On Fri, 24 Mar 2006, Lou Judson wrote:

> Password protected. Can you copy and paste it?
> On Mar 24, 2006, at 7:11 AM, Karl Miller wrote:
> > Just encountered this article from the Chonicle.
> > Might make an interesting interface to an online catalog.

Hoping this doesn't send me to jail...


Tapping Musical Memory

Ever have a song stuck in your head, but you can't quite name the tune? A
new tool developed by three students at Simon Fraser University, in
British Columbia, may be able to help.

The Song Tapper, at, allows users to tap a beat
on the space bar and get a list of possible titles in response. The site
evolved from a project last year for an artificial-intelligence class and
now gets as many as 10,000 hits a day.

"We wanted to do something that involved music, lyrics, and rhythm." says
Geoff Peters, one of the inventors. "We decided to try matching rhythms in
one song to rhythms in others."

The Song Tapper usually identifies the song, but only if the person doing
the tapping has a passable sense of rhythm.

Tapping out "The Star Spangled Banner" to demonstrate how it works, Mr.
Peters produced a list of titles that included not only America's national
anthem but also "Island in the Sun," by Weezer, and "Happy Birthday."
(Tapping out "O Canada" brings up many possibilities, including "YMCA.")

Mr. Peters, Caroline Anthony, and Michael Schwartz generated a lot of
interest in their algorithm-based invention last year at a conference on
artificial intelligence. Since then, the site's song base has increased to
more than 11,000 songs, since anyone can add to it if the song they just
tapped out doesn't show up as a possibility.

Mr. Peters sees a future for the idea in children's toys, and there has
been interest in linking the Song Tapper with an online music store. In
the meantime, he says, the cost of the server is covered by the site's
advertisers. "Each connection gives us a little bit of money," he says.