Midomi: a Revolutionary Music Search Engine
The Web is a great place for finding new music and listening to your favorite songs. Sites like YouTube, Last.fm, SoundCloud and Slicethepie provide endless opportunities for a music lover. To cut a long story short, you can find just about any composition online. That is, if you remember its title, some of its lyrics or at least the artist. But what if you’ve heard a composition you liked on the radio and have no idea of any keywords to use in Google? Midomi will help you find the song you are looking for without having to use any keywords.
If you’re an iPhone, Android or Nokia user, you might be familiar with SoundHound – an app that allows you to find music using voice search. Basically, all you need to do is sing or hum a song you are looking for and the app will match compositions according to the melody you’ve hummed. And now you don’t have to have an iPhone or an Android device to use voice search for music. Midomi.com is a website that allows you to do that on the Web from any computer that has a mic.
How does Midomi work?
Voice recognition is a complicated business from a technical point of view. And recognising melodies is even harder because not all people sing songs in the same key and not all of us are perfectly in tune. So, how does Midomi work?
According to Midomi, the website and the SoundHound app use MARS (Multimodal Adaptive Recognition System) technology that allows to match human voice to other human voices. It matches multiple features without any intermediate indexing. This means that the technology is so adaptive that it doesn’t matter in which key you sing, hum or whistle. And you can be out of tune within reason. Well, that’s in theory. But does it actually work?
Our Midomi test
We decided to test Midomi ourselves and try to find a couple of songs. Midomi asked us to sing for at least 10 seconds for the search engine to be able to match the singing with the songs in their database.
We did exactly that and sang nearly 30 seconds of Cohen’s Hallelujah.
The search results were encouraging. We got four matches and Hallelujah was among them. It wasn’t the performance by Leonard Cohen, but hey, it’s a really popular song performed by dozens of various artists. So this was a good result.
We tried searching for Yesterday by The Beatles and didn’t have any problems finding the song. As far as we’re concerned, Midomi.com really works and can help you find songs even if you don’t know who’s the singer, what’s the title or don’t remember any lyrics. You can hum or whistle the tune and your song will be found.
A good thing about Midomi is that it’s international, so it’s not only for English-speaking users. This music search engine is available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese, Korean and there even is a separate Japanese site – midomi.co.jp.
[box]The Verdict: obviously Midomi is still not 100% accurate, as the MARS technology keeps improving. Nevertheless, it’s a great alternative to conventional search engines when you need to find music.[/box]