Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Music lovers get the ‘meta’ of digital audio

01.02.2008
Groundbreaking audio software developed by European researchers could help music lovers jump to the hidden beats.

While researchers started the software design seven years ago, it is only now that the music world is beginning to meet the conditions for exploiting what Hugues Vinet, the research coordinator, bills as the “first of its kind” large-scale research project for automatically extracting and classifying audio signals.

Such metadata, as it is called, can be used to tag audio files so they can be more accurately picked up by search engines equipped to handle this kind of information. Standardising the metadata for various audiovisual media is the goal of the new Mpeg-7 specification, in which the project partners participated and provided some input for descriptors, such as musical timbre.

The software could be the next big step in boosting online music sales, as it could allow companies to exploit their archives more thoroughly and help consumers dig out tracks they might not have discovered otherwise.

“We are in concrete discussions with a number of interested companies on using some of the developments from our project,” Vinet says. “We are finally starting to collaborate with companies to market these resources. Such software still does not exist in any way.”

Vinet, who is scientific director at the Paris-based Institute for Music/Acoustic Research and Coordination (IRCAM), was part of a team that included researchers from universities in Spain and Israel, along with companies such as Oracle and Sony. The EU-funded project was called Cuidado.

The packages they developed – consisting of a music browser, an online sound palette and sound authoring software – can analyse and index sound according to the digital patterns displayed by each particular song. To do this, the researchers developed a number of techniques for capturing specific qualities from audio files, such as timbre, energy and rhythm.

This system goes far beyond the methods used online by the music industry, which is slowly warming up to selling music over the internet.

Currently, music download sites are heavily dependent on the manual input of the basic text metadata needed to generate the kind of suggestions that might hook consumers into making a purchase. The Cuidado packages produce complementary metadata based on audio descriptors, making any search engine equipped to handle such information much more accurate in taking into account the actual sonic content of the tracks.

Of particular interest is the ability of the software to make automatic connections to music tracks that cross over into other categories a listener might not have thought of, and enable new discoveries.

This ability would allow music companies to exploit their vast back catalogues, a lot of which are unavailable at the local music store.

Business tuning into the potential
The techniques have started to prick up the ears of music companies, search engines, and researchers interested in developing the software and techniques further.

For example, researchers at Ecoute, a France-based project, are using some of the techniques developed by the Cuidado team to create a portal for electronic music distribution.

IRCAM is also working on audio sample management based on Cuidado indexing and content-based management and retrieval techniques.

The research results obtained by IRCAM are currently being further developed and applied as part of France’s national Sample Orchestrator project. This project is designing a new-generation audio-software sampler, a software instrument based on a database of recorded sounds.

According to Vinet, such techniques would be useful not only for delivering a new generation of musical instruments, but also for designing special effects for cinema and TV, or for the management of databases in specific applications, such as sounds of animals, engines and boats.

The sampler will include advanced content-based search features, built around different approaches initiated by the Cuidado team, including search by perceptual similarity, says Vinet.

What comes to pass
Some of the partners previously involved with Cuidado, including Sony, are also part of a recently completed multimedia development project, Semantic Hi-Fi. Vinet, who is also coordinator of the EU-funded Semantic Hi-Fi, said the new project applied results from Cuidado to develop software that allows users to manipulate and mix music and sounds.

Sony notes on its internet site that its interest in Cuidado, which ran from January 2001 to December 2003, is related to the development of techniques that would allow the sharing of musical tastes and information within online communities.

“The Cuidado project enabled us to gather a core of experts together to develop a vision and a new set of audio extraction technologies,” Vinet says. “It helped establish us as international leaders with multidisciplinary competences in this area. It is evident that what we foresaw, the evolution of the music industry to full digital distribution, is coming to pass.”

If so, full digital distribution of the music industry’s vast archives, coupled with powerful search engines based on Cuidado’s techniques, could put the power of the beat into listeners’ hands.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/id/89481

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smart Computers
21.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>