Music Fingerprinting

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Work performed while at Cantametrix, Inc. (acquired by Sony/Gracenote)
Cantametrix was a pioneer in music identification and categorization in the early days of downloadable music files, when metadata attached to MP3s was often incorrect, inconsistent, or purposefully obfuscated. We developed a pattern recognition system that identified digital music files directly from the acoustic waveforms without relying on metadata, based on perceptual features computed with digital signal processing algorithms. The system correctly identified songs from a million-song database (large at the time!) independently of codec and encoding quality. The time-to-identification, comprising feature computation and database lookup, was a fraction of a second. Gracenote/Sony acquired Cantametrix and incorporated the technology into their ubiquitous MusicID© platform. The "Cantametrix fingerprint" lives on in popular consumer products such as Apple iTunes and WinAmp. An article in the Seattle Weekly describes that work.