FAQ — If You Dig

So is this like Pandora, or Netflix recommendations but for music?

Yes and no. If You Dig makes recommendations just like those sites do. But with Pandora, you might have to listen to a station for an hour or two just to discover a single new artist you might like. And with Netflix, you have to build up a whole profile of rated movies before you start getting good recommendations.

With If You Dig, you just go straight to artist recommendations — no profile creation or lengthy listening. We're as simple as you can get.

I can't find a lesser-known artist I like. You're too mainstream. What gives?

We probably do have that artist in our database, but we just don't have enough data to list meaningful associations for them, so we don't make that artist available. We're currently gauging interest in If You Dig — if enough people start using it, we'll work on expanding our database to build up more associations for lesser-known artists. You can help by putting in your own musical tastes. And please spread the word!

All your recommendations are either obvious or wrong. What's the deal?

If they're obvious, then that means the site works, and congratulations on your musical knowledge! But just because they're obvious to you, doesn't mean they're obvious to other people just getting into an artist. That's why we built this whole site in the first place.

And recommendations aren't "wrong" — they're all based on actual user data, which means there is a whole statistically significant group of people who like both artists. People might like other artists for different reasons than you do. However, for lesser-known artists, we're basing our recommendations on smaller groups of users, so as we expand our database, the lists of recommended artists may grow and change in order.

What are the green circle icons next to each artist?

Spotify links. If you have Spotify installed on your computer, then it will open the artist in your Spotify player. Depending on your browser, the first time you do this, your browser may ask you to locate the Spotify application on your computer.

What does it mean to show LEAST likely?

If you look up "Whitney Houston", then click "Show LEAST likely", the page turns black (it's opposite day!) and lists the artists that, for people who like Whitney Houston, they are least likely to also like. In Whitney's case, that shows the heavy metal band Slipknot as the first one. For least-likely artists, likelihood factors are always less than 1.0.

The math behind the least-likely lists is a lot more finicky than behind our most-likely lists, so while inclusion on the list is accurate, the exact likelihood score should be taken with a grain of salt, and there are usually plenty of additional artists who could also appear on the list (we just don't have enough data). For now, it's more for entertainment value than anything else!

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