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The Wolfram|Alpha Team

The Alpha Albums Contest: Name Albums, Win Prizes

December 9, 2013 —
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If you’re a big music fan (and who isn’t?), you’ve probably been carrying around a lot of the lyrics to your favorite songs and albums in your head. It’s unlikely that you get the chance to show off that expertise very often, though–but now’s your chance! Cash in your music knowledge for cool Wolfram prizes in the Alpha Albums contest.

Sample album lyric word cloudWhich classic album does this word cloud represent? Click the image to find out!


As you may know, we recently added a lot of information about song lyrics to Wolfram|Alpha (in collaboration with LyricFind), including the ability to create word clouds from the lyrics of a given album or song. We’ve really enjoyed experimenting with these over at Wolfram, so we wanted to give everyone else the chance to have some fun with them as well.

At 2pm (CST) today, we’ll post the word cloud from a well-known album on our Twitter account (@Wolfram_Alpha) and give our followers an hour to guess the right answer. If you think you know the answer, send us the name of the album via Twitter in an @-reply.

When the hour’s up, we’ll select a winner at random from all the correct entries. Our lucky recipient will get their choice of any Wolfram|Alpha app for iOS (including any of our Course Assistant, Professional Assistant, Personal Assistant, or Reference apps) or, if they prefer, a free month of Wolfram|Alpha Pro. We’ll post a new album word cloud this Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and every Monday after that–check our Twitter feed in the morning to find out the exact time!

We can’t stop you from trying to look up the answer online, but we’re hoping everyone will stay on the honor system–and it’s more fun to try and figure it out yourself, anyway. A few hints:

  • Don’t forget that the largest words (near the center) appear the most frequently on the album, and that very common words (like ‘and’, ‘or’, etc.) are removed by default.
  • Often, the cloud will include some words that appear in song titles from the album. You may even find some words from the album title itself (like in the word cloud above), though we’ll try to keep them from being too easy.
  • If you really know your records, check the bottom of the word cloud–the “based on 11 lyrics” line tells you how many tracks the album has, which can be another useful clue.

"Just The Way You Are" word cloudWolfram|Alpha can create word clouds for individual songs as well, though they tend to be a bit simpler. Feel free to try some out on your own!

For a full list of Alpha Albums contest rules, visit Official Rules for the Wolfram|Alpha® Alpha Albums Contest. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, and have a great time!