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'Musical Genome' Helps Find New Favorites

Much research has been trained on mapping the genetic makeup of humans. But according to one company based in Oakland, Calif., music can have a genome too.

Savage Beast Technologies' Music Genome Project is an effort to break music down to its most elemental forms, using a computer program that evaluates each song by 400 distinct musical attributes. The goal is to create a sophisticated engine for recommending music.

So far, Savage Beast has put its technology to use only for corporate clients, designing kiosks and online promotion strategies for Best Buy, AOL and other retailers. Founder Tim Westergren talks with Scott Simon about how it works.

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Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
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