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Browsing Music

January 23, 2006

Scientists are coming up with new, more sophisticated ways to browse digital music.


Smarter music browsing. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

If you find a song you like online, it can be tough to find others like it. But a powerful new music browser could help. It’s called SIMAC, and it’s spearheaded by Xavier Serra, of the Pompeu Fabrea University in Barcelona, Spain. Rather than searching for titles and text descriptions, SIMAC analyzes the musical properties of a digital audio track.

XAVIER SERRA (Pompeu Fabrea University, Spain):
So we can search for songs that have either a general concept of similarity, or a specific one, like search for similar rhythms. Or search for similar key signatures. Or search for songs that have the same style.

This could please not only consumers looking for fresh tunes, but also independent musicians, who could get worldwide exposure without building a big name.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.