Only a day after Shazam announced it has got a bunch more funding, software company The Scho Nest has announced the release of what it calls "the world's first fully open-source music fingerprint service," in partnership with UK digital media company 7digital, called Echoprint.
As people increasingly use their mobile devices to interact with other devices and media, discovery technologies are coming to the fore. It's all very well being able to offer all sorts of social content, merchandise, and other goodies associated with a piece of content, but if it's even a bit of a hassle to find it, most people probably won't bother.
This is where discovery technology comes in, why Shazam has no problem getting millions of dollars of VC wedge, and why Yahoo bought IntoNow within weeks of its launch. Audio recognition technology can be used, not just to identify music and offer-up buy links, but recognise other content such as video and TV ads via its audio signature. This is a quick an easy way to sync your mobile device with what you're watching.
The likes of Shazam, presumably, hope to make a nice lot of money licensing their technology to media companies and app developers, but Echoprint looks like a cunning plan to take business from them by giving the technology away for free - the classic Internet model. The Echo Nest seems to be claiming some kind of altruistic motive behind this but, presumably, the business model allows for advertising revenue streams and a piece of the action from 7digital sales.
"Music fingerprinting should belong to the Internet," said Brian Whitman, CTO of The Echo Nest. "It should be a service that every developer can rely on without worrying about licensing fees or complicated database implementations.
"The Echo Nest is uniquely positioned to open its best-in-class fingerprinting technology and music resolution data to the public. Any music experience, from a streaming cloud service to a social music game can now immediately include music recognition. We're giving people the client and server along with the data, and we can't wait to see what they build with this."
Ben Drury, CEO of 7digital, added: "This open-source option will help companies to help solve the problem of accurate song identification. 7digital's catalog has been a part of The Echo Nest's API suite since last fall, and Echoprint is a great extension of that relationship. We both believe that adding new tools for application developers promotes more creative music services and better options for consumers."
Developers can get hold of all this yummy code at echoprint.me.