Philips to deploy audio "fingerprint"

Audio fingerprinting may be the music industry's brightest hope against piracy, but the technology is still some time away from being implemented.

Developer Philips has promoted the capability of obtaining song details by holding a mobile phone to a sound source. Audio fingerprinting provides a digital "fingerprint" of a recording by measuring the energy of frequency bands in a song. The results are converted to a unique code for each song. This information can then be sent to a central music database, which will find song details such as name and artist and beam them back to the sender's mobile phone via an SMS.

It's the use of audio fingerprinting for tracking piracy, though, that has organisations like the Australian Recording Industry Association interested.

The Recording Industry Association of America last year invited proposals to explore how audio fingerprinting could prevent piracy, such as identifying audio content on the Internet. It will also improve current methods of policing royalty payments by monitoring which songs are played on radio and Internet.

Philips's communications manager David Wolf said the music database had been developed in conjunction with record companies, and that Philips did not have exclusive ownership.

"This technology will be available to everyone and all products, though I'd imagine Philips will receive some licensing benefits and a cut of the SMS costs," he said. "I'd expect it will be commercially available by the end of next year."

However, despite international interest, the technology is still unknown in Australian music industry circles. The director of new media at the Australian arm of music label giant Universal, Tom Enright, said he was unaware of audio fingerprinting.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Steven Deare

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?