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Real-Time Radio Search Engine From Music Industry's Nemesis 59

Posted by timothy
from the gadflies-love-being-swatted dept.
An anonymous reader writes "From the guy who brought you CD syncing and the original music locker (both of which saw lawsuits from record labels) comes the latest invention to rock the music world: a real-time radio search engine. 1000s of worldwide stations are indexed in real-time and users can search and play most any popular artist — even the digital holdouts (Tool, Led Zeppelin, etc) that are unavailable on paid services like Spotify. (Kinda wonder why Google hasn't done this.) Link on main page points to an API for those who want to build mobile and web services."
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Real-Time Radio Search Engine From Music Industry's Nemesis

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  • Innocent? (Score:3, Informative)

    by kubajz (964091) on Saturday November 16, 2013 @07:34AM (#45442075)
    This seems quite innocent and hugely useful at the same time - can anyone see the angle from which the rights holders will most likely try to attack his effort? :)
    • Re:Innocent? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by paiute (550198) on Saturday November 16, 2013 @07:44AM (#45442105)

      This seems quite innocent and hugely useful at the same time - can anyone see the angle from which the rights holders will most likely try to attack his effort? :)

      Yes. "More people are listening to our product, therefore...uh...GIVE US MONEY!"

    • Re: Innocent? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by malchus842 (741252) <stephen@adamsemail.net> on Saturday November 16, 2013 @07:47AM (#45442121) Homepage
      Sure. Pass new laws that make it illegal....or include it in the new Trans-Pacific treaty, along with every other wish they have on their list.....
    • There are many free radio station aggregators, even a somewhat cripple one from Apple. I never could figure out why people pay for that kind of service.
    • by stjobe (78285) on Saturday November 16, 2013 @08:10AM (#45442165) Homepage

      Listening to music without paying is not "innocent", it's downright unamerican. Or at least a threat to our beloved capitalism. If nobody makes a buck from it, it's gotta go.

      You're not one of them pinko commie socialist types that think you can get something for nothing are you? Remember, you don't always get what you pay for, but you always have to pay.

      Always.

      Disclaimer: Portions of the above post may contain traces of sarcasm, cynism, or just downright trolling. Handle with care.

    • Re:Innocent? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 16, 2013 @08:20AM (#45442183)

      It probably depends on individual countries.

      It doesn't look like they are actually capturing any data for rebroadcast:

      About half are internet only stations and half are simulcasters who are transmitting their AM/FM station online as well.

      ( https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uxzNqPIZE0R_DJiMSR-NA5-yoc6APgt56odOixFlNZ0 )

      That may not make them safe however as they appear to be embedding the streams rather than linking to an appropriate page on the streams source. Depending on the country you're in this is a bit of a grey area - you could be found to be infringing or liable for damages if you cause service/load problems for the original host or losses in revenue.

      Whether they could be extradited from the US to another country for such a crime is also up for debate but it certainly seems possible depending on the terms of the extradition treaties.

      Disclaimer: IANAL: But IP law, especially as it's applied across countries - is messed up.

    • The argument will be: "No one will buy music if everyone can hear whatever they want whenever they want to with this search tool. Radio stations used to be cool because you could hear everything we sell, but not whenever you want to, so you'd buy it to have schedule control."

      Then the counter-argument will be: "Not everything is playing all the time. That's only marginally true for the really popular stuff."

      And the reply: "But that's just it. The demand will see the greatest reduction in the stuff f
  • by vikingpower (768921) <exercitussolus.gmail@com> on Saturday November 16, 2013 @08:43AM (#45442235) Homepage Journal
    How do they do it ? Do they use a near-real-time indexing technology like elasticsearch or Apache Lucene ? Did they build something by themselves ?
    • Echonest (startup in boston) has some libs on github for audio fingerprinting and retrievel. That solves part of it, but the labeling seems like it might be the tricky part. As far as how to quickly search, yeah maybe elasticsearch, but it might not really be needed as the number of songs is pretty finite.
      • by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Saturday November 16, 2013 @01:15PM (#45443383) Homepage Journal

        the number of songs is pretty finite.

        True. Not only do ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC control a limited number of musical compositions, about 10 or 20 million at my last count, but the whole set of possible musical compositions is limited to a couple hundred million at most. If you want, I can explain further. (Hint: lawsuits alleging 8 note similarity, 14 possibilities for each note after the first, 14^(8 - 1))

        But the number of recordings of these songs is effectively unbounded, as is the number of ways stations can distort any particular recording. Different stations use slightly different level compressors on the signal, with slightly different methods of compensating for what the combination of level compression and FM preemphasis does to the "s" sound. And a lot of stations appear to use a 6% speedup, which pitches the music up by a semitone and allows fitting a few extra commercials in each hour. The matching metric had better be pretty robust.

        • by sjames (1099)

          It's probably less songs than that, The record for a suit was 3 notes.

          • by tepples (727027)
            So in general, what should a songwriter do to avoid infringing?
            • by sjames (1099)

              As near as I can tell, there's nothing that can be done but pray to the deity of their choice. Such is the state of what passes for law these days.

            • by suutar (1860506)
              retire
              • by tepples (727027)
                If all the songwriters retire, then where are filmmakers and video game developers going to find background music?
                • by suutar (1860506)
                  They could cover or sample already existing background music. Or, since I would expect that instrumental background music would get a bit less scrutiny than top 40, songwriters could keep working in that area. (I would also like to note that I don't think all songwriters retiring would be a _good_ thing, just that that's about the only way to be sure that you won't infringe.)
    • by Bertie (87778)

      I was assuming it was just reading song metadata from stations that provide it.

      • Yes, I assume that, too. But that is not enough. You must keep that metadata in an index, in order to enable users to search through them. And that indexing must go damn fast. Let us assume a song lasts 5 minutes, and you track 100,000 stations. On average, then, you must index 100,000 / ( 5 * 60 ) = 333 songs / second. Although elasticsearch and / or Apache Lucene do that in a breeze, you prolly throw away the results each 5 minutes. This is atypical for an indexing engine, and brings you to do some extra
  • moskva.fm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I know there is a Russian service that does this really well (http://moskva.fm, you need to understand the language). It's like a 24/7 DVR (well, DAR) combined with Shazam and extensive hyperlinking (so you can do things like "which stations played this song"). Pretty neat, but sadly I agree that RIAA lawyers have already been summoned to draft lawsuits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 16, 2013 @10:34AM (#45442511)

    I've already got an app that I use for searching and listening (and even recording) called TuneIn... It's on iOS, Android, and has a web interface as well.

    http://tunein.com/

    Not sure what this really brings to the table.

  • MR Responds (Score:5, Informative)

    by Michael Robertson (3434417) on Saturday November 16, 2013 @11:07AM (#45442695)
    Always nice to get a mention on Slashdot... except for the idiot in Brazil who is spidering the site and will be blocked in 3, 2, 1.... Some of my inventions have been blazed new trails like DVR for radio (DAR.fm), CD syncing (BeamIt), and the music locker (MP3tunes) but I don't think this service is in the same category because it's really an intelligence layer on top of radio. What news.google.com did for newspapers, we're trying to do for radio: make it searchable, bubble up top content and ultimately give users much more control. That's always a good thing in my book. The commenter who said we don't rebroadcast is accurate. The stream goes from the broadcaster directly to the end user's computer. It's worth nothing that the broadcaster may have royalty obligations similar to how Pandora has to pay royalties or any other online streamer. The record labels and the publishers are being paid. If you have suggestions for the service, please email me. mr@michaelrobertson.com Thanks!
    • /robots.txt (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Saturday November 16, 2013 @01:20PM (#45443423) Homepage Journal

      except for the idiot in Brazil who is spidering the site and will be blocked in 3, 2, 1

      You appear to have no valid /robots.txt file [wikipedia.org] on the site. This won't stop intentionally misbehaving spiders, but right now, you don't even appear to indicate at all (in a machine-readable manner) that spiders aren't welcome. But before drafting /robots.txt, you need to make a decision: Do you want your result pages to be in Bing and Google, or do you want to hide your site from users of general web search?

    • I wonder if you could combine your Search with an AI similar to Pandora's. So for example, the AI determines what music you like to listen to, but instead of paying someone for rights to play the song, it instead just uses your Search to find that song playing free one a radio station. Obviously, the major problem is to make it so the beginning of the next song lines up with the end of the current song. This would be ok if the next song on the same radio station was acceptable. Even if you had to switch to
      • Or also, something like MP3tunes but instead of uploading music, just have it broadcast from the radio. Again, same problem of matching up end of song and beginning of next song. But once that's solved, I think many possibilities open up. These 2 just came to me off the top of my head Oh here's a 3rd, but it's kind of far off: Detect when a radio station stops playing music and starts playing commercials, and then switch to another station that's playing music automatically. I'm not sure if the radio statio
    • by Mathinker (909784)

      > It's worth nothing that the broadcaster

      I think you meant "It's worth noting", no?

      And while I have the chance, thanks for all of your innovations, and best of luck in your endeavors (including in court). The original mp3.com site rocked; I can only speak for myself, but it was totally eye-opening for me to understand how many good, unknown, indie musicians there are, and to partially glimpse (what I believe is) the future direction of music.

    • This is an excellent service! I never listen to Pandora because I am not interested in an algorithm mining for my tastes, I concluded that after giving it a try a few times. But this is way different: people who play songs I like are likely to play other songs I like, whether those songs have similar "DNA" or not.

      I just put the theory to the test by typing "iron maiden", pick a station that played one of their songs, the next song was U2 in the name of love -- very different songs but I liked both. Then saw

  • by Aryden (1872756) on Saturday November 16, 2013 @01:57PM (#45443645)
    Tool and Led Zeppelin are absolutely available on Spotify and Pandora.
  • Snippets (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Exitlights (1004199) on Saturday November 16, 2013 @03:42PM (#45444271)
    Finally, a site where I can hear the last 30 seconds of any song I want!
  • Kinda wonder why Google hasn't done this

    Their business model? Google sells on-demand access to a large-ish music catalog; I assume they don't want to compete with themselves ...

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