Audio information retrieval and audio search
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Audio Information Retrieval and Audio Search - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Audio Information Retrieval and Audio Search. By Chris Mc Coy. Brief Overview. The basics of audio information retrieval and audio search What are some audio IR mechanisms? Briefly: Compression Searching by audio query How it works The future of audio IR and audio search.

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Presentation Transcript

Brief overview l.jpg
Brief Overview

  • The basics of audio information retrieval and audio search

  • What are some audio IR mechanisms?

  • Briefly: Compression

  • Searching by audio query

    • How it works

  • The future of audio IR and audio search

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The Basics of Audio Search and Audio Information Retrieval (cont.)

  • What is it?

    • Audio information retrieval is the process of retrieving audio information from the available resources

      • Text based searching for audio information is most common

    • Audio search (content-based retrieval) is a method of retrieving information by using a piece of audio information (ex: a melody of a song)

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Why is Audio IR important? (cont.)

  • Audio information in the form of music is one of the dominant forms of entertainment

  • News reporting

  • Comedy audio segments

  • Online radio and sports broadcasts

  • Audio in presentations leads to a more interesting and interactive product

  • Research and homework

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What are some Audio IR Mechanisms? (cont.)

  • Text based

    • Peer-to-peer file sharing software

    • FTP

    • Streaming audio

    • Websites

    • Online network drives

    • Clip Art

  • Audio search devices and software

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Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Software (cont.)

  • Peer-to-peer software connects one computer to another directly without a central point of management

  • Information can be queried and results transferred from one computer to another computer

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Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Software (cont.) (cont.)

  • Some common software examples

    • Bearshare

    • KaZaA

    • WinMX

    • Others: eDonkey2000, Furi, Blubster, Grokster, Madster, etc.

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Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Software (cont.) extra features

  • Problems

    • Spyware

      • Programs that collect information about the user and usage of the computer

    • Virus transmittal

      • Trojan horse

      • Ex: “Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday.exe”

    • Too many unrelated results returned

      • Query for the music band “Love”

        • Thousands of songs with “love” in the title are returned

    • Mismatched names and identification info

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Compression extra features

  • Audio Compression is a method used to decrease the size of an audio file to conserve disk space

  • MP3 is one of the most common forms of compressed audio

    • MP3 is a lossy format

    • Depending on quality: 1/5 or 1/10 size of .wav

    • Lossy format – tradeoff: soundquality and filesize

  • Other common types of compressed audio:

    • Real Audio (lossy format)

    • .SHN (Shorten) (loseless format)

  • Controversy exists over the sharing of audio information in compressed format

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Joke extra features

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FTP extra features

  • Common storage area for audio information

  • Many FTP cater to particular areas of audio

    • FTP sites for trading rare music from a particular band

    • Old archived radio or historic audio files

  • To find some FTP sites do a search on a search engine (ex: “Beatles FTP”)

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FTP (cont.) extra features

  • Information needed

    • IP (ex:

    • Port (ex: 21)

    • Login (ex: music)

    • Password (ex: mp3)

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Streaming Audio extra features

  • Used on many commercial websites to provide sound samples of music

    • Ex:

  • Allows for quick audio information retrieval

    • No permanent download needed

  • Used for many news and radio broadcasts

    • Ex: (live radio broadcasts)

  • Real Audio and Windows Media Player are the most common players

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Websites extra features

  • Some websites have audio information available for download free of cost


    • Usually stored on their own personal storage space

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Online network drives extra features

  • Good for sharing audio information between people on the same network

    • Students on a residence hall network

    • Employees at work on the same network

  • Positives

    • Fast transfer between computers

  • Negatives

    • No transfers if network is down

    • Virus transmittal

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Clip Art extra features

  • Good for finding audio information for presentations or laughs

  • Power Point has a built in sound clip organizer which you can query by text

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Audio Search: extra featuresContent-Based Retrieval

  • New developments and technologies allow querying IR mechanisms by audio

  • New audio mining (aka audio indexing) tools allow both speech processing and search technology all in one package

    • Data can be time stamped and queried later by speech or by text

    • Good for referencing logged business calls

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Audio Search: extra features Content-Based Retrieval (cont.)

  • New device by Philips Electronics in the Netherlands (hope to hit consumer market 2004)

    • Microphone device captures your voice

      • “Audio fingerprints” are determined

    • Melody query then is sent to a database

    • Results are returned

    • Good for finding a song you don’t

      know by name but know by tune

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Audio Search: extra features Content-Based Retrieval (cont.)

  • Attributes of an audio signal used to index

    • Amplitude - the maximum amount of displacement of a particle on the medium from its rest position

    • Frequency - how often the particles of the medium vibrate when a wave passes through the medium

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Audio Search: extra features Content-Based Retrieval (cont.)

  • Other attributes used to index audio information

    • Average energy: loudness of audio signals

    • Bandwidth: frequency range of a sound

    • Brightness: Midpoint of the energy distribution of a sound

    • Harmony: In harmonic sound the spectral components are mostly whole number multiples of the lowest, and most often, the loudest frequency. The lowest frequency is called fundamental frequency

    • Pitch: how high a sound is; use fundamental frequency as an approximation

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Audio Search: extra features Content-Based Retrieval (cont.)

  • Positives

    • Quick and easy searching of databases

    • Less problems with text labeling

  • Negatives

    • Sometimes there are difficulties with speech and sound recognition

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The Future of Audio IR extra features

  • Unanswered Questions

    • Will faster computers = faster audio IR and search mechanisms?

    • What direction will the new audio IR systems head towards? Content-based retrieval or text based retrieval?

    • How will new file storage mediums and new compression methods affect audio IR?

    • What will the impact of querying by audio be once the software hits the commercial market?

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References extra features

  • After Napster: The Beat Goes On. Retrieved November 25th from

  • Anonymous (2002, November). Name that tune. Technology Review, Cambridge. Volume 105, issue 9, page 18.

  • Anonymous (2002). The Phsyics Classroom. Retrieved December 4th from

  • Data Compression. Stanford University. Retrieved November 24th from

  • Gerard, Mike (2002). Security Risks of Peer-to-Peer Software across the Internet. Retrieved November 23rd from

  • Mitchell, Robert L (2002, August). Search engines break the sound barrier. Computerworld. Volume 36, issue 32, page 34.

  • Napster by all the top cartoonists. Retrieved November 17th from

  • Shankland, Stephen (2001, April). Sun to show peer-to-peer software. CNET Retrieved November 25th from

  • SHN FAQ. Retrieved November 24th from

  • Wang, Wanshuang. Indexing and Retrieval of Multimedia Data. Retrieved December 4th from