grid, so that similar covers are close together.

The result can be seen below. Click the image for a high-resolution version. We think it turned out pretty cool! The global structure of the map is based mainly on colour schemes, but there is a lot of other structure as well: there are clusters of faces, people, planets, landscapes and eyes, among other things!

Some technical details, for those who are interested: we created a colour histogram with 64 bins (4 per channel) for each image to obtain colour features. We used a pre-trained convolutional neural network to extract 1000 semantic features that describe the image content, using sklearn-theano. We then combined both feature sets and projected them down to two dimensions using the t-SNE algorithm with scikit-learn. Finally, we constructed the map by placing a grid over the this two-dimensional feature space and picking the image that's closest to each grid point. This was inspired by Andrej Karpathy's visualizations of the ImageNet dataset.

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Hey guys, the pic isn't avaliable. :/ Can you re-post the link?

You guys should make one of these for vocals.

Soft/Harsh/Mixed/Instrumental would be great!

Awesome work !!

Awesome job on this map!

a 5 choice limit ensures we only get the best of the best Smile And it's supposed to be hard! That actually means a lot of good music came out this year, so it's a good sign Wink

So hard to pick a top 5. Top 10 next year? Tongue

50/13 Wink

Space 'n shit Smile