You like a certain song and want to hear other tracks like it, but don’t know how to find them? Ending the needle-in-a-haystack problem of searching for music on the Internet or even in your own hard drive is a new audio-based music information retrieval system.
Currently under development by the SIMAC project, it is a major leap forward in the application of semantics to audio content, allowing songs to be described not just by artist, title and genre but by their actual musical properties such as rhythm, timbre, harmony, structure and instrumentation. This allows comparisons between songs to be made and listeners to find little-known tracks that suit their tastes but may otherwise go unnoticed.
“The music world is highly commercial and only the works of the biggest artists are really well known and widely promoted,” notes SIMAC project manager Xavier Serra at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University. “Something like 10 per cent of music accounts for 90 per cent of music sales, while the remaining 90 per cent accounts for just 10 per cent of sales – this system could therefore herald a revolution for little-known music and artists.”
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