JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

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What does Hit Song Science think of my songs?

Yesterday, I wrote about Apple's Genius, then blathered on for a bit about Hit Song Science (HSS), another kind of web software that "listens" to music. Unlike iTunes, HSS actually looks at the music data, and then goes even further and judges the song's hit factor.

Well, I tried Hit Song Science last night, but before I share the results, a little background.

As near as I can tell, HSS is the brainchild of a company called Music Intelligence, which I first read about in the Economist. According to the article, Music Intelligence had a database of all popular music ever written -- from Beethovan to Beck -- and could run a new song through the database to judge the song's hit potential. The cost to run a song through Music Intelligence software? $100,000. Yeah, not exactly for me. you know? Anyway, the Economist article cited several Music Intelligence successes -- plus a few failures -- leaving me with the impression that the software has real merit.

So imagine by utter shock when I discovered that submitting a song to HSS was FREE. How cool! Naturally, I promptly loaded Here Comes The Weather and Money, and prepared to wait for several days for my results, only to discover that the results are posted pretty much right away. How did I do? Not bad!

HSS plots tunes in one of three categories -- Far, Average and Close. For my songs, Here Comes The Weather edged out Money, scoring 6.9 to Money's 6.76, and both songs scored on the very edge of Close, but still in the Average category. Also interesting to see are the 10 songs HSS calls "proximity hits", which are songs that plotted close to the submitted tune. For Here Comes The Weather, HSS coughed up Where Are You Going, by Dave Matthews, What If, by Baby Face and 8 other tunes I've never heard! Sadly, the report offers no real detail, only your number and the list, but my hope is that in the future HSS will still offer the base report for free, and add more detailed reports for a fee. I figure that this will be the case, since the FREE offer runs out October 31.

Anyway, if you're a songwriter, please go to HSS and submit your tunes and share what you think by leaving a comment.