I have to give a talk on Wednesday about tools for music informatics, with a particular slant towards things that might be useful for and usable by musicologists.
Conveniently, I've been
burying my head in the sand allowing a
backlog of unread messages on the
Retrieval) mailing list to accumulate, naggingly, in my
buffer. So this evening I went through 200 or so of them to see
whether there are any announcements of software, publications of data
sets, discussion of tools, or similar.
Firstly, a high-level categorization of messages by topic: some of course fit in multiple categories. I have made no attempt to be rigorous about this; it is the fruit of a Sunday evening's scan.
- research discussion (including surveys): 51
- research meetings (calls for papers / participation): 52
- open positions: 52
- MSc: 4
- PhD: 24
- Post-doctoral Researcher: 21
- Fellowship: 2
- Intern: 3
- real job: 2
- community housekeeping: 20
- datasets: 36
- software announcements / discussion: 14
Much of the discussion about datasets was about the relative lack of them, or issues about their accessibility. However, four datasets were announced (or re-announced); they were:
- Magnatagatune: user tag data collected from the TagATune game on Magnatune's catalogue.
- Million Song Dataset Benchmarks: a wider set of features computed on audio samples of the Million Song Dataset
- Multitrack Audio with Structural Segmentation Ground Truth Annotations: SALAMI-compatible (not a phrase I would expect to write often) structural segmentations of 104 pop tracks, with accompanying multitrack audio in some cases.
- Ballroom: 698 tempo- and genre-annotated ballroom dancing tracks.
Meanwhile, a number of feature extractors or feature extractor
frameworks were mentioned; I picked up on big beasts such as
and aubio, along with announcements for
individual feature extractors such as
pyin. In the
discussion of the lack of data,
Sonic Annotator Web Application was
mentioned as a way of bringing analysis tools to audio data rather
than the reverse; there was also a genuinely new announcement, about
the open-sourcing of Essentia, a
multi-extractor toolbox developed at the
Music Technology Group at UPF Barcelona.
The other software in the period included two audio source separation projects: FASST, a toolbox, and ISSE, an interactive editor; possibly related (I haven't really tried it). There was also: a melody annotator and editor, tony, which looks interesting (and the project is doing open development of code and publications); a score follower, antescofo, which is entirely behind an IRCAM paywall, so I can't say anything more about it; a library for computing melodic similarity, and three mobile apps: a game, a game with a purpose, and a smart microphone widget.
All this is worth knowing, and it was a good exercise: if nothing
*Group* buffer looks less intimidating now. Whether it
gets me much closer to a talk about music informatics tools for
musicologists is another matter..