AudioPhield is a system that allows multiple users to browse their music collections simultaneously and casually on a multi-touch tabletop display. So, the system deals with the typical shortcomings of standard music players: They focus on single users and require the user to know exactly what music she wants to hear.
The music libraries of different users are displayed as icons in different colors on the tabletop display. The placement of the icons mirrors the perceived similarity of the depicted songs: Icons close together sound very similar, icons far apart should be quite unlike. Thus, users can find music that matches their mood or a special occasion. They can also easily estimate the musical taste of others by just comparing the icon-density in different areas, which are dedicated to a certain kind of music. The therefore necessary music features stem mostly from folksonomy-data but content-based algorithms from "Music Information Retrieval" research are used, too. The layout algorithm is a modified Self-organizing Map.
Users interact with the system by creating and moving magnification areas similar to fisheye lenses. To make the interaction as easy and convenient as possible, the syste utilizes the direct- and multi-touch capabilities of the hardware. Every entity on the interface can be manipulated by just touching it -- sometimes with two or three: Playing a song needs just a double-tap, seeking in the song a circular movement around an icon, and changing the volume is achieved by simply scaling a widget with two fingers.
The following video gives an introduction to the AudoPhield-experience: audiophield_vid.wmv (26 MB)