OpenWork a design collective made up of Susana Carvalho, Kai Bernau, Elisabeth Malcolm and Daniel Powers – has created a site Predominant.ly that groups records not by genre, or artist, but by colour encouraging you to to step out of the box and discover new music by choosing an album from a collection of over 148,000 albums from the iTunes’ music library by the colour of their artwork.
Predominant.ly displays iTunes albums in thumbnail format, allowing users to select from a drop down menu of colours and musical genres to refine results. There are 954 shades to choose from and 17 musical genres from pop, punk, soul, electronic and so forth. Users can then click on a thumbnail to hear samples of tracks, or click on a link to view the album’s page in iTunes.
As well as being a great tool for discovery the site throws up some surprising and amusing results – a search simply by colour will look at some of the colours favoured by different genres – a search for ‘purple’ and ‘electronica’ will unsurprisingly reveal dozens of covers, likewise ‘black’ and soul or metal, but green very few.
OpenWork says the site aims to encourage music lovers to discover new content in a fun and visually engaging way. “In the days of iTunes and Spotify, our primary interfaces to music look like spreadsheet apps – they make it less likely that we would find something that falls outside our normal musical tastes, something that lets us broaden our horizons, or expand our musical base,” reads a statement on the site. “We either have to search for new music (and how can you search for something that you don’t already know?) or software algorithms give helpful results that are often useless, or hilarious. The act of discovery makes our music more special to us: it’s the thrill of the hunt and the sense of discovery that we miss,” it adds.