An Audio Archivist's Dream

Music fans who use their computers to organize their CD or MP3 music libraries have found the CDDB music database, now owned and operated by Gracenote (see previous story), to be an essential part of their audio world. If you use CDDB-enabled hardware or software, the artist, album title, genre, and track titles will automatically display when you put a CD or load an MP3 file into your computer or compliant player.

For example, using RiverSong InterActive's TitleTrack Jukebox software, Mac users can simplify the task of using one or more of Sony's 5, 100, 200, or even 400 CD multidisc changers. The software catalogs all of the discs in up to 12 connected changers (possibly 4800 CDs!), and allows the user to organize the collection by genre, artist, or album and create a variety of custom playlists. Once you start using a CDDB-aware interface, the boring "track 1" display on your CD player is no longer enough.

But so far, to gain access to the CDDB information requires that a computer be, or be interfaced with, your audio system. And even then, very few CD changers support the CDDB enhancements. Wouldn't it be nice if new audio hardware had CDDB-enabled software built in?

Last week, Gracenote and semiconductor manufacturer LSI Logic announced a strategic relationship to integrate Gracenote's music recognition technology with LSI Logic's C-Cube ZiVA-5 DVD system processor. LSI says that this agreement will enable consumer electronics manufacturers using their chips to offer access to Gracenote's CDDB database of music information and related content via networked or offline devices.

New DVD/CD players, including DVD-Audio–compatible machines, are the intended market for the CDDB-enabled chips. Gracenote's David Hyman says that "this relationship extends Gracenote's reach into the consumer electronics space—CDDB is a perfect complement to LSI Logic's existing CD, MP3, DVD-Audio, and mainstream DVD playback capabilities."

LSI's Timothy Vehling adds that "ZiVA-5 was the industry's first DVD processor to offer MP3 encoding and a hard-disk drive interface. Together with Gracenote's ability to recognize CDs and digital audio files, LSI Logic is excited to extend ZiVA-5's features beyond DVD. With CDDB, ZiVA-5 will now enable leading consumer electronics manufacturers to quickly add audio jukebox capabilities to their DVD players."

The two firms anticipate that support for the Gracenote Music Recognition will be available with ZiVA-5 for consumer electronics manufacturers by the end of this year.