Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ISMIR 2007

Creative Commons Co-Founder, Mike Carroll delivers his keynote presentation at ISMIR 2007, the 8th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval in Vienna, Austria.

An ISMIR 2007 photo gallery is available via Flickr.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Jamendo Goes Platinum!

Congratulations to the Jamendo team for reaching P2P platinum with their 1,000,000th BitTorrent download today!

The Owl team appreciates your commitment to the worldwide music community and we share your enthusiasm for using technology and creativity to help expose the music-loving world to thousands of emerging artists from all over the globe—like Maya de Luna and La Petite Mort whom I just discovered (and downloaded legally!) this afternoon using The Spiral.

We value your partnership and look forward to working closely with all of you as you push toward P2P plutonium—1 BILLION downloads!

—Dave and the rest of the Owl development team

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

More Jamendo!

More music today! We've just added about 6,000 new Jamendo tracks, bringing the Owl music search inventory to about 80,000 tracks in total.

Of the new tracks, one of my favorites is Giac & Juan's Sur les ailes d'un ange from their album Doux Réveil. This is a quiet, instrumental piece; something you might hear on Echoes.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Search Owl from iTunes

Hey Boppers,

Just thought I'd share with all of you a small AppleScript I wrote which enables you to search for music on the Owl Multimedia website directly from your iTunes application (sorry, it's Mac-only, see below). It's easy to download, easy to install, and easy to use.

(Unfortunately for our Windows using fans, my programming skills are limited to web-based languages, VCRs, and AppleScript. If any of you have experience building Active X components and interest in empowering your PC brothers and brotherettes, feel free to contact me about writing a similar Owl Music Search plug-in for iTunes for Windows.)

Oh, and in case iTunes isn't your music app of choice or you just like to tinker, the AppleScript is released uncompiled under GNU GPL, so feel free to improve on it and share it as you see fit. Let us know if you develop anything interesting and we'll post it here for everyone to share.

Download the .zip archive which contains the script and the corresponding READ ME file. Double-click the archive icon to unzip the contents.

To activate the script, simply place the file named "Search Owl Multimedia" in your iTunes Scripts folder. This folder is located inside of the /Users/YOUR USERNAME HERE/Library/iTunes directory. If there is no folder named "Scripts" in the folder, create one, and then copy the script file into it.

Voila! The script will now appear as "Search Owl Multimedia" in the AppleScript menu of your iTunes application.

Launch the iTunes application and play a song from your music library. Listen to the song or scan it to find your favorite part. When you find a part that interests you, select "Search Owl Multimedia" from the AppleScript menu.

If no track is playing, the script will search using the currently selected track in your library. If no track is selected, you will receive an error message. Select a song and try again.

The script will direct your default web browser to the Owl Multimedia website and perform a search based on your selection. You can further refine your search using the search player in the browser.

Browse the results and enjoy scores of similar songs!

NOTE: The site currently requires that all song files be valid mp3 audio files encoded at a sample rate of 44.100 kHz. If the song you have selected is encoded in another format (OGG Vorbis, WAV, AAC, etc.) or at another sample rate (22.050 kHz, 16.000 kHz, etc.), you will receive an error message. Select another song and try again.


Monday, January 22, 2007

New content - Jamendo

We've added over 10,000 tracks from Jamendo to our music search engine, so you should see even more variety in your search results today. A big thanks goes to Sylvain Zimmer and team for their cooperation and patience in the effort!

I'm just starting to sample the Jamendo menu of artists. My favorites at the moment are Alias Motel and Mon coté Manouche. You can search for Mon coté Manouche, Alias Motel, and more via the Creative Commons Search Engine, or come directly to Owl Music Search to "find music through music"™.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Creative Commons and Owl Multimedia Introduce the World’s First “True Music Search Engine”

Creative Commons and Owl Multimedia Introduce the World’s First “True Music Search Engine”

10,444 Tracks Available Under Creative Commons License Searchable by Sound Via Collections From Magnatune and ccMixter

San Francisco, CA, USA and New York, NY, USA – December 6, 1006

Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that provides flexible copyright licenses for authors and artists, and Owl Multimedia Inc., a leading music search technology firm, today announced the launch of Owl Music Search, a revolutionary music search engine that enables Internet users to discover new music using sound similarity instead of traditional text-based queries. The first-of-its-kind music search engine is the initial offering of a collaborative alliance forged between the two companies to develop and deliver a range of innovative music services to the Creative Commons community and the Internet at large.

The search engine, developed by Owl Multimedia, whose tagline is “finding music through music™,” enables music lovers to discover thousands of tracks released under Creative Commons licenses by comparing the sounds of songs they own with the sounds of thousands of new songs. It is available on Creative Commons’ website by visiting search.creativecommons.org.

Owl Multimedia and Creative Commons share the vision that the open exchange of musical works is integral to the creative process and to the growth of culture itself. By enabling search without text, the companies hope to increase access to music outside of the mainstream and facilitate the legal sharing and reuse of music.

“Our aim is not only to increase the sum of raw source material online, but also to make access to that material cheaper and easier,” said Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons founder and CEO. “We hope that the ease of use introduced by Owl Music Search will further reduce barriers to creativity. Owl’s innovations in music search and discovery make them the logical choice for us to work with to realize this vision.”

There are currently over 300,000 tracks by independent and emerging artists that are released under Creative Commons licenses and hosted on sites like Magnatune, a “try before you buy” digital music store; ccMixter, a music remixing community; Jamendo, a free and legal music sharing community; and others. Owl Music Search aims to provide access to all of these tracks while eliminating the need to know what or who you’re looking for.

“Over the past decade, search engines like Google and Yahoo! changed the way people interacted with text-based information, but these systems have barely scratched the surface of what is possible in the music space,” said Frank Geshwind, CTO of Owl Multimedia. “This collaboration represents a giant leap forward for music search and discovery.”

While most existing Internet music search engines rely on text-based associations to generate results, Owl Music Search looks “inside the music” to extract hundreds of acoustic features and create a digital description which can then be matched against other descriptions, providing a higher degree of accuracy and granularity in its results.

Geshwind continued, “Our technology paired with Creative Commons’ commitment to the open sharing of creative works will bring greater opportunity to artists whether they are looking to distribute and share their work or looking to remix, reuse, and build upon the work of others.”

Owl’s intuitive search interface makes discovering music as simple as opening a file. Using the site’s browser-based application, which includes a built-in media player, a user can open a song, pinpoint a region of interest, and then search for tracks containing similar sounds. Owl’s search engine uses sophisticated acoustic analysis, audio description and similarity algorithms to create and compare digital descriptions of thousands of tracks, and return similar sounding songs.

The results returned to the browser can be further refined by the user, using filters on other attributes such as artist, album, genre, year, and Creative Commons license. Users can preview the results, get additional information about them, and optionally purchase or download copies of the tracks. The site also offers community-based features, such as tagging, which help train the company’s comparison algorithms.

“Music is an international language, but the language used to describe music is not. It is much simpler to search for and discover music with music than by recalling and typing complex search terms,” said Todd Carter, CEO and co-founder of Owl Multimedia. Owl Music Search is the first major innovation in the world of music search since the advent of the search engine. Web searches will no longer have to rely on text that may or may not be attached to a given song file.

“Owl Music Search will change the way consumers look for music online, enabling the next-generation of online music. Owl Music Search truly allows consumers to hear a great variety of music that matches their musical tastes,” added Carter.

About Owl Multimedia

Owl Multimedia, Inc. is a privately held company and was founded in 2005. Owl’s mission is to build the world’s largest online index of music and other content and make this information available to anyone with an Internet connection. Owl’s automated “finding music through music™” search technology helps people obtain nearly instant access to music from this vast online index. Owl’s main office is located 419 Lafayette St. 2nd floor New York, NY 10003. For general information, visit owlmm.com.

About Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works–whether owned or in the public domain. Creative Commons licences provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators that build upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to offer a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. It is sustained by the generous support of various organizations including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Omidyar Network, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation as well as members of the public. For general information, visit creativecommons.org.


David Furfero
Creative Director, Owl Multimedia

Eric Steuer
Creative Director, Creative Commons

Friday, November 17, 2006