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Audio thumbnailing of popular music using chroma-based representations

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2 Author(s)
M. A. Bartsch ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; G. H. Wakefield

With the growing prevalence of large databases of multimedia content, methods for facilitating rapid browsing of such databases or the results of a database search are becoming increasingly important. However, these methods are necessarily media dependent. We present a system for producing short, representative samples (or "audio thumbnails") of selections of popular music. The system searches for structural redundancy within a given song with the aim of identifying something like a chorus or refrain. To isolate a useful class of features for performing such structure-based pattern recognition, we present a development of the chromagram, a variation on traditional time-frequency distributions that seeks to represent the cyclic attribute of pitch perception, known as chroma. The pattern recognition system itself employs a quantized chromagram that represents the spectral energy at each of the 12 pitch classes. We evaluate the system on a database of popular music and score its performance against a set of "ideal" thumbnail locations. Overall performance is found to be quite good, with the majority of errors resulting from songs that do not meet our structural assumptions.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Multimedia  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 1 )