how does shazam work

But since I don’t have much programming experience I don’t think I have the time to learn and implement an algorithm myself.

I also tried reducing this size (512, 256). Using sound science and software technology, Shazam easily indexes hundreds of songs that are released every day and uploaded to the internet. Infact I beleive it's akin to what Melodyne uses to deconstruct polyphonic melodies. I remember a long time ago (not sure if it was Shazam that was involved), there was a service that offered song identification using similar techniques. Having identified the problem of finding songs we’ve heard before but can’t remember the name or the singer, the founders produced this unique, simple application designed to meet the requirements of the era. So, the most important frequencies are still in the resampled song which is what matters for an algorithm like Shazam. I don’t work at Shazam so it’s only a guess (from the 2003 paper of the co-founder of Shazam): Audio fingerprints differ from standard computer fingerprints like SSHA or MD5 because two different files (in terms of bits) that contain the same music must have the same audio fingerprint. Those frequencies can be coded in 9 bits (2^9 = 512). In other words, if you apply the Fourier transform on a sound, it will give you the frequencies (and their intensities) inside this sound.

– 2.5s: 200Hz (same frequency was found, but found at a different time)

But, these windows deal badly with noise since a noise will hide more frequencies than rectangular window. If you read carefully, you noticed that I used a lot of thresholds, coefficients and fixed values (like the sampling rate,  the duration of a record, …). For example, if the minimum unit is 1 millisecond, it means that both frequency and amplitude, as well as other characteristics of a sound, will be the same. In the worst case scenario, the first sample (sample A) starts exactly at 10 seconds of the song and the second (sample B) starts at 10.0116 seconds (i.e 1024/(2*44100) second). Then it’s just a matter of pattern-matching—Shazam searches its library for the code it created from your clip; when it finds that bit, it knows it’s found your song. With the metadata: Here is the same example with a Fourier Transform of a 1024 window: The signal is sampled at 44100Hz so a 1024-sample window represents a 23-millisecond part (1024/44100) and a frequency resolution of 43 Hz. Shazam has more than 11 million songs in their database. couples matching ~ first letters matching But there’s an app that does what all these platforms can’t, which really makes our lives easier. In our simple example with the 2 previous points we have the following result: If you apply the same logic for all the points of all the target zones of all the song spectrograms, you’ll end up with a very big table with 2 columns: This table is the fingerprint database of Shazam. It also depends on the number of bands you use (we used 6 bands but we could have used another number). Now, here is the spectrum of the previous audio signal with a 4096-sample window: The signal is sampled at 44100Hz so a 4096-sample window represents a 93-millisecond part (4096/44100) and a frequency resolution of 10.7 Hz. Thanks for writing up your work !!! These are 30 Hz - 40 Hz, 40 Hz - 80 Hz and 80 Hz - 120 Hz for the low tones (covering bass guitar, for example), and 120 Hz - 180 Hz and 180 Hz - 300 Hz for the middle and higher tones (covering vocals and most other instruments). – If you take the same music but plays it slower, it’s not a close match because the timing between the notes is very important A vibration can be modeled by sinusoidal waveforms. Here are some useful links to go deeper on window functions and spectrum leakage:,, the 0th bin represents the frequencies between 0Hz to 5.38Hz, the 1st bin represents the frequencies between 5.38Hz to 16.15Hz, the 2nd bin represents the frequencies between 16.15Hz to 26.92Hz, the 3rd bin represents the frequencies between 26.92Hz to 37.68Hz. We create for each point an address based on those target zones. I can’t understand how to filter the frequencies above 5kHz before downsampling? I have been blogging about AI and entertainment business. there are 10772 words according to wordpress (the rest is maybe generated by plugins). This article won’t make you an expert but I hope you have a very good picture of the processes behind Shazam. First artificial intelligence... Halloween is less than two weeks away. For more information on the FFT, you can check this article on Wikipedia. The following process needs to be done for all the remaining songs: From all the songs, we keep the song with the maximum time coherent notes. It’s another particularity of an instrument that makes it unique. Once the audio fingerprint is created, it gets stored in the database.

For example, when you’re humming a song to someone, you’re creating a fingerprint because you’re extracting from the music what you think is essential (and if you’re a good singer, the person will recognize the song). Fourier transform (FT) is a formula that transforms a sound wave into a graph of frequencies that the sound is made of, and their intensities. With this rule, the number of target zones would be reduced by 5 and so the search time (explained in the next part). How does Shazam work? Thank you!Check out your inbox to confirm your invite. Here we call on the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) for help. (Thus it’s going to be very unlikely that they both have sampled the same exact millisecond of the song, which would make a match much harder to find.). During this process certain information gets lost, and what we end up with is more of an approximate representation of a sound than the exact copy of it. a pure sinewave of frequency 20hz and amplitude 1, a pure sinewave of frequency 40hz and amplitude 2, a pure sinewave of frequency 80hz and amplitude 1.5, a pure sinewave of frequency 160hz and amplitude 1, The frequency of a note in an octave doubles in the next octave. The size of the result M is the sum of the result of the 5 * 300 unitary searches, M =(5 * 300) *(S *30* 5 * 300) / (512 *512 * 2). The series of sinusoids that together form the original time-domain signal is known as its Fourier series. Each time we match a hash tag, the number of possible matches gets smaller, but it is likely that this information alone will not narrow the match down to a single song. So their key is not just a single frequency, it is a hash of the frequencies of both points. At the same time, we need to reduce the computation time as far as possible and therefore use the lowest possible window size. I can only answer if you have specific question. A PCM stream is a stream of organized bits. What an amazing article! I have a programing project to do on audio fingerprinting and you will be referenced, thank you again, “You can check the range of your ears with youtube videos like this one that displays all the pure tones from 20 Hz to 20k Hz, in my case I can’t hear anything above 15 kHz.”. In this figure, a sound at 20 Hz is digitalized with a 30Hz sampling rate. Brilliant Christophe. What is sound really? In other words, it’s a three dimensional graph. If you’re listening to a “normal” music the difference is handled by the rest of the algorithm because the difference (in amplitude) between the different frequencies is HUGE. If the note at 37Hz is very powerful you’ll just know that the 3rd bin is powerful. Analog signals are continuous signals, which means if you take one second of an analog signal, you can divide this second into [put the greatest number you can think of and I hope it’s a big one !] We’ve just ended up with a filtered spectrogram of a song. Register for free: . How can we store and use it in an efficient way? Very nice article. Few years ago there was the case when another guy described how Shazam's sound recognition algorithm works and Shazam lawyers chased that guy.

Clear presentation of FFT theory. Shazam is a music recognition app that has been around for almost 20 years now. It would help me with my actual university project. If you like our blog post, you can share it on the social media buttons below and subscribe to our weekly newsletter to be instantly informed of new posts. Indeed,  the search would be to find 4 notes in a song separated from detla_time1, detla_time2 and detla_time3 seconds which means the number of results M would be very (very) lower than the one we just computed. Knowing how a digital music is made will help us to analyse and manipulate this digital music in the next parts. (30 times per sec.) At this stage we only have songs that are really close to the record. But when artists produce music, it is analogical (not represented by bits). So there is one more thing that we need to check with our music recognition algorithm, and that is the timing. Shazam’s algorithm was revealed to world by its inventor Avery Li-Chung Wang in 2003. A rectangular window has excellent resolution characteristics for sinusoids of comparable strength, but it is a poor choice for sinusoids of disparate amplitudes (which is the case inside a song because the musical notes don’t have the same loudness). In the case of the full songs (so only in the server side), those addresses are linked to the following couple [“absolute time of the anchor in the song”;”Id of the song”]. Thank you! —>The frequencies of the part_of_audio(t) depend on the window() function used. An Industrial-Strength Audio Search Algorithm. It’s used by Echonest a start-up recently acquired by Spotify. A close match could be: That’s why I’ve finally gone and done it – I’ve found it all out – Just like that! Frequency is a number of cycles per second, and it’s measured in Hertz. Awesome article!! So, when choosing the frequency of the sample that is needed to be recorded you will probably want to go with 44,100 Hz. If so, why 30? Thanks for the refreshment, really enjoyed it! Though M is huge, it’s way lower than the number of notes (time-frequency points) of all the songs.


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