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
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
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
New AI system manages road infrastructure via Google Street View
19.06.2019 | RMIT University
'Alexa, monitor my heart': Researchers develop first contactless cardiac arrest AI system for smart speakers
19.06.2019 | University of Washington
From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.
Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap
The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.
Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
24.06.2019 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
24.06.2019 | Life Sciences
24.06.2019 | Medical Engineering