A new search engine technology is being demonstrated at music social networking site midomi.com that allows you to identify a track by singing, whistling or humming a few bars of a song to the search engine.
Poor MARS Search had to endure my singing
The Multimodal Adaptive Recognition System (MARS) Search technology being showcased was developed by Melodis Corporation.
MARS Search extracts a variety of features from the tune including speech, pitch, tempo, and even the location of pauses. MARS Search analyzes each element independently and adapts to the stronger components.
For example, MARS Search takes speech content into account if the user sings the lyrics and ignores speech content if the user hums or whistles the song.
“With midomi.com we have created one of the most entertaining search engines on the web,” said Keyvan Mohajer, CEO, Melodis Corporation.
“Users of midomi.com will be able to both search our extensive database as well as help grow it; when a user tags (sings and saves) their favorite songs, the submissions immediately become part of the searchable MARS universe.”
I’ve tried MARS Search and I have to say that I am very impressed. I am not known for being able to keep a tune, and yet MARS Search was able to correctly identify my pathetic attempts at singing Yellow Submarine and Get Back (both by the Beatles).
Speech recognition has been improving over the past few years, but I have say, it is impressive to see it implemented in the way it is in MARS Search.
I know the the practical applications of MARS Search are limited, but it’s not hard to see how this technology, and competing technologies, will be applied to give us more flexibility in how we find things on the Internet.
It also has the potential to make Internet via a mobile phone a much compelling experience, for example I do like the idea of being able to ask Google Maps for directions.