June 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Actualize Your Musical Fantasies With Daydream.fm


Screenshot from the author's daydream

Music, perhaps more than other art form, is universally recognized as having transformative power. Evocative, moving, uplifting, and plenty of other adjectives often used to describe music refer to its ability to detach us from our world, at least for a moment, transporting us somewhere else.

With the recently-launched Daydream.fm, you can actualize those sonic-fueled fantasies by combining music, visuals, and ambient noises to create and publish an audiovisual dreamscape. (To an extent, it also resembles Pinterest for music.)


Add visuals, ambient noises, and music to create your own daydream

Daydream also offers a creative way to relive personal memories. Whether it was that first kiss on “Makeout Point” while listening to Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” with a faint hint of the city noise below, or the memory of being sixteen and driving with the windows down blasting AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” we all have soundtracked memories embedded in our minds. With this web app, you can relive those memories as you re-assemble those daydreams or imagine new ones.

To use Daydream, go to the website and either create an account using your email address or sign in with Twitter or Facebook. When you’re ready to indulge your musical imagination, press “create” and start thinking about audio and visual elements to include.

For the visual portion, you can use a static image or a video. To select an image, enter the URL address of an image ending with .jpg, .gif, .png, or one of the other specified formats. Unfortunately, this step precludes you from using your own image, unless you have somewhere you can upload it to the web (like Flickr). You can also poke around in Flickr’s Creative Commons-licensed images for ideas.

Alternatively, you can try video by pasting in a YouTube video. Daydream.fm lets you loop a particular portion, adding to the dreamlike feel, or you can embed the whole thing.

To add ambient noises, search the web app’s ambient noise database (powered by Freesound). Preview noises before selecting one, or search again using a new word. You can use as many ambient noises as you wish.

Before you get started, you should probably have a particular song in mind before you get started, since you have to search by song title or artist name. For the music selection, Daydream uses The Echo Nest API (disclosure: Evolver.fm is published by The Echo Nest).  After all of the elements have been added, you can preview the dreamscape in its entirety or publish it, if you feel you’ve adequately evoked your imaginary place.


Peruse daydreams created by other users

If you’re not yet inspired to create a daydream — or if you simply want to test the waters before jumping in — feel free to explore other users’ creations by following specific tags and users. When you sign in, daydreams that fit your preferred criteria will be displayed on your homepage and can be played as a playlist (somewhat similarly to This Is My Jam).

Currently, Daydream’s biggest drawback is its small user base, because it has a lot of potential for browsing and friending, a la Pinterest. However, once more people get onboard, this web app could serve not only as a way to explore other people’s unconsciouses, but also as an addictive music discovery tool. 

Now if they could only figure out a way to add smells…