Engaging with Mobile Music Retrieval

June 2, 2015

This work deals with measuring how engaged a user is in their music retrieval, and how to adapt a retrieval interface to this engagement. It will be presented at mobileHCI in Copenhagen and received a best paper honourable mention. The resulting prototype music system allowed users to navigate music by mood, at a range of engagement levels, and inspired the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Moment's MoodWheel interface.


I recruited 95 listeners to provide their last.fm listening histories for analysis and to answer an established music engagement questionnaire (Greasley, 2008). This allowed the correlations between music listening behaviour and self-reported music engagement to be explored, resulting in the definition of a set of engagement-stratified listener profiles.

The prototype system shown in the video allows a user to quickly move between levels of engagement, from casual mood selection through to more specific and controlling selection styles. The user can denote their engagement with a pressure sensor (McLachlan, Boland, & Brewster, 2014), using the metaphor of physically engaging with the system.

Paper available from 28th August 2015.

  1. McLachlan, R., Boland, D., & Brewster, S. (2014). Transient and Transitional States: Pressure as an Auxiliary Input Modality for Bimanual Interaction. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 401–410).
  2. Greasley, A. E. (2008). Engagement with music in everyday life: and in-depth study of adults’ musical preferences and listening behaviours (PhD thesis). University of Keele.
Written on June 2, 2015