How many light shows are built into illume? 130 million and counting. Here's how...

Songs are as unique as fingerprints. No two are the same. And even though all Nickelback songs sound the identical (please tell me you guys have heard this), each and every song has a unique composition, harmony, and rhythm. illume transforms that uniqueness into a unique light show that no other track can replicate. illume can listen to songs just like you can. And since you can tell the difference between Justin Bieber and Frank Sinatra, illume can too.

Musical notes in a song book

Every song is as unique a person's fingerprint

The Gracenote database of artists, titles, and labels boasts a whopping 130 million songs. That's an astronomical number. Put all those songs into a playlist and it would take you an easy 1200 years to listen to all of them. And another 1000 songs are uploaded to Spotify, Apple, and Google Music every hour. That's another 1 million new songs. Every. Six. Weeks.

Will we ever run of out of new songs? Quick answer: No. There are a beyond comprehensible number possible combinations for new music. Want the long answer? Well then excuse me while I engineering geek out here for a minute.

Darth Vader Funko figure on a rotating display stand with with white LEDs

Darth Vader taking a ride on one of the 1.3 million light shows he learned from the Dark Side

Let's assume the average song length is 3 minutes (seems short but I'm being conservative here). illume samples music at a rate of 44.1 kHz (44,100 times a second). Each of those samples is a 16  bits. Thus, each 3 minute song is comprised of nearly 127 million bits. That's a big number. But I can tell you are not impressed. Let's keep going.

Each of those 127 million bits can exist in two states (a zero or a one). Thus, the total number of combination of these bits is 2^127,000,000 (two to the 127th millionth power). Put that into your calculator. Go ahead, I dare you. Or I can tell you now that this number will not compute. It's so big not even a calculator can understand it. Let's put the size of this number into perspective. The atom is smallest known building block in the universe. The total number of atoms in the world is a number that is 50 digits long. That's a HUGE number we cannot possibly comprehend. But the total number of three minute songs is bigger. Much bigger. That number is 53 MILLION digits long. Yeah I just compared 50 to 53,000,000. 

Granted, most of these songs are not really songs. Most are simply noise. But lets say one billionth of those songs are actual music. There are STILL more three minute songs than there are atoms on the entire planet. The possibilities are astronomical.

We will never ever run of new songs. And that's good news for us. We can always look forward to writing or listening to something new and something awesome.

Check out the video below for one of the 130 million light shows currently playing on illume. If you know someone who loves breaking their calculator, please forward this article to them.