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

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?