Science and Technology
From Japan, a Music Player That Discovers Structure and Rhythm in Songs
A cool new music service you've never heard of has hit the web, offering deep insights into the structure and rhythm of popular songs.
Created by Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Institute, Songle (SONG-lee) analyzes music tracks hosted on the web and reveals the underlying chords, beats, melodies and repeats. Listeners can see how a song is laid out, and jump immediately to the chorus if they choose. They can search for music based on chord, beat and melody structures, such as all songs with the chord progression Am, B, E. There is also a visualization engine synchronized to a song’s core elements.
“This is a showcase for active music listening,” said Songle creator Dr. Masataka Goto, leader of the Media Interaction Group at AIST’s Information Technology Research Group. “Listeners can browse within songs.”
Computer analysis of music has aimed for years at getting inside the structure of songs to create audio fingerprints to help stem piracy and automate listener recommendations – the holy grail of online music retailing – among other things.
Goto cautioned against reading too much into Songle at this point, highlighting it’s educational and entertainment value instead.
Users submit links to tracks hosted online and Songle analyzes them in about 5-10 minutes, adding the metadata (but no copy of the song) to its database. The service, which launched in Japan in August, has analyzed about 80,000 tracks so far.
Songle has an embeddable player with a visualizer that adds graphics synchronized to a song to any web page using the embed code. It also allows listeners to provide corrections to the estimates created by its music analytics algorithm, potentially improving accuracy.
By Evan Hansen
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