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Lab Experiment on Music Retrieval Systems

Instructions (by pair):

Go to It is a small demonstration of

some audio retrieval-by-similarity work. The aim is to automatically find audio
clips that sound "similar," in some sense, to an example clip.

The Music Retrieval Demo works by calculating the "distance" between the
selected file and all other files. The other files can then be displayed in a list
ranked by their similarity, such that "closer," and hence more similar, files are
nearer the top. This demonstration uses an open-source software package
called TreeQ. The TreeQ code is available at Sourceforge.

Query by Example:
1. There is no given cut-off or threshold, all the audio files are shown. Try to
suggest a suitable threshold (up to 3 decimal places) for the retrieval by
example. Try different queries and determine a good threshold, the
similarity is the values beside the names of the song in the arranged list.
2. With your selected threshold search given the following queries and
determine precision, and identify false positives. Explain you consider
them as false positive (what was your basis for similarity? Melody?
Rhythm? Tibre?).
a. Enya The Celts
b. Colio County Line
c. Eric Clapton Wonderful Tonight
d. NatKingCole End of a Love Affair
e. Nirvana - Breed
3. Give a possible explanation why it was retrieved, what features do you
think were obtained from the audio file?

1. Try to find a suitable threshold for classification based on these genres:
Piano music Reggae Jazz Grunge rock . Determine up to what song
should be included in the classification.
2. With your threshold, were there any false positives? Give a possible
explanation why it was retrieved?


1. Do you think that example-based retrieval of audio is useful? If yes, in what
cases is it beneficial? If no, suggest other query representations.

Query by example can be useful because genres or tags are not available all
the time. This may happen when a person only knows a song by memory. Also,
a person may not have an idea of what a certain genre of music is. Moreover,
even with genres or categories, it is not guaranteed that all songs in a category
are similar since genres can be diverse and categorization can be vague. For
example, jazz is a very diverse category and there is no objective way to
categorize music as jazz. Also, speaking from the experience in this experiment,
there is a good chance that a person can find a random song that he likes this
way rather than browsing through songs. Example based retrieval can also be
applied in a different field such as criminology. The voices of suspects can be
particularly useful in investigations. In this case, no textual information is
available. Matching can only be done through audio itself.

In cases like these, querying by example is useful, however, the system

should be good. In the software used in the experiment, the precision values are
low even with a threshold of 0.6. Bringing it down to 0.5 already generates so
many false positives and lowers down the precision to 0.2. A system that gives
a user just 2 out of 10 good matches every time cannot be considered useful.
2. Is automatic classification of audio files useful? What features of audio do
think should be used to classify audio files?

Names: Chester Paul Ibarrientos

Gabriel Del Mundo

Query by Example

Threshold: 0.600

Query Precisio False Positives Explanations

1. Enya The 1.000 None Only one entry, excluding the
Celts query itself, exceeded the
threshold which is not a false
positive as well.

2. Colio 0.375 The Breeders Almost all the songs have a

County Line Hellbound, Glorious, different sound quality, both in
When I was a Painter instruments and vocal sounds.
Chemical Brothers Nothing has the same rap voice
Leave Home, Three Little quality as the query. Most have
Birds Down Beats different rhythms as well, except
Diamond in the Rough for Hellbound. Hellbound is the
11 closest because it has a similar
Nirvana Lithium tempo and there are strong
Jimmy Reed - Sugar accented beats like in the query.
Coated Love This could explain its high score,
OMD Good Life being the first in the list, despite
The Doors Been Down being a false positive.
So Long

3. Eric Clapton 0.357 Soft Sounds- Brazillian Brazillian Suite No 2,

Wonderful Suite No 2 PrestoVH, Christo Christo
Tonight Shima Shoka- PrestoVH, Redemptor, Hanabi very
Hanabi different sound quality, mostly
Duke Pearson- Gaslight, piano sounds
Sudel, The Rain Gaslight, Sudel, Diamond in
Diamond in the Rough the Rough 06, 01 These
06, 01 songs had air instruments in
Jimmy Reed -Christo them, which is a different sound
Redemptor quality to the querys slow rock
type. However, the air
instruments resemble the sound
of the high notes from the
instrumental in the query. This
might be the cause of some of
the higher scores.
4. NatKingCole 0.333 The Velvet UnderGround Here She Comes Now has a
End of a - Here She Comes Now different rhythm, but it has a
Love Affair Volume 3 - East To West very similar sound quality for
Twilight in Rio - Choro Da both the instruments and voice.
Saudade The melody is even somewhat
Eric Clapton - Lay Down similar with the query. However,
Sally it is still a false positive because
it has a different feel because of
its rhythm.
Lay Down Sally has a different
sound quality because of the
instruments and different
rhythm as well. However, the
voice quality is very similar to
the one in the query.
East to West and Choro Da
Saudade are very different to
the query overall. Both have
different rhythm and sound
quality, and both do not have
any vocals.

5. Nirvana - 0.857 The Wasp The Wasp has a different rhythm

Breed and sound quality overall from
the query. However, it has strong
drum beats and bass sounds just
like in rock. Some of the mid
frequency sounds are also
similar to what one would hear
in rock music. This may explain
it scoring higher on the list.

Threshold: __________

Classification False Positives Explanations

1. Piano

2. Reggae

3. Jazz

4. Grunge