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Friday, April 9, 2010

Code Organ Turns Web Pages Into Music

Posted By on Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 11:18 AM

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The Internet has a sound, and it's not just a chorus of soft clicks and the pitter-patter of fingertips on keys. How do I know? Because of Code Organ. This latest advancement in online time-wasting technology translates Web sites into music: you paste a URL into into the page, press play, and Code Organ emits a song based on the code of the page. It works by analyzing the characters to decide a key for the site (an even number is major; odd is minor), a drum pattern, and various synth sounds.

The resulting songs are weird but interesting, even though there's no discernible relationship to what you and I would consider the content on the site. The music changes each time the page does. Constantly-updated sites like The New York Times, for example, rarely sound the same from one moment to the next.

As I write this, The New York Times has a lounge vibe going on, but with crass horns blaring the departure of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. SF Gate sounds like a toddler trying to cover a song off of Spoon's Kill the Moonlight: a basic rock drum beat with a clumsy, minimalist piano line mourning a stabbing in Noe Valley. (Code Organ doesn't yet have a synth program for the throaty bark of Britt Daniel.) On the music side of the web, Pitchfork has a thudding, dubstepish bass beat under waves of stadium organ. Our own All Shook Down blog goes in the chillwave direction with a trance-y beat and antsy organ line.

Code Organ is supposedly due for more synth patterns and other upgrades soon. In the meantime, amuse yourself with musical curiosities you didn't realize you had five minutes ago.

Follow us @SFAllShookDown.

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Ian S. Port


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