January 26, 2007 6:00 AM PST

This Web site can name that tune

Do you ever find yourself humming a song whose title, to your frustration, you don't know or can't remember? New search Web site Midomi is designed to actually identify that song for you in as little as 10 seconds.

Launching in beta mode on Friday, Midomi allows people to search for a song by singing, humming or whistling a bit of the tune. The site then offers search results that include commercially recorded tracks or versions of the song recorded by others who have used the site. The technology also lets people listen to the exact section of each of the results that matched their voice sample.

People also can type in a song title or artist to get results. The system recognizes misspelled words.

Melodis, the company behind the site, has licensed 2 million digital tracks that can be purchased and has accumulated about 12,000 more from users. Users, who range from aspiring American Idol contestants to professionals, can create profiles and rate one other's performances on the ad-supported site.

The underlying speech- and sound-recognition technology, dubbed Multimodal Adaptive Recognition System, or MARS, differs from similar technologies in that it looks at a variety of factors for recognizing samples, including pitch, tempo variation, speech content and location of pauses, said Chief Executive Keyvan Mohajer, who has a Ph.D. in sound- and speech-recognition from Stanford University.

Like search giant Google, Melodis was started in a dorm room in Stanford--only the idea for Melodis came a bit later: 2004.

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8 comments

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not just yet
tried this with a sample from one of redman's finest. guess they just need to increase their library?
Posted by Madinat (8 comments )
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It only works for music...
... and not garbage.
Posted by Remo_Williams (488 comments )
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Interesting...
Seems pretty cool...

I thought of something like this a couple of years ago, how it would be cool to find a song you didn't know the name of by singing a chorus. Wish i followed through.. :(
Posted by nyte3k (19 comments )
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Web to name that tune (and chord?)
Surely to follow is the solution to the problem of amateur musicians trying to identify the beginning chord. The premium edition might let you humm the key you want and the subsequent chords would be produced. (Geez I love this country).
Posted by gthurman (67 comments )
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totally awsome but....
it needs more singers and hummers. After 7 different tempos it still hasn't found the song I haven't heard in over 9 years on the radio.

It is new so I still have faith in it will mature.
Posted by inachu (963 comments )
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The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines
My name is Charles Knight. I maintain the Top 100 List of Alternative* Search Engines (*alternatives to Google). On my list is the other Humming Search Engine - Nayio(www.nayio.com)

If you would like a copy of the entire List, just email your request to me at:

Charles@CharlesKnightSEO.com

or charlesknightseo@yahoo.com
Posted by CSKnight (2 comments )
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name that tune
Melodic search has been a subject of experimentation for more than a decade. Although results that search musical content are not yet optimizied, many are significantly better at tune identification that midomi. Its strength seems to be in matching the timbre of the singing voice, which may be valuable for social networking, but it useless for finding a specific recording.

On a test involving the statistically most common melodic five-note pattern of five notes, it failed to produce a single valid match.
Posted by aldiviva (3 comments )
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Five notes?
The site does ask for a sample of at least ten seconds?
Posted by Frungi (3 comments )
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