Can't Name That Tune?

For the millions of fans who search the Internet for their favorite music, one thing always required is the name of the artist or song sought. But what if you don't know exactly what you want to hear, and would rather search for the kind of music that suits your mood?

Last week, CantaMetrix announced the launch of its music search, recognition, classification, and recommendation engine. The company claims that the engine employs a proprietary computational approach to music retrieval that allows for purely sound-based searches, "which creates a more enjoyable and inherently personalized exploration of music, in turn triggering greater music discovery and consumption."

CantaMetrix says that any size music catalog is fair game, and that users can search by a variety of parameters (mood, tempo, rhythm, energy, etc.). According to the company, "as consumers' online music choices head toward infinity, intelligent tools like CantaMetrix will be essential to involving fans who prefer to make their own choices rather than follow the dictates of 'experts' or other collaborative bodies. CantaMetrix has developed a proprietary, fully automated music search technology that enables users to effectively navigate the vast breadth of recorded music by way of sound. Combining DSP, psychoacoustic modeling, and non-collaborative filtering in one simple interface, the patent-pending CantaMetrix search engine represents a massive leap forward in user-driven music searches."

CantaMetrix is also intending to work behind the scenes, and have their software used by companies who make audio content available via the internet. The company's John Castle explains that "we're working toward our goal of installing CantaMetrix in the basic plumbing of the digital music industry economy. To our current and soon-to-be clients, we have committed ourselves to providing an indispensable tool for growth."

In addition to announcing CantaMetrix itself, the company also announced its first licensing agreement, with LicenseMusic.com, whose website represents the catalogs of over 175 record labels and music publishers, including Harmonia Mundi, Chesky, and Alligator, as well as a growing library of music from unsigned artists. LicenseMusic.com says its customers will experience CantaMetrix as a click option on their website, which currently catalogs more than 50,000 pre-cleared online tracks, and over a million more tracks available through its network. LicenseMusic.com's John Schuch explains that "we're looking forward to giving our customers the ability to further enhance their searches for music using sounds-like tools, mood parameters, and other innovations."

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