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New Software can Name that Tune in 3 Seconds

Dutch electronics company has developed software that will automatically identify song titles by sampling the music via a telephone.

Royal Philips Electronics NV says it will soon start selling licenses for its so-called “Audio Fingerprinting.”

The technology allows you to retrieve, within seconds, not only a track’s title but also the artist and album. All that’s required is to hold a cell phone to a radio’s speaker for three seconds – long enough to record a digital fingerprint – when a song is playing.

The cell phone sends the fingerprint to a database that matches it with the identifying codes of almost every song ever recorded and released.

Less than four seconds after dialing the service, up pops a text message on your cell phone with the song’s ID.

Microsoft Corp. and other companies are developing similar technology.

Philips researchers say background noise or poor sound quality should not prevent the server from recognizing a song.

“The fingerprint might contain small mistakes. The technology is so robust that it can handle that,” said Jaap Haitsma, a Philips research scientist.

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