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Yahoo! Launches Audio Search Beta 128

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the listen-to-the-music dept.
guaigean writes "Internet News is running a story on a new Yahoo! service titled Yahoo! Audio Search and it is currently in beta. The tool allows the searching of audio files and Yahoo! claims to have 50 million music, voice, and other files cataloged in the search. It searches across multiple mainstream music sites, as well as plenty of independent pages. Now if only it was tied in with some sort of lyric search."
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Yahoo! Launches Audio Search Beta

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  • Wow.. step ahead? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by priestx (822223)
    Ok, Google and Yahoo! both have Video search.. but does Google have Audio search engine capabilities?
    First innovation for Yahoo! since.. a long time ago.. or Google's imitation?
    • Re:Wow.. step ahead? (Score:4, Informative)

      by tonsofpcs (687961) <slashback AT tonsofpcs DOT com> on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:53AM (#13247797) Homepage Journal
      http://www.altavista.com/audio/default [altavista.com] has been around for quite some time. How is this an innovation?
      • by term8or (576787)
        Well, it could be different in the quantity of information it catalogues and the quality of the search used. For example, the classical music geek above searched for "Ich habe genug" and got results. With altavista you also get useful results (i.e. the quantity of information seems similar). He/she also used some interior text from the cantata like "Mein Trost ist nur allein" and still got useful information. This wasn't the case when I used altavista (i.e. the quality of indexing may be inferior).
      • by Jugalator (259273)
        Yahoo Search searches podcasts, has song length filters, searches audio services, has album views with artist bios etc if searching for artists, ... Finally, no one said this was an "innovation" and never done before.
    • Re:Wow.. step ahead? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jarlsberg (643324) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:01AM (#13247818) Journal
      Google lets you use the following query: "springsteen filetype:mp3" to search for mp3 files with springsteen in the file name. I don't use Yahoo on principle, so I haven't seen how it works and whether it's better than Google in any way.
      • Re:Wow.. step ahead? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Coryoth (254751) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:09AM (#13247842) Homepage Journal
        This service is more akin to froogle than to straight google - it's abotu comparison shopping ove r the various different pay to download services. To their credit they bother to let you comparison shop not just on price, but on format and DRM/license restrictions. This isn't a replacement for finding your favourite illegal download, it is potentially a replacement for just running your search on iTMS for that song you want to buy.

        Jedidiah.
        • by Jarlsberg (643324)
          Ok. I see. It makes more sense now - I suppose Yahoo gets a cut for each song purchased from these sites.

          But illegal download? I'm not doing anything illegal when I search for mp3's with Google. At best, the linked site might not have the rights to distribute the file, but that's a different thing altogether.

      • by Momoru (837801) on Friday August 05, 2005 @05:21AM (#13248152) Homepage Journal
        Yes, Google's "dig through the help files to find the command and then type a command line-like argument" is much easier then Yahoo's complicated "just type what you want in the search bar" approach. I can see why you don't use Yahoo on principle, those fuckers just can't make things simple.
      • I don't use Yahoo on principle"

        OK, I'll bite: What principle would that be?
        • No particular reason, I just don't like Yahoo, much in the same way that many people don't like Mandrake/Mandriva and instead prefer Gentoo (or whatever). (I use Mandrake.)

          I should add that I'm not American, so the american centric view of Yahoo doesn't really jive with me. I guess that's part of the reason why I neither use it or like it. :)

          • What an odd mentality. Are you even aware that Yahoo has arguably better (and popular) international services and websites than Google? It is no more American centric then Google.

            You know, the people who prefer one Linux distro over another have reasons for having that opinion. The only reason that supports your 'principles' seems to be an uninformed idea that Yahoo is more American centric then Google.
            • What an odd mentality. Are you even aware that Yahoo has arguably better (and popular) international services and websites than Google? It is no more American centric then Google.

              Take a look at the norwegian Yahoo, and tell me if you think it's any good (www.yahoo.no).

              You know, the people who prefer one Linux distro over another have reasons for having that opinion. The only reason that supports your 'principles' seems to be an uninformed idea that Yahoo is more American centric then Google.

              You're givi

      • I don't use Yahoo on principle

        Out of interest, what principle?
      • Google lets you use the following query: "springsteen filetype:mp3" to search for mp3 files with springsteen in the file name. I don't use Yahoo on principle, so I haven't seen how it works and whether it's better than Google in any way.

        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=springsteen+f iletype%3Amp3&btnG=Google+Search [google.com]

        Oh, that's why it is better than Google.

      • Tried an example. Irate sent me a song, for example, Liquid Bridge, by Brett Hunt.

        Searching for that on yahoo audio search, zip.

        Google, it was the third result. Without any filetype filters or anything.

        Hmmm.
      • I don't use Yahoo on principle

        And what principle is that?
    • Re:Wow.. step ahead? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Momoru (837801) on Friday August 05, 2005 @05:24AM (#13248158) Homepage Journal
      Why don't you try checking out this site: http://next.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] . It's full of cool Yahoo innovations (like Google Labs). A lot of the apps on there don't get mentioned on Slashdot for some reason, but most are really cool.
  • Uh oh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ScaryMonkey (886119)
    Hope that doesn't include *copyrighted* music files! Better watch your step there, Yahoo!
  • And all you need... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ms1234 (211056)
    .. is a microphone and know how to humm..
    • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:58AM (#13247811) Journal
      Actually, I remember seeing this somewhere. I want to say it was on the old tech TV (back before G4 ran it into the ground). You hum the tune of the song or audio clip and it matches it to similar sounding audio files.

      (As I was writing this I remembered the name)

      Query by hum, here is the website. querybyhum.cs.nyu.edu [nyu.edu]

      Interesting and fun, although not particularly useful, there are more efficient ways to search data (Metadata), although this way may be more natural to the way humans work. Not to mention the fact that it requires a rather time intensive process of creating profiles of each audio file to be matched against.
      • It's extremely useful in theory. Useful enough that I think some mobile phone service providers have offered something similar: hold your phone to the speakers and they'll try to identify the song that's being played. Obviously it's more useful than metadata when you just don't have any metadata such as artist or title, ie when it's either a song you just don't know or if the names elude you. Happens to me often enough.
      • Musipedia [musipedia.org] operates alike, though it has a much larger musical repository (mostly classical or bizzare, the recent changes list shows a Super Mario and a Halo song). It's not perfect either, I tried the Canadian national anthem, and it ended up as 5th or so on the results.
    • This is what I'd assumed it was doing (a bit like this [shazamentertainment.com]).

      Wouldn't it be cool if you could serach for images in a similar fashion. You could have a 10x10 grid where you could place different colours ("The image I'm looking for was light blue in the top half and green in the bottom half")...

      Yahoo's been doing a lot of cool stuff recently (eg their Creative Commons Search [yahoo.com]) but for some reason they don't seem to get the recognition that Google has.
    • In a presentation by Fast Search and Transfer [fastsearch.com] in 1999, a couple hundred students were shown their audio search by microphone. The presenter whistled (quite badly, according to the laughter of most of the students) a part of the "Pink Panther" theme song, and searched for MIDI files on the web with the result. At least 80% of the hits were relevant...
  • There was a story the other day about Baidu.com was being sued for providing easy search access to copyrighted materials. This on the eve of their IPO.

    If a company can be sued over it in China, where copyright restrictions are very lax, how successful will Yahoo! be in implementing this here in a country where copyrights are taken much more seriously?
    • by Coryoth (254751) on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:55AM (#13247804) Homepage Journal
      If a company can be sued over it in China, where copyright restrictions are very lax, how successful will Yahoo! be in implementing this here in a country where copyrights are taken much more seriously?

      Pretty successful. Have you actually tried it? It doesn't take you to illegal free copies, it provides links to copies to buy.

      For instance, searching for a semi-obscure ambient band that I quite like turned up lots of hits. Selecting a track takes you to this page [yahoo.com] which tells you various places you can buy and download it. It's quite a nice service really - think of it as akin iTMS search that runs over multiple different major music stores and provides options, or Froogle for downloadable music. Excellent if you like hard to find music (that often isn't in CD stores) like myself, or even if you simply want to shop around (though 99c seems to be the rate pretty much everywhere, so comparison shopping is limited). I could definitely see this catching on.

      Way to go Yahoo! you actually came up with someting interesting and new for a change.

      Jedidiah.
  • by zweistein2 (614363) <zweistein&ftml,net> on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:47AM (#13247776) Journal
    They actually encourage you to try a search on copyrighted materials (i.e. Coldplay), but if you do, it gives you a list of fee-based audio services where you can buy the song(s). No illegal stuff here, move along :). Non-copyrighted materials have download links next to them. I prefer archive.org, as a matter of fact, at least I'm certain what is under a Creative Commons licence there.
    • mate your wrong...if you search deep enough yee shall find. Misspell the name of the artist as i did in an above post and about 1/2 way down the page i found an infringing file.
    • by Coryoth (254751)
      They actually encourage you to try a search on copyrighted materials (i.e. Coldplay), but if you do, it gives you a list of fee-based audio services where you can buy the song(s).

      Sure, but they provide a nice overview. The coldplay seach for instance gives you this [yahoo.com] (after you select a specific track). Now not only is there a free download version via ArtistDirect, it provides a nice pricing guide for comparison shopping (with both buy and download and subscription options priced), as well as actually list
    • I played around with properly spelled band / artist names and didn't manage to find any illegal files, at least on the first few pages... My sample searches were "Coldplay", "Dream Theater" and "King Crimson." I agree with Coryoth, this is a great service for people who buy music online.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      • http://search.yahoo.com/cc ?
        Sure, this is great, but as far as I can see, I can't limit the search to only audio or video files and browse them by genre etc... Great, but archive.org works better for me.
    • Hi,

      http://search.yahoo.com/cc [yahoo.com] its there for ages now.

      As Google acquiring CIA backed map company and offering 7 year old service with incompatible interface is more important news to some, you didn't notice it I guess. ;)

      (yea down mod me google fanatics)
      • I'm actually surprised you *did* get modded down. I blood useful and relevant link, and it got modded as troll.

        This is why I give troll mods a +6 modifier.
    • Seems weak IMHO as well. I typed in a few searchs and went pages and pages without anything but links to online music retailers.
      Why would I waste time doing this went I can simply hop on a Usenet server or Itunes and get what I want instantly? If both of those services and the Internet at large don't have it I'm sure as fuck not going to go through the trouble of signing up for another online store that A) has its own form of DRM that won't work with my player and B) would clash with what music software I'm
  • Impressed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dnixon112 (663069) on Friday August 05, 2005 @02:54AM (#13247801)
    Wow, I just tried to search for a song I've been trying to find for a little while with no luck in google, and bam first result there it was, free download.
    • Let me guess, it was "Hooked on a feelin'" by David Hasselhoff?
  • FCC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mishra100 (841814)
    This just seems like Yahoo is on a trip to yet another FCC regulation debate. But starting a service like this is a good counter-action to google's successful products.
  • I'd like... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Atario (673917) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:06AM (#13247835) Homepage
    ...song-identification based on me humming it into my computer's microphone.
  • I was sceptical (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mrs. Grundy (680212) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:10AM (#13247847) Homepage
    Being a classical music geek, I am always skeptical, and i suppose somewhat jaded, in this world that worships the latest pop idol, so I said to myself, "yeah, we'll see about this" and popped into the search field the text from Walt Whitman, "Behold the sea" used by Ralph Vaughan Williams" in his first symphony. What do you know. It even even had a link to the apple i-tunes store which open itunes to the track. Next I tried "Ich habe genug" and not only did I get a handful of recordings of Bach's cantata BWV 82, it also found the recitative from the Magnificat. Thinking maybe it only indexed the titles, I tried some interior text from the cantata like "Mein Trost ist nur allein" and it still found it. This works much better than I expected. Cool.
  • Podcast? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by aussie_a (778472)
    Will this be able to include podcasts? If so, that'll become quite useful. Especially as the amount of people [url=http://www.alpha-shade.com/]offering podcasts will grow[/url].
  • To get "non-major" (aka non-RIAA??) tracks you need to go to "more options" and click "Include alternates, imports, EPs, etc.".

    This option is disabled by default. I'm getting the feeling that this seach might just be a marketing tool for some major labels. What do others think?

  • My only problem with this service has to do with the songs you only can buy: Music is more often than not licensed region by region, country bycountry. This means that even if I find a song from iTMS here, it's quite possible I actually won't be able to buy it -- even though iTMS is available in my country.

    Apart from this I think Audio Search is a great move from Yahoo. For once they've come with a search related service, that's not only a "me too" feature.
  • It goes like this.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mrthoughtful (466814) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:20AM (#13247885) Journal
    Aw. I was disappointed - I expected an audio search, not an audio metadata search.
    I was wondering how their audio search would work.. Something like a recording interface expecting the searcher to hum, whistle or sing the song they are looking for..

    "it goes Dum di doo di doo diddly dum"
  • by AvantLegion (595806) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:24AM (#13247901) Journal
    Search: [ 4/4 AND "bum-TCHH, bum-bum-TCHH, bum-TCHH, bum-bum-TCCH" ]

    Search results:
    750,234 results found.

    Hey look, most top 40 songs from the last 10 years. This is pretty handy!

  • by AvantLegion (595806) on Friday August 05, 2005 @03:31AM (#13247922) Journal
    Search: "daed si luaP"

    2 results found:
    The Beatles - "I'm So Tired"
    The Beatles - "She's Leaving Home"

    There you go! Proof!

  • Maybe it's possible that Yahoo's going to do some sort of tie-in with Shazam [shazam.com] (v useful service, especially when a song's niggling you).
  • Audio searching is not new - altavista has had this for years. That being said, Yahoo's version is actually pretty good. As a matter of fact, much of what Yahoo has done recently has been pretty cool - are they on their way back?
  • Opened 8 tabs with obscure searches. So far (some 10 mins later) 1 loaded.

    Gentlemen! We have managed to slashdot Yahoo!
  • No SFX ? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    When reading this I thought it would be great to search random sfx-files, eg. audio files of 'screaming', 'crying' etc., but when I tried those I only get commercial albums of bands/singers.

    Even the Wilhelm scream comes up empty :/

  • Lyric search (Score:2, Interesting)

    by grubbymitts (903312)
    Oh if only. It is an unquestionable truth that when searching for lyrics on the interweb you are bound to pick up a piece of malware.
  • Ever since the Inktome engine (which allowed one to search for files by extension) disappeared from HotBot [hotbot.com] that I've been looking for a replacement service. Thumbs up for Yahoo for this achievement, they have really beaten Google to it this time.
  • I am impressed!
    I play in a band. When searching for us using google, all kind of non-related stuff comes out also (as expected, btw). But with this engine, it displayed our soungs, and to amaze me a bit more, it also knew somehow, that we are unsigned :).

    Anyway, I welcome this new feature and hope it gets popular!

    Check us out btw, the band's name is Soterios.
    • Re:amazing! (Score:2, Interesting)

      Actually, now I know how this is done. Yahoo does not link to our band's website http://www.soteriosmusic.com/ , but soundclick instead. Simple. I only wish they'd start crawling the web and link to band's websites directly.
      One minor notice. Soundclick offers mp3's 128 kbit, from our site you can get ~192 kbit ogg's, under creative commons license btw.

      enjoy.
  • Anyone else notice the submit page?

    Seems you can put your own audio up there too using rss. which leads me to believe either two things will happen:
    1) People will post free copies of comercial music and be blocked, or perhaps the service gets closed down.
    2) New independant artists could use this as a launching platform.

    What this really needs though is some sort of amazonesque, other people who liked this also like... and an ebay-esque method for people to be able to publish their own original music.

    With tho
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Friday August 05, 2005 @05:59AM (#13248239) Homepage Journal
    Example, Gothic Power by Christopher Fields. I don't believe you can buy this anywhere but people have ripped it from various trailers. (variations were in FOTR and T3 trailers)

    I am pretty sure other trailer music never intended for distribution is locatable with this service.

  • which music format would you like? Something for Windows, or something for Windows, or maybe Windows or perhaps Windows? With *this* music search you have a *choice* see?
  • by bilgebag (102479)
    Where's the 'I'm feeling like a cheapskate bastard - show me the free stuff' button?
  • Now if only we could search easily within audio files, a la Podscope [podscope.com]

    RC.
  • Ok, go to the audio search beta page, under "Try these audio searches" click "horror scream", then pick the second reslult. If you go to the first webpage that it gives you, and go to the file that it points you to, you will get: "Number One: You can never have sex."
  • but most people have VHS.

  • Can't I use this Yahoo feature as a webservice, to search my own audio files? I search with text for an audio file in Yahoo. Yahoo finds it and identifies it. All I want is the MD5 sum, or some other unique hash. I'v already preindexed my own audio files, into a table of their hashes. I get just the Yahoo hash, without downloading (or violating copyright) the external found file. I look up the Yahoo hash in my table, and find my own file.

    The essential link here is getting just the hash, rather than download
  • How, exactly, is having a central search engine like Yahoo that can locate interesting audio content on other people's machines, with copyright and licensing issues being a between you and the person providing the content and none of Yahoo's business... ...different from having a central search engine like the original Napster or Audiogalaxy or whatever, that can locate interesting audio content on other people's machines, with copyright and licensing issues being a between you and the person providing the
  • Well thats what I call my self anyway. Here is my program, just cut and paste into google search and get your free music. intitle:index.of "parent directory" *.mp3

    peace
  • There was a local group in the Dallas area in the 80's and early 90's that posted .mp3's from the albums they controlled (one major label release not there). I was impressed that there were links to the free downloads and the index is not just listing commercial sites.

    BTW the group is Ten Hands. They split just after releasing with a major lable and formed jazz bands (I heard).

    • Ten Hands splintered into MANY other local and not-so-local acts. For example, drummer Earl Harvin start his own rock band (Rubberbullet), wrote and toured with Seal, and has one of the better jazz combos in N. Texas. Paul Slavens went on to play in various electic bands and do a LOT of solo performing, and now has a very cool music show on Sunday nights on the local NPR outlet (FM 90.1, KERA). Mike Dillon went on to Billygoat, and is now in Hairy ApesBMX.

      http://www.mmguide.musicmatch.com/artist/artist.c [musicmatch.com]
  • Now if only it was tied in with some sort of lyric search.

    Some people seem unable to ever be happy. We give you bread, and you complain because it's not sliced.

  • The free service allows users to peruse a list of 50 million music, voice and other files for free.

    And how else would you peruse a free service? EMW2K?

  • by mir@ge (25727)
    http://www.gofish.com/ [gofish.com]

    I didn't -- cough -- work on this or anything. Really.
  • I thought it would be an audio search where you upload a clip and it tells you where it's from. I've got some unlabled clips that I want to know more about.
    THAT would be amazing, I think a service like that was/is offered for cell-phones to identify a song in the background...or something.

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