Developing Digital Music Libraries and Audio Retrieval Systems: Current research and studies review
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With an increasing amount of digital music files available comes a need for proper organization and retrieval of music information and music objects. The field of digital music libraries and audio information retrieval is growing rapidly with many different projects undertaken to provide increasing functionality.To identify what a digital music library is expected to achieve, it is important to both look at the current research in the field, as well as surveying the potential users as to which features such a system should contain. There has been much work done in the field, particularly towards specialized functions that retrieve specific patterns of music, and it is important to gather this research and form a model of what a digital music library can be.The digital music library is a specific way to store specific files, and as such it requires a special metadata set that can handle the music information, storage and delivery systems to handle the files and a search engine that not only is able to search and retrieve via metadata, but also from the content of the music files themselves.A digital music library will contain audio files that represent music. To be able to retrieve content from an audio file, one must know what an audio signal is, and what the digital representation of one entails. Music files are specific audio files that have specific attributes that must be known to be able to distinguish from other audio files. It is possible to extract attributes from the audio file, and use these content descriptions to calculate similarities (similar to other information retrieval systems).Metadata will be what describes an audio file, because content of an audio file is difficult to draw information from. Along with the metadata, relationships between different metadata objects will also be valuable tool to extract information from music. It is therefore needed a well-known model for both metadata representation and fields, as well as a well-known model for representing relationships.A prototype system, drawn from the conclusions made from the literature research as well as the surveys and observations, is built to test if a digital music library model can work as to provide the user with proper information both through metadata, relationships and audio features. This model shows that a digital music library that follows the expectations given by surveys and related research is possible even by using simple technologies such as hypertext and simple databases.