Technology not only marches on, but it hums as well – melody recognition sofware will name that tune. Germany’s Fraunhofer Institut, the creators of the MP3 digital audio format, have created “Query By Humming”:
- on display at this week’s Midem music conference in Cannes that identifies a song by title and composer based on a person humming a few bars into a microphone.
Fraunhofer officials a number of firms are working on rival humming-recognition products, and that there have even been calls by some developers to do a “hum-off” competition aiming to settle the score over whose product is best.
With so many music executives converging on the French Riviera resort town this week keen to decry the damaging impact of Internet file sharing and CD burning, the humming debate has been drowned out.
Still, a few curious souls queued up at the Fraunhofer booth to try out the product. One hummed John Holt’s “The Tide Is High,” popularized by Blondie and more recently Atomic Kitten.
The correct song title and artist appeared second from the top in a list of 10 possibilities, a good result considering that the software still needs tweaking and that the hummer warned in advance he could not carry a tune.
The software displays the recording’s structure, identifying the notes by pitch as high and low notes, alerting the tone-deaf to where their melody fell apart. It checks the result with its own small database of songs. [Reuters]