Speaker Deck

Improving Genre Annotations for the Million Song Dataset

by Hendrik Schreiber

Published October 27, 2015 in Science


Any automatic music genre recognition (MGR) system must show its value in tests against a ground truth dataset. Recently, the public dataset most often used for this purpose has been proven problematic, because of mislabeling, duplications, and its relatively small size. Another dataset, the Million Song Dataset (MSD), a collection of features and metadata for one million tracks, unfortunately does not contain readily accessible genre labels. Therefore, multiple attempts have been made to add song-level genre annotations, which are required for supervised machine learning tasks. Thus far, the quality of these annotations has not been evaluated.
In this paper we present a method for creating additional genre annotations for the MSD from databases, which contain multiple, crowd-sourced genre labels per song (Last.fm, beaTunes). Based on label co-occurrence rates, we derive taxonomies, which allow inference of top- level genres. These are most often used in MGR systems.
We then combine multiple datasets using majority voting. This both promises a more reliable ground truth and allows the evaluation of the newly generated and preexisting datasets. To facilitate further research, all derived genre annotations are publicly available on our website.


The paper was published at ISMIR 2015.