Date: 2005
Project Type: Software

Launch Project Launch Project

Jason Freeman's

iTunes Signature Maker


iTunes Signature Maker (iTSM) is software art that scans your music collection and algorithmically generates a short sonic remix of everything you've got. By trying to capture the essence of your musical taste, iTSM seeks to help people learn something about the music they listen to (and by extension about themselves), to share that with others, and to have some fun in the process.


To explore the connection between musical taste and identity.


This game does require an internet connection, for the exercise.

The iTunes Signature Maker is a Java application. Java is pre-installed on many computers, but you might need to download it. It also requires iTunes to be installed on your computer. To run the iTunes Signature Maker, click "Launch Project", click "download the application", save the "itsm.jar" to your desktop and double-click on the "itsm.jar" file.


  1. Warm-Up Activity (5 min):

    Pair up with a partner and interview them with the following questions:

    1. What kind of music do you like?
    2. What kind of you kind of music do you NOT like at all?
    3. What have you been listening to lately?
    4. What do you think your taste in music says about you?
  2. Play (10 min):

    Teacher explains iTSM and plays 5 MP3s from music gallery and discusses each one. Suggested questions could include:

    1. Can you identify the musicians in this signature?
    2. Can you imagine what the person, to whom this signature belongs, is like? What do they look like? Whats their style?
    3. Does this signature match your taste?
  3. Exercise (35 min):

    Create a Mash-up (see glossary) that represents your musical identity

    Teacher explains easy steps involved in audio editing program Audacity works. Students gather around computer terminals and create mash-ups with mp3s provided. Students cut and splice tracks. In last 5 mins, the groups re-present their collective signatures to the class.