June 27, 2016
Ever wonder about the difference in the noise a bowhead whale makes versus a humpback whale? This is yet another query Google can answer. Tech Insider informed us that Google Search has a secret feature that shouts animal noises at you. This feature allows users to listen to 20 different animal sounds, but according to the article, it is not a well-known service yet. Available on mobile devices as well, this feature appears with a simply query of “what noise does an elephant make?” The post tells us,
“Ever wondered what noise a cow makes? Or a sheep? Or an elephant? No, of course you haven’t because you’re a normal adult with some grasp of reality. You know what noise a sheep makes. But let’s assume for a minute that you don’t. Well, not to worry: Google has got your back. That’s because as well as being a calculator, a tool for researching coworkers, and a portal for all the world’s information, Google has another, little-known feature … It’s capable of making animal noises. Lots of them.”
I don’t know if we would call 20 animal noises “a lot” considering the entirety of the animal kingdom, but it’s definitely a good start. As the article alludes to, the usefulness of this feature is questionable for adults, but perhaps it could be educational for kids or of some novelty interest to animal lovers of all ages. Search is always searching to deliver more.
Megan Feil, June 27, 2016
August 25, 2014
Sound is an underrated science, but it is quite an amazing topic to study. MIT News reports an amazing experiment: “Extracting Audio From Visual Information.” The article explains that Adobe, Microsoft, and MIT researchers developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. The team has been able to get audible files of the leaves of a potted plant, the surface of a glass of water, aluminum foil, and vibrations from a potato-chip bag.
The sound files can be used by law enforcement organizations, but MIT graduate student Abe Davis says it creates a “new kind of imaging.”
“ ‘We’re recovering sounds from objects,’ [Davis] says. ‘That gives us a lot of information about the sound that’s going on around the object, but it also gives us a lot of information about the object itself, because different objects are going to respond to sound in different ways.’”
The team speculates that the technology community will embrace the research and amazing applications will be developed from it. The new sound technology will also create a new slew of content. How will we search the new content? A specific and exact ontology will be needed to distinguish sound files. Will a search application smart enough to read the sound data be developed to identify the user’s information need? Oh wait, enterprise search systems index “all information” so it already exists.
Whitney Grace, August 25, 2014
November 29, 2013
Last Christmas I was ready to annihilate my regular radio stations, because they kept playing the same carol mix over and over again. There was not one new song introduced within a twenty-four hour period. Looking for some relief, I surfed the FM waves in hopes of finding a new station. My efforts were rewarded with a station I had never heard before and I was filled with new musical glee. While I never found the station again, Michael Robertson can help me avoid WHAM’s cover of “Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart” by “Introducing the World’s First Radio Search Engine.” Robertson recently launched his beta version of RadioSearchEngine.com.
The article explains:
“There are other directories of A-Z lists of radio stations, but this is the first search engine where any song or artist can be located on stations playing from anywhere in the world. A universal web player for the first time connects to and plays nearly every station offering immediate audio satisfaction and unprecedented user control.
The search engine updates in real-time, so users will be able to track a song and instantly play it. The search engine indexes all the songs every three-five minutes for an instantaneous searchable music. Robertson’s creation also makes recommendations to the user based on the song selection, allows users to skip songs, and view popularity rankings.”
Before finishing the article, I was about to say that YouTube is just as easy, but the ability to fast forward, skip songs, and add new content is the search engine’s major selling point. Robertson might have just launched the newest music trend.
Whitney Grace, November 29, 2013
October 15, 2013
YouTube has seen quite a few headlines since they’ve announced their music video awards. That’s not all, however. In a recent Search Engine Watch article we learned that “You Tube Launches Audio Library, A Royalty-Free Music Library for Video Creators.”
According to the article, YouTube is aiming to assist users uploading videos in finding the perfect song to match their video. There are 150 royalty-free tracks that can be used to accompany an individual’s footage.
The referenced article tells us:
“The Audio Library is live now and offers tracks such as “Drop and Roll”, which YouTube described as “angry”, and a track called “Payday”, which the firm suggested will work with “bright” happy videos. The tracks can be ordered by genre and mood, so you won’t have to scroll through all 150 songs before you find the right one for your video. YouTube is calling for more musicians to get involved in the project, so those who fancy donating instrumental tracks to the service should get in touch.”
We found it interesting that users can browse tracks by several categories: mood, genre, instrument and duration. The article does not offer information on how tracks’ moods are characterized but it seems that this could potentially be another use for natural language processing – if it is not already. The larger question, however, is how does one actually search, or query, the library?
Megan Feil, October 15, 2013